Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) Script

It's very bad, Nikolai.

You can feel the push, like something leaning on the screen door trying to get in...

Mischief mischieving.

If I had the money, I'd surely be in Miami.


Sorry, angel, but I don't play the sap for anybody... bad for business.

Lovecraft, too bad you're losing out on your fee.

With a client like this, maybe you already collected...

Upfront, if you know what I mean.

Get up, Grimaldi, people will think you've never been socked by a dame before.

Oh.

Evening, lieutenant. What's this?

It's the murder weapon.

Well, Bradbury, at least she found a nice, clean way to bump him off.

Time was you had to look a man in the eye before you could kill him.

You owed him that.

Now with the nerve and a little know-how, I can do it by tying six knots in a piece of string.

Ain't modern living grand? Magic.

It gives me the shakes what you can buy in this town.

They say it'll make things easier. And it has.

Lots of things.

How is it?

Bad. It's always bad.

There's bad and there's bad. Something's coming, something ugly.

And it's guys like me gonna clean up the mess.

I got enough to worry about, Phil, so do us both a favor, watch your back.

Thanks.

You too, huh?

Not all the time, just some of the time.

You know with the... it makes things easier. See you, Grimaldi.

Same old Schlubcraft, same sour outlook, same stubborn streak and you still wear that dog-puke tie!

Bradbury was right.

There's bad and there's bad.

But what I walked into after I left that night made all the magic and witchcraft I'd seen up to then look like a sideshow.

My name is Lovecraft and I'm the guy who knows.

Just about the only guy who knows it all and who's still breathing.

It started that night and it started with a woman.

It always starts with a woman.


Mickey!

For a minute, I didn't think you were gonna show.

Yeah, it just took a little longer, that's all.

Sorry.

Thank you. Can I buy you a drink?

Oh, thanks, Mr. Borden but I gotta run, busy you know... Mickey, Mickey, Mickey.

Aren't you forgetting a little something?

Mr. Tugwell.

Okay, I understand you're in a hurry, but I thought you'd want to get paid for this job.

Oh yeah, sure, Mr. Borden.

I'd really like to stay for that drink, but you know, you've got to understand my position...

I understand just fine.

Good night, Mickey.

I think I'll take some air.


Tugwell!

Announcing 1:30 departure of the grand San Diegan, now boarding on track six.

Stopping in Long Beach, San Clemente, LA Jolla and San Diego.

Departing in eight minutes. All aboard.


Paging Mr. Mullreed...

Final call for the grand San Diegan, service to long beach, San Juan Capistrano...


I had a deal!

I held up my end. Let me go!

Tell him you lost me, tell him...

Tell him I got on the train before you could stop me.

Just let me go, okay?

I'll share the money with you. You can have all of it.

Just let me walk out of here.

That's fair. That's more than fair.

Take it.


Booh!


Good morning, Mr. Lovecraft.

Good morning, Mrs. Kropotkin.

I was wondering, with your attractive desk calendar, if you could tell me today's date?

Yeah, it's Tuesday, April 28.

And does this date hold a special significance for you?

Huh... I can't say that it does.

It is the third anniversary of the death of my husband Nikolai Kropotkin, who, when he died, blackbirds fell down from the trees for 10 Miles around our house. Sorry.

It is also 28 days after the first of the month, which is the day you are obliged to pay me rent for the space I graciously allow you to share with the Kropotkin academy.

Eh? You'll get your dough this afternoon.

I'm on my way to see a new client.

Say that to my face, remembering that people who lie to witches have been known to have their eyes shrink into little black raisins.

I'm on my way out there now.

I get a retainer, you get your rent.

I had better, Lovecraft, or else I will call my rather large and on the whole unsympathetic brothers who enjoy nothing more than the throwing of other people's furniture out of windows.

Lovecraft!

Here, give these to your new client.

Look, I'm not going out there to drum up business for you.

28 days in arrears, Lovecraft.

A lesser woman would have called her brothers weeks ago.

And get them to give you cash.


Yes?

"Tap and ballroom"?

Mr. Lovecraft, good morning.

I'm Amos Hackshaw. Empty your pockets, please.

Do what? Empty your pockets onto the desk, please.

Why?

Humor a middle-aged man, Mr. Lovecraft.

Open your shirt, please. Listen, man... just one button... one behind that tie.

You go any further, there's gonna be a nurse in the room.

It's true. No tokens, no talismans, no fetishes, nothing. You really don't use anything...

Any magic, that is.

Just like I told you on the phone.

You don't believe in magic?

I believe it, just don't use it.

Why? Got personal reasons.

And they are? Personal.

There was a chauffeur, his name was Larry Willis. I fired him.

Why?

I have a young daughter, Mr. Lovecraft, she's all I have now.

I loved her mother very much.

She wasn't a strong woman, so we moved here to California for the climate.

We thought it would help. It did not.

Olivia's mother died bringing her into this sorry world and I have dedicated myself to protecting her from its more unfortunate realities.

