1991 direct-to-video HBO movie starring Fred Ward as hard-boiled private investigator Harry Philip Lovecraft (ring a bell yet?) as the only honest (that is, non-magic-using) man in an alternate 1940s Los Angeles where wizards are hitmen and zombies are used as cheap labour for the construction industry.

A powerful tome of black magic goes missing, bodies start piling up, and the plot starts sounding eerily familiar (or at least both eerie and familiar), but never before has the genre of cosmic horror met so stylishly with the film noir aesthetic. Throw in a Great Foam-Rubber One with a name like a sneeze towards the end and you have arguably the best Lovecraftian film ever made, though purists will note that the film is based on no Lovecraft work in particular and doesn't bill itself as such, a refreshing change of pace from the typical false advertising Hollywood offers us when plundering the estate of this poor mad genius.

Tongue-in-cheek yet not campy, good luck at finding this effort, directed by Martin Campbell and written by Joseph Dougherty. It's widely available in video rental outlets but no plans are in the works to allow this movie into the home market, a pity since its inferior sequel, Witch Hunt (a tired Mccarthyism allegory set in the same alternate Cthulhu noir setting), can be found almost anywhere for the unwary consumer.

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