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Witch Hunt [VHS]

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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(Sep 08, 1998)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Dennis Hopper, Penelope Ann Miller, Eric Bogosian, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Julian Sands
  • Directors: Paul Schrader
  • Writers: Joseph Dougherty
  • Producers: Betsy Beers, David Gale, Gale Anne Hurd, Joseph Dougherty, Michael R. Joyce
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: September 8, 1998
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630341642X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,210 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Follow-up to ' 'Cast A Deadly Spell' ' - the only private detective not to practice black magic in Hollywood is up against the murder of a multi-millionaire, an extreme political agenda, and some of the sleekest, darkest dames that black magic can conjure up.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 19, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The first time I saw this movie was as a made for HBO movie, which is probably why most of my friends have not seen it as well as why it's so hard to find in video stores. As far as I can tell it borrows heavily from Robert Heinlein's "Magic, Inc.", but doesn't follow the plot just some of the plot elements. Would that someone would recreate "Magic, Inc." or "Waldo", or at least burn all copies of "Starship Troopers" and attempt to do tribute to the original. Why Hollywood believes that they are capable of improving on time worn classics is beyond me.
Set as a 50's type of Raymond Chandler detective story, it's richly told and tremendously riveting.
I recommend it highly to Dennis Hopper or Robert Heinlein fans that are familiar with some of Heinlein's early works (pre "Stranger in a Strange Land").
Why someone panned this film so harshly I can't possibly fathom.
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When I first saw this movie in the theatres I was immediatly impressed with the idea of magic working itself into everyday life, from cooking to police work. Loosely based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft (a extraordinary write of the macabre and occult). This story follows an adventure of a non-magic using detective in a world that takes advantage of magic like the modern man uses technology. The duelism between this forties world and our modern world is truely amazing!
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I have been waiting for years for this movie to make it to dvd.To say that this movie is quirky is an understatement.
It follows a detective played beautifully by Dennis Hopper as he tries to solve a murder. What is unusual is
that the average Joe uses magic as part of his daily routine,i.e.want to take out your trash,simply think it
and its done or want to be beautiful have someone cast
a spell and its done.
Hopper vehemently refuses to use magic eventhough he knows how.We get to follow him as meets a cast of quirky characters who use magic and try to help him solve the
murder.
Its just a fun movie.
dvddiva
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I originally saw this film on HBO, and was instantly riveted to it. It kind of reminds me of an offbeat version of L A Confidential, with all the elements of the 40's and such. I love L A Movies and the scenes here in this film depict much of the unusual architecture, and ambience, that encompass and make up this little "boulubaise" of cultures, and personalities. Besides starring Dennis Hopper, it also features Sheryl Lee Ralph, of dream girls fame, and the superb cameo, but nonetheless great acting of Lypsinka, as the the mysterious Madame, of the bordello. (Looking fabulous, I might add, in vintage Charles James Couture.............) I recommend buying it , and viewing it with friends, over some , sour apple martini's and appetizing shrimp hor'dourve. /the movie is a little offbeat, but that in itself is the appeal of this wonderful film.
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Come on HBO, when are you doing to release this and "Cast a Deadly Spell" on DVD. There is a cult following for these two films and Lovecraft in general, do it!
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Give the producers of this movie a 5 star plus on ambition for attempting to create a world (in LA, specifically) where magic (spells, curses, time shifts, zombies as bodyguards, etc.) is very real and a part of everyday life, and combining it with the late 1940's/ early 1950's hard boiled film noir private detective genre (with Dennis Hopper in lead role). Wow!

I was attracted to many elements in the plot, and generally liked this movie, so I give it a 4 star rating overall.

On the down side, the movie seemed a little flat at times, and tried to combine murders with a little comedy, in a way that was a little awkward sometimes. There was also a very tedious subplot where an evil politico is portrayed as a McCarthy/ HUAC-like crusader against the occult community who uses magic in everyday life. Also, the viewer is asked to suspend belief in many obvious plot flaws that would exist if magic spells were a fact of everyday life with everyday people.

This HBO movie is a follow-on to another HBO movie, "Cast a Deadly Spell" (with different actors, but same fictional setting) which I, unfortunately, haven't watched yet, so I can't comment on that.

But, for "Witch Hunt" if one just relaxes, sits back, accepts the premises of the plot and just watches to see where it will go, this can be a very enjoyable and bizarre ride. An aged Dennis Hopper with slick backed hair trying to solve a murder mystery, shiny classic cars being driven around LA, people casting spells to shrink things, and bring people thru time, a creation of a post art deco/ "Chinatown" -like LA that never existed, curses being placed and lifted all over---wow, where else can you see this?

For those who like these things, and like cult films, and are willing to overlook some problems, this is a good watch.

A caution---I had to watch it 2 or 3 times to pick up everything happening, but I like films like this, too. Some of you may not.
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I spent years trying to locate this movie. Many years ago I saw just the end of this film and wished I seen it from the beginning but it never was shown again on the channel. Over the years, I tried to get this movie but didn't even know its name except it had to do with witchcraft and Hollywood. I knew it was with Dennis Hopper but couldn't locate it in any of his film biographies. Finally my one son told me the name of this elusive film. [He is a film fan and knew I was trying to locate this movie for years and came across the name in a magazine.] I was so very lucky to find it on Amazon, although it is on VHS and not DVD, the movie was still well worth the viewing. It has a very unusual story line which I found to be fascinating. In fact I even bought the follow up film with Fred Ward. After so many years [approx 14] of searching, Amazon came through with a contact to purchase this long sort after movie. Thanks to both the vendor and Amazon.
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The movie Witch Hunt (Dennis Hopper)
same q as Linda. What's the production co. and who brought it out? Maybe we can ask them to put it on DVD/BlueRay.
Sep 21, 2011 by Juliette Vries |  See all 2 posts
DV friggin D! Be the first to reply
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