She's only 16 years of age, Mr. Lovecraft, which makes her quite vulnerable.

So she's inexperienced.

I prefer the word pure.

The purity that charms all things and blinds them to the trap and the bow.

I didn't like the way Willis was looking at her.

I thought removing him from the property would be enough, but I underestimated the young man.

He took something with him when he left.

What? A book.

An old book.

Valuable?

The fittings and bindings might be worth a few thousand... it does however hold great sentimental value for me.

Huh, what kind of book was it?

A treatise on certain kinds of esoteric magic.

It's called a "necronomicon."

It's about the same size as a large photograph album, bound in leather, finished in gold.

And I want it returned quickly. How quickly?

I want it in my hands by Thursday.

I'm attending a conference and this volume is the key to my presentation.

That's the day after tomorrow. No later than midnight.

A conference that starts at midnight?

Look, if you don't think you're the right man for the job... now what does this Willis look like?

Thin, 5'10 "- 5'11", Sandy hair.

How old? Not old, 26.

Did he live here? No.

Meadows can give you his address, his landlord says he hasn't been there for days.

Well, it's a place to start.

What are you gonna cost me, Lovecraft?

$40 a day, plus gas and reasonable expenses.

You can get cheaper, but you can't get better.

And if you're looking for someone with an edge, the phone book is full of detectives that use magic and witchcraft.

No, no, you are the man for the job.

A retainer is customary. $100 will do.

You probably spend more than that on goldfish for your squid.

It is not a squid.

Take the rest of the afternoon, "Jeeves,"

I can find my own way out.

May I offer you a drink, Mr. Lovecraft?

I looked at the registration on the steering column of your car.

Brandy? No, it's too early for me.

That's quite a tie. Oh, thanks.

Put up much of a fight?

No, I snuck up behind it.

Now, what does my dried-up old walnut of a father want with a private detective?

It doesn't say detective on my registration.

It does on the business cards in your glove compartment.

You didn't rotate my tires while you were at it, did you?

Maybe later. What's your birthday?

December 5, same as Walt Disney and Martin van Buren.

Sagittarius, with 16 letters to your name...

Not bad.

Not perfect, but not bad.

What sign was Larry Willis born under?

Gemini. Twins.

Maybe I ought to charge your old man double for taking care of him.

Is that why my father hired you, to defend my honor?

This is gonna be the easiest money you ever made.

Yeah? How come?

No, I don't think so.

You wouldn't want me to make it too easy for you, would you?

You don't look like the kind.

If you want something, I bet you'd be willing to work for it.

Work hard, really crack a sweat, know what I mean?

You better take that blouse off.

Oh, why?

We can't get bloodstains like that on it if they set.

After the hunt, I usually take all my clothes off and burn them.

You have to be naked for the ceremony.

Oh yeah? What ceremony is that?

It should be to Diana, goddess of the hunt.

Ah. Would you like to watch?

Thanks, but I'm supposed to get my teeth cleaned this afternoon.

Well, you're different, Lovecraft, I give you that.

You're sort of something different yourself.

Am I? Mm-hmm.

All that smoke and not a lick of flame to back it up.

What makes you say that?

Well, only virgins can catch unicorns, isn't that right?

Just what I thought.

The radio said it was going to be clear all day.


God darn, here we go.

Sounds like the choke's stuck.

Ain't either no goddarn choke.

But I know what it is.

Little bastards.

After world war I, the only thing we brought back from France was the clap.

This war, they go off to the pacific and bring back these damn gremlins.

Little bastards get into everything.

You live here?

I own it and run it. I used to run it with my wife.

She died eight years ago, run over by a pie wagon.

Somebody live here by the name of Larry Willis?

That's the part where I ask who wants to know.

Oh, I don't care much for dancing, I got veins in my legs...

wouldn't be no kind of reward, would there? No reward.

Then he ain't here.

Moved out three days ago. Packed up and left.

Can I look in his room?

This is a rooming house, ain't a museum.

How about you rent it to me for say... five minutes?

Ever have any visitors?

Everybody I know is dead. I meant Willis.

Oh, not that I ever saw.

Suppose he had any when you were out?

I don't go out.

No ladies?

I'd have heard.

Ha, son of a bitch.

That's it!

That's it, right there.

Enough's enough. I have gone along with it...

Invading the sanctity of my home...

This is my home, my castle...

Eliminate them with a...

one by one, I'm gonna exterminate 'em all.


Little varmint.

I'm gonna get you now, you...

know anybody by the name of Mickey?

Mickey mouse.

And I don't think you're gonna be any help.


Take it!


Bourbon. Show it some water but be discreet.

Like an orchid in the moonlight.


All right, thank you, thank you.

Larry Willis been in tonight?

Who? Larry Willis.

Don't know the gent.

I thought I heard him say he's meeting Mickey here.

Don't know any Mickey. Maybe you've got the wrong joint.

