I remember watching a film when I was a teenager that seemed to be set in a 1930s film noir kind of setting.

I think the main character was a private detective, who somehow got caught up in some kind of plot to bring some big malevolent supernatural force. I think he also had some kind of magic power, but can't remember what specifically.

I'm pretty sure I remember that there were zombies - from the voodoo tradition, not Romero-type undead zombies.

From what I remember of the production quality, it was produced in the late 80s or early 90s. I think it might have been a TV movie (maybe a pilot?).

I'd love to watch it again if I can find it.

3 Answers 3


It sounds like the 1991 HBO movie Cast a Deadly Spell.

The movie is set in the 1940s and stars Fred Ward as private detective Harry Phillip Lovecraft. Lovecraft is hired by Amos Hackshaw (David Warner) to find the Necronomicon. Hackshaw is planning to sacrifice his daughter to summon the Old Ones. Clancy Brown plays Harry Bordon, a nightclub owner/crime lord who uses zombies as his muscle.

The movie is full of references to HP Lovecraft's writing, eg. the Necronomicon, a bar called the Dunwich Rooms, the Old Ones.

There was a sequel starring Dennis Hopper called Witch Hunt which was about the Red Scare of the 1950s.

  • It's funny that you mentioned all these references, but didn't focus on main character being named HP Lovecraft, though Harry Philip, not Howard Phillips Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 3:58

It could be Angel Heart
No zombies, but Robert DeNiro and Mickey Rourke in a voodoo-laced grimy old detective story.

A private investigator is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

  • interesting - it isn't the one I've seen, but I might look out for it anyway
    – HorusKol
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 22:44

To add one to the list, The Dead Don't Die was a 1975 television film, set in the 1930's, with Haiti/voodoo style zombies. It starred George Hamilton investigating a crime his brother was executed for. He saw his brother walking the streets of Chicago and learns of a voodoo practitioner who is raising the dead.

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