You're sure you don't know Larry Willis?

You're barking up the wrong bartender, pal. I don't know the gent

like you said. Ladies and gentlemen, Harry Borden's Dunwich room is pleased to present the singular song styling of the one and only miss Connie stone.

* I'm so easy to please.


You still know how to wrap yourself around a song.

Phil!

Buy you a drink?

Why not?

I'm drinking bourbon and water.

The lady will have a scotch sour. Yes, sir.

Suppose somewhere along the line I'd changed my drinking habits.

I'd have ordered you a sour anyway, just to watch you eat the fruit.

Sweet old Phil. Subtle as a flagpole.

You still cleaning other people's dirty laundry?

No, I'm a private eye now.

You still with Borden? Was that a question?

Not really.

What brings you out here? Looking for someone.

Anyone in particular?

Just a chauffeur with a delusion of grandeur.

I've been hired to put him in his place.

It sounds like neither one of us should be throwing rocks as far as our careers go.

Here is to the job at hand.

Does the upstart chauffeur have a name?

Larry Willis.

Doesn't ring a bell.

Anybody running around here by the name of Mickey?

Mickey who?

Is someone putting up an office building behind me?

Harry wants to see you.

Harry wants to see me.

Harry wants to see you now.

Johnny, we shook hands.

Show me a piece of paper that says we shook hands.

Come in!

Okay, I'm not the type of man who's gonna stand in somebody's way.

You go ahead and sign your record deal.

I wish you nothing but the best.

Thanks. Maledicta.

You go sign your record deal now, chump.

It's been a long time, partner, you're in a good mood.

Why shouldn't I be?

Everything's cream for me these days. Strictly cream.

Have a seat.

So how's about you? Surviving.

Still a nickel-and-dimer, huh?

Tell me, aren't you sick of the small time?

Eh, it's got special charms.

What happened to your regular leg breakers? Progress.

Zombies don't eat, don't complain. Don't get ideas.

Don't they start to smell after a while?

They're good for three months depending on the weather.

Then they begin to rot. Then what?

You get some more. 30 bucks a head, come fresh from the west indies, six to a box.

Like bonbons.

So, how are you doing, Phil?

I mean really.

Could I extend you a couple of bucks just to see you through?

I'm overpowered by your generosity.

Nickel-and-dime, friend.

You got a nickel-and-dime outlook.

That's why you can't see the big picture. You never could.

Word is on the street, you don't even use magic. Word is right.

You're a schmuck. Everybody uses magic.

It's 1948, the future is here.

You don't wise up, you're gonna be left so far behind, it will cost 30ΓΆΒΆ just to send you a postcard.

I didn't know you cared.

We go back, you and me.

So, read any good books lately?

Am I supposed to know what you're talking about?

I'm looking for a cut-rate punk with a hot book.

First rock I look under, I find you telling me the way of the world.

I'm just trying to be a gracious host.

That's great, but I've got better things to do than listening to you sound off and suck on a smoldering chair leg.

Maybe you'd better be careful how you spend your time, Phil.

You never know how much of it you've got left.

Mr. tugwell, show my guest the way out.

Hey, Lovecraft!

Connie's looking good, isn't she?

He knows about the book.

Maybe. What's to do?

I think I'll get some air.


Connie?

Connie!


Connie!

Who's Connie?

Nobody you need to worry about.

A man like you shouldn't have to drink alone.

It just worked out that way.

My, don't we look grownup today.

I wanted to apologize for slapping you yesterday.

Apologize for slapping or not putting on your brass knuckles strip?

I'm serious.

Then why are you wearing that hat?

Is this something I should know about?

Just having a conference with a client, Mrs. Kropotkin.

Well, you don't suppose that as long as there's such a thing as a vice squad that you could hold a conference of a lesser bohemian nature, eh?

How 'bout some breakfast?

Isn't it a little late for breakfast?

It's got to be morning someplace in the world.

Hmm, this is delightful.

Probably doesn't rate much next to the brown derby and the places you're used to.

What makes you think I've been to the brown derby?

My father keeps me cooped up in that dreary house with all his foul books and chemicals.

I never have any fun.

I had to sneak out to see you.

So grim. I never even get to go out to the movies.

Thank you.

Daddy gets the films for me and I watch them in the library all by myself.

Where's the fun in that?

I never get to go anyplace exciting.

Lonely, lonely, lonely...

Sometimes, I feel like Rapunzel.

Who? Rapunzel.

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair."

Like in the story... beautiful girl sits in a lonely tower, waiting to be rescued by a handsome prince.

And just when the prince shows up, this terrible witch strikes him blind.

And he spends most of the rest of the book just walking in a daze.

It's really sort of an awful story to tell a child.

Yeah, it takes all kinds.

My old man used to read to me from "the racing forum."

It brought him luck. Did it?

Not that I ever saw.

So what do you know about this book Willis supposedly took from the old man?

It's the shimmering black diamond of my collection.

All he ever talks about is his collection of books.

I wish I were a book.

Maybe then he'd pay more attention to me.

You have this necronomicon long?

No, he brought it back from Egypt or someplace like that, last winter.

Everything okay, folks? Dandy.

Can I get you something else? More coffee?

No, we're Jake. Okay then.

Okay, thanks.

My compliments to the chef.

This was terribly good.

A little greasy, but much better than I expected.

Can we come back? Stay put.

Stay put? If anything happens, jump under a table.

Under a table? Lovecraft!

Off limits, pal.

Just looking for somebody... hell!

What's the rush? You shouldn't be back here.

I got a little problem with the check, you better take a look at it.

Sir, I'm sorry, you just pay whatever you think you owe and... take a look at it, I wouldn't want to cheat you.

I don't want to take a look at it, you can't make me.

Do you think I just fell off a turnip truck?

Who paid you to finger me, huh?

Nuts. What's this?

What's what? This right here.

I don't know. Why don't you touch it?

You'd better just stand there, Steve, if you want to stay alive.

You fingered me for it. You cast runes at me. No.

Who put you up to it? I don't know what you're talking about.

If I stand this close, what happens to me happens to you.

Let me go!


Don't touch it.

Take it back. You gotta take it back.


Open the freezer door. Open it!


I didn't know the outside world could be so fascinating.

Do all police stations have the same smell?

All the ones I know. You're up.

It's about time.

Hurry up and wait. Remember, Schlubcraft?

The old man wants to talk to you personally.

But I thought I might have a few words with the young lady.

Miss.

Wait.

I've got your ass, punk, I've got it tied up with a nice Christmas ribbon and I don't care how long it takes, so why don't you be smarter than you look and spill it?

Save it, pal. That doesn't buy nothing with me. You're going over.

Your buddies can't hear you now.

And if you think they'd lift a paw to help you, you're an even bigger chump than I figured.

Throw him in a cage, let him sweat a while.

God, I hate full moons.

Moonwalk, that's it, all right.

Plant it.

Not, not there, you'll get hair all over your suit.

What are we drinking to?

Nothing, we're just drinking.

I used to hate your guts, you know that, don't you?

You told me often enough.

Now, you're about the only man in this town I can trust.

Gosh, Bradbury, I didn't know you cared.

It's just that you're the only guy I know walking around without a magic wand up his ass.

I got vampires in west Hollywood, salamanders coming out of the fire hydrants in Santa Monica, black rain, red rain, hail the size of your fist.

Magic is the wave of the future.

Wouldn't want to buck the future, would you?

If this is the future, I'll take vanilla.

I could use some help.

I'm an independent contractor now.

You could come back.

The department has got no beef with you, never has.

Sorry. I like being my own boss.

You got any dissatisfied customers?

Some people might be better than other people.

But who doesn't like you enough to cast runes in your direction?

Haven't a clue.

Grimaldi says you were with a skirt.

Daughter of a client of mine.

Client got a name?

Yes.

Phil, this doesn't have to be a trip to the dentist.

Like I said, we've got no beef with you.

Fella's partner goes bad, goes on the take, that happens.

But you were square with us. Just because Borden...

I don't need a history lesson.

Someone's throwing lesser demons at you, black magic from the pit of acid goth, and you don't even carry a rabbit's foot. I can handle it.

I'm not worried about you, Phil, I'm worried about the people who might get in the way.

All right.

Have it your way, I can use the overtime.

Thank you. Welcome.

Will you have to take my fingerprints?

We don't have to get your hands dirty, cupcake.

Oh, I thought you might.

I've never had my fingerprints taken. Mm-hmm.

I'd never been in a police station before.

And I've never spoken to an actual police officer until now.

How is the experience shaping up for you so far?

It's very stimulating.

You'll get used to it.

What did you see in that owl wagon before the runes got there?

Two eggs over easy and a side of toast.

Phil, nothing in life is as funny as you think.

Yeah.

Who?

All right.

Your lawyer's here.

Lawyer? I don't have a lawyer.

You do now.

A pleasant evening to this fine and good company.

I am Thaddeus pilgrim, Mr. Lovecraft's legal advisor.

Please accept my apologies for being so late, but I'm afraid my client failed to notify me of his decision to voluntarily assist the police in their investigations.

Often, our courageous public servants neglect, with not a molecule of malice... certain constitutional boilerplate.

It is then the humble role of men such as myself to point out the potential repercussions of their well-intentioned but nonetheless illegal actions.

I'm getting a headache just listening to this.

How did you know where to find me?

You give off vibrations, like a cheap radio.

Miss Hackshaw!

Yes, officer Grimaldi?

Don't want you running off without signing your statement.

Silly me.

Still plotting to leave town, cousin Hypolite?

As soon as possible. Good, I'll fetch the car.

Leaving town? And I suggest that you do the same.

I've got a job to do. Do it somewhere else.

The signs here are bad. Tomorrow night there will be an alignment.

All of the wrong planets will be in the right place at the wrong time.

If you are sensitive at all, the air would crackle in your ears like wax paper.

Things are in flux, the auras are bad.

Me? I'm going to Florida.

Nasty, very nasty.

The necronomicon.

I guess you've heard of it.

What have you stepped in?

It must be some book!

"And I saw on the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written within and on the backside sealed with seven seals.

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming in a loud voice

'who is ready to open the book and loose the seals thereof?' and no man in heaven nor earth, neither under the earth was able to open the book neither to look thereon."

They talk about the necronomicon in the Bible?

The end will come with the opening of a door.

The necronomicon is the key to that door.

Can't tell you when I've had a lovelier time.

Maybe next time I'll take you to the morgue.

Could we? Skip it.

Uh-oh.

Hello, daddy.

Inside, to your room. I'll be with you when I'm finished here.

Thank you for a very educational day, Mr. Lovecraft.

Don't mention it.

I hired you to remove a threat to my daughter's honor, not to replace it.

You're wasting your wind. I'm distressed. Time's running out and I find this is how you're pursuing your investigation.

Do I come over here and tell you how to abuse the servants?

I've had about all I intend to take from you.

Willis stole the book for a man named Borden.

He did what?

There's a link between a hood named Borden and a middleman by the name of Mickey Locksteader.

I figured Mickey works with Willis.

Still don't think you're getting your money's worth?

No, not at all.

This has been most enlightening.

Carry on with your inquiries, I have every confidence in you.

The necronomicon must be in my hands by tomorrow midnight.

I know. Good.

Well, I'll leave it to you then?

Goodnight.


Grimaldi, your technique stinks.

Bradbury said to follow you.

He didn't say anything about you knowing it or not.

Do me a favor.

Why should I do you any favors, Schlubcraft?

'Cause it involves that cute tomato you were with today.

It does, does it? It does.

What's the Lou? Keep an eye on her.

That's it? That's it. What do you say?

I'll think about it.

You do that.


Stick 'em up!

Suppose I'd been a bad guy.

I knew it was you.

How?

I recognized the sound of your breathing.

You haven't changed, not a slice.

Hey, it's a new suit.

Yeah, but you kept that tie.

What's wrong with my tie?

Nothing, if you like vertigo.

You look good. So do you.

You had your audience with Harry last night.

Yes.

He say anything interesting?

I've heard more intelligent sounds coming out of a pair of corduroy pants.

Want a drink?

Sure.

To the good old days.

Whatever the hell they are.

I heard something about you at the club.

Such as? You don't use magic.

You heard right.

How do you expect to get out of dumps like this if you don't start playing the game?

Seems to me we've already had this discussion.

Everybody uses magic. I don't.

What have you got to show for it?

Fly-specked office, a broken-down car and a ugly necktie, that's what all this integrity buys you.

Damn it, everybody's got to compromise. That's what I keep hearing.

And what makes you so special?

What makes me special is that I'm my own man.

When I started out, I said there were things I would do and things I wouldn't do.

Lot of guys start like that and a lot of them sell out along the way, but the more who fall, the easier it gets.

See, look... everybody compromises, everybody cheats, everybody uses magic.

So they empty ideals out of their pockets and get on with the job of sticking it to their neighbor before they stick it to them.

That's the way it's done. To which I say "nuts."

My collar may be a little frayed, maybe I need a shoeshine, but nobody's got a mortgage on my soul.

I own it, free and clear.

I'm not gonna apologize for my life.

Didn't ask you to. I'm happy the way things are.

Glad to hear it.

You've got to look ahead. You can't drag around the past.

There's nothing you can do about it.

Sounds like you have a real good grip on things.

Why did you have to walk back into my life?

Why did you walk out of mine?

Because you're a wiseacre son of a bitch who doesn't know which way the wind is blowing.

And?

And did you really remember the sound of my breathing?


Good morning.

You weren't this organized when we had an apartment.

A guy on his own learns to adapt.

Phil, the other night at the club, you started to ask me if I knew somebody named Mickey.

Yeah? Kind of a fat guy?

Nervous around the edges?

That could be.

There was a guy I saw at the club sometimes. His name was Mickey, worked for Harry.

Doing what? Harry doesn't tell, so I don't ask.

If you're looking for him, I think you're looking for a dead man.

He came to the club the other night with a package for Harry, a book... old leather with gold clasps and things.

Whatever it was, it was the wrong one.

What do you mean it was the wrong one?

Harry sent tugwell after this guy Mickey to kill him.

How do you figure that?

You don't send tugwell to fetch the evening paper.

Take a whiff. What is it?

I think it's called "grand illusion."

Cheap or expensive? A real lady wouldn't wear it.

Is this Mickey?

Yeah. Who's the skirt?

I think her name is Lilly. I've seen her at the club with him.

You ever talk to her?

Traded lipstick once in the powder room, dished about what rats men are. You know, girl talk.

Why did you come here last night?

I'm pretty good at looking the other way. I've been doing it most of my life.

I've been walking into a lot of brick walls doing that.

Maybe I got tired of smashing my nose. Maybe I'm just too proud and it takes me this long to admit I've made a mistake.

Anyway...

Where do you go from here?

I have an apartment. Whose apartment?

Mine.

There's more we have to talk about.

Lots more.

If you need me, I wrote down my number. It's on the desk.

Careful. Don't get burned.

Lovecraft, a moment.

Hey, going someplace?

The Dixie queen out of union station. Miami.

There's something I must do before I go. Yeah?

And what's this?

The left arm is the one that's attached to the heart.

Get this thing off me. You know I don't use the stuff.

Which is why I locked it on. Mrs. Kropotkin... you are a fool, but you're a good-hearted fool, and as such you deserve white magic even if you spurn it.

I don't need this. You seek the necronomicon?

Yeah. Keep the bracelet. You'll need it.

I'll add it to next month's rent, if we're lucky.


You could have killed me.

Detective Grimaldi? Did I hurt you?

Uh, I'm okay.

Come into the house. I'll fix you a Brandy.

Then you can tell me why you were lurking behind my mulberry bush.

Detective Grimaldi? Otto.

Otto, what is your date of birth?


Welcome, welcome to vista Bonita. Welcome, welcome, I'm Amber Peruba. I want you to call me Amber. Might I know your name?

Phil Lovecraft. Well, Phil, if I may, I just know it's going to be a pleasure doing business with you.

Excuse me just a second.

Please, forgive the interruption, but I'm here alone today.

Vista Bonita is the community of the future, ready for living in today.

The first planned housing tract designed and built through applied industrial thaumaturgy.

What? By magic.

And so very peaceful.

Peaceful like a graveyard. How awfully droll.

Somebody told me an old pal of mine worked here, a guy named Locksteader, Mickey Locksteader?

You're a friend of Mr. Locksteader's?

Mickey and I go way back.

Mr. Locksteader is the man behind vista Bonita.

He is the guiding light of the entire project. Is he here?

He left suddenly... business in the north. But don't worry, I am sure that we can find something special and affordable for a friend of Mr. Locksteader's.

In fact, I think I can make you the same irresistible offer I made his sister.

Mickey's sister? Yes.

Lilly was here? Yes, Lilly Sirwar.

Sirwar. A widow, poor dear.

She married an Indian gentleman who died tragically in an attempt to levitate the Woolworth building. Oh, what happened?

It fell on him. Poor kid, it must be tough.

Say, as long as I'm in town I'd love to look her up.

I haven't seen little Lilly since Hector was a pup.

She's at the hotel Ashcroft. I have the number in the office.

And while we're inside, I'll point out a wide range of modern time-saving advances which add up to life in vista Bonita, where our motto is "built by magic, built to last."

Hello?

Hello, baby. Hello, Phil.

Is that offer of help still open?

What did you have in mind?

It's all set.

She's remembered me and she'll meet me in the casbah room in 10 minutes.

Good, you've got cab fare? Why do I need cab fare?

Because I want you out of here.

I've been away too long for you to get rid of me that quickly. I'm staying.

Okay, but stay down here in the lobby. Don't let her see you.

I want to have a private conversation.

Who asked you to sit down? My feet.

Snappy comebacks, I like that.

It's one of the things I do best.

I bet it is.

Listen, under different circumstances, I'd...

But I'm meeting someone, okay?

You've got time for me, don't you, Lilly?

Who the hell are you?

You and I are gonna have a private chat.

Okay, what gives?

Hmm, what's the name of that perfume you're wearing?

It's "grand illusion." What's it to you?


That'll teach you not to pick up strange men in bars.

Who the hell are you?

Why don't we let our hair down and talk things over? No!

I've been looking for you, Willis. Who told you?

I'm just adding things up, that's what people pay me for...

"love Mickey," why you're the only man in town Olivia Hackshaw doesn't seem to have the hots for.

And it doesn't take a scientist to figure out that Lilly sirwar is an anagram for Larry Willis.

So loosen your girdle and let's talk.

I don't need a girdle. Hmm.

So what have you and Mickey been up to, eh?

Have you seen Mickey? Is he all right?

I'll give it to you straight. Figure he's dead.

Dead? Have a shot.

I guess I knew that, but I didn't want to believe it.

Never should have crossed Harry Borden.

Look, I gotta get out of town. You gotta help me, take me to Tijuana, please. Tijuana?

Long drive on a bad night. What's in it for me?

Don't play dumb. This is the biggest thing you ever got close to.

Is it a deal?

Okay, you got your ride. Start talking.

First, give me back my hair.

So how do you fit in with Mickey?

We met at a party about six months ago.

Fag party?

No, knights of Columbus, what do you think?

Okay, so he swept you off your feet.

He may not have looked like much to you, but he had a heart as big as all outdoors.

What's Harry Borden got to do with vista Bonita?

Well, he owns it, doesn't he?

Through half a dozen different corporations and fronts, but it's his all right.

How did you end up driving for Hackshaw?

Borden told Mickey he wanted someone inside the Hackshaw place he could trust.

Hackshaw had been asking around about vista Bonita, offering to buy it for way more than it was worth.

Borden wanted to know why.

So you traded in your French knickers for a chauffeur's uniform and made like Mata Hari. And I found out plenty.

You found out something about vista Bonita and the necronomicon.

Borden told Mickey he wanted you to steal the book, huh?

Which I did, along with a fake copy the old man made for the insurance company.

And you tried to double-cross Borden and sell the real book back to hackshaw, but before Harry tumbled, he made the mistake of having Mickey killed.

All we wanted was a little nest egg, so we could go someplace and settle down.

They're gonna have the whole world.

Wait a minute, who's gonna have the whole world?

Have you heard of the old ones? The outsiders?

Of Yog-Sothoth? Cthulhu?

They're out there, Shamus. They've always been out there, waiting for someone to unlock the door.

It's in the book, all right here, the promise, the power and the price.

What price?

The virgin, Lovecraft, the last of the unicorn hunters.

Olivia. What about Olivia?


Hold it right there, Lon Chaney.

Move away from the fairy and keep those meathooks so I can see them.

Yeah, you and the horse you rode in on.


Phil?

I thought I told you to stay in the lobby. I got bored.

You could have bought a magazine not a crossword. Come here.

Thanks for saving my life.

I'll put it on your tab. What do we do now?

I need a place to think. I know a place.

I don't know about you, but I could use a drink.

I'll fix them. You've done enough for the day.

Sour? Sour.

Those things always made my teeth hurt.

Cozy little pad, eh?

Yeah, as far as I can see.

Oh, take it from me, I've seen the whole spread.

I know it like the back of my hand.

Why don't you freshen up, doll?

Take a nice bubble bath.

I'll run the water for you and everything.

I don't want to take a bath. Take one.

She called me from the hotel.

Come on, don't tell me you're out of wisecracks.

It's not the way I had it picked.

Yeah, I bet it's not.

You should be grateful, Lovecraft.

If it weren't for her, you'd be dead right now.

She convinced me that if anybody was going to find that book, you would.

She's smart and I'm smart for listening to her.

You, on the other hand...

Hand it over.

Come on, Phil, I said hand it over.

Tsst!

Thanks, Mr. tugwell, thanks a million.

I went through a lot of trouble to find this book. A lot of trouble.

Of course, it would have been a lot less trouble if you hadn't killed Mickey before he led us to Willis like he was supposed to.

Yeah, but... yeah, but what?

Wait a minute, boss. Fair is fair...

I've been in your corner the whole time, you say something, it happens, right?

That's how it works... excuse me, partner. Boss?

Yeah? Can we discuss this?

No.

I'm very disappointed.

You can't trust anybody anymore.

Trust is for suckers.

Nickel-and-dime, nickel-and-dime.

You're taking us to the beach for a wienie roast?

You're a funny guy, Phil. I bet your dying words are gonna be a scream.

Hey, take a look at this.

She is a beauty, isn't she?

See these clasp things, those are solid gold.

Gonna melt them down for cufflinks?

I'm gonna be able to melt down fort Knox if I want to. Sounds great.

You don't believe me? Maybe you don't know what this thing is.

I've got an idea. How close are we to vista Bonita?

You were always good at Jigsaw puzzles.

You're lousy at living, but great with games.

That's where it has to happen, Hackshaw's special midnight conference.

What a smart guy my old partner is.

Yeah, your land, his book, huh?

Don't forget the girl.

Wrong tomato, partner.

Ah, right, Olivia. Last of the unicorn hunters.

Hey, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a virgin in Hollywood?

You've got to have one. That's why hackshaw kept her so close.

The thing won't work if you don't have a virgin.

Try it with something else, it will blow up right in your face.

Yeah? Did you call hackshaw or did he call you?

I'm a sport. It was my nickel. I called him while you were napping.

He sounds like a great guy. I can hardly wait to meet him.

You're way out of your class.

There's no time to be particular.

See, if it doesn't happen tonight, it can't happen again for another 666 years.

So I gave him a choice... either he cuts me in, or Olivia is gonna go a long time before her first poke.

But you know the thing that kills me?

Is how out of the whole phone book, he had the dumb luck to pick you.

Maybe it wasn't luck. Maybe it was fate.

I thought you didn't believe in that stuff.

What I don't believe in is unfinished business.

It took this to get us face to face where we could settle accounts.

We'll settle up. You bet we will.

No more, Lovecraft.

No more waking up with the shakes thinking about you hovering over me like some angel. No more.

You're gonna be dead, Lovecraft, and I'm gonna be on top of the world.

I should settle things once and for all about who is smart and who is a chump.

I'm gonna be immortal.

And I'm gonna wear your head for a watch fob.

What, you're splitting?


All right, let's get the rag up on this cantata.

Don't fidget, Olivia.

Good evening, Mr. Lovecraft.

In the light of things, Mr. H., I really don't think I can keep working for you.

Too bad. You've been most effective up until now, leading me to the book, helping us to come together tonight.

The ugly at the hotel was your muscle. You tailed me.

Nothing must stand in the way.

I've spent my life in expectation of this night.

Studying, preparing, living with Olivia's mother, protected the girl from this town and her own hormones.

It's been a lifelong struggle.

But one human lifetime shrinks to invisibility compared to the span of the old ones.

Do you realize how long they've waited for me? Centuries.

Millennia.

How long is that in dog years?

"The wheel has turned.

Yog-Sothoth knows the gate."

That's the promise of the necronomicon.

Open the gate. Let the old ones back in and they will make you a God.

Oh, you get to be a God.

What does Harry get? Tell him.

For services rendered, Mr. Borden gets to rule the world.

What kind of world?

A world of the unburied dead and a sky dark with ashes.

It'll be a blasted maimed planet, but he'll be the most important person in it.

How do you like them apples, partner?

All right, enough of your flapping.

I thought this shindig had to start dead at midnight.

Quite right. Now if you'll give me the book...

Nothing happens without the book, Mr. Borden.

Here we go, baby. How about a kiss for good luck, eh?

Sure.

Good luck, Harry.

Couldn't lay off, could you? You couldn't take the hint.

No, not you, not public conscience number one.

Who died and made you Jiminy Cricket?

What was I supposed to do? Go to the movies?

Excuse me, we are on something of a tight schedule.

Shut up, rich man. I'll deal with you in a minute. Don't do it, Connie.

Whatever you think it's gonna be, it will end up something else.

We could have gone to the top, you and me.

But you never accepted the reality of things.

And Harry could?

At least he knew that an honest cop and a poor cop are the same thing.

You talked him into going on the take?

I didn't do it with a talk.

If push comes to shove, you double-cross him.

Do you think I came this far just to be Harry Borden's pet?

God, Phil, there's so much you don't know about women.

Last chance. You can still sign on.

Sorry, Connie, me too.

Goodbye, Phil.

That's enough, amateur night is over.

Sorry about the hand, my dear.

I couldn't have you killing our friend. I want him to see this.

Thank you for killing that, though.

Tiny minds with stunted dreams...

Pathetic.

Come along, Olivia. Time to fulfill your destiny like a good girl.

Be still.


From the worlds of night to the gulfs of space, ever the praises of great Cthulhu or Tsathoggua and of him who is not named, ever praises in abundance to the black goat of the woods, Ila-Niggurath, the goat with a thousand young.

For thou hast seen the dark universe yawning, the lost place where black planets roll without aim.

Too long hath thou dwelt in that cold captivity, beyond the mercy of time.

The way is clear.

Return and rule.

Yog-Sothoth is the key and the guardian of the gates.

He knows where the old ones have trodden earth's fields and that they will tread once more.

Sorcerer, emissary, changeling outsider, thou art the whisper in the dark, for a million years, the voice in man's ear.

The seducer, shaper of foul deed and betrayal.

All was prelude in preparation.

We empty our hearts in your name, teacher. Master, complete us.

The things outside become the things inside.

The waiting ends, the journey begins.

Consume the darkness between the dimensions.

Cross the Gulf with a single stride.

Here on this threshold is placed the given.

This is my gift.

Come forth and receive it.


* happy, happy, happy

* happy, happy, happy...


Stars align, space folds, a thousand worlds merge in a single instant.

Crack the band of formlessness.

Take shape and come forth.


Look.

This is what you wanted to look at. No, look.


Hold on, Lovecraft. Don't let me go, please.

Help me. Put me on the ground. No!


It's all right. It's okay.

It's okay, it's okay it's all right. The thing's gone.

It's gone.

Where's daddy?

Sorry, kid.

Mr. Grimaldi is in the back of the car. Grimaldi?

Daddy threw him in the back.

Otto?

Are you all right?

Grimaldi, you shouldn't ride like this in cars. It's dangerous what the hell happened?

You're sure you're all right?

Grimaldi, you son of a bitch.

I don't know what you're talking about. Nix it, kid, nix it.

She's only 16 years old!

Cleopatra was only 14 when she surrendered to passion.

Listen, you wouldn't tell anybody, now would you?

Grimaldi, you poor sap, don't you get it?

You saved the world!

They'll put up a monument to you!

You could have lunch at the white house, your picture on the cover of "look."

And all you're worried about is your wife, and you just screwed a 16-year-old virgin.

You're married?

Huh, listen, you wouldn't tell anybody now, would you, Phil?

Come on, give me a break, huh?

Otto?

Cupcake, I'm as surprised as you are.

Surprised that you're married?

No, surprised by you.


How's the hand?

Broken. What's going on?

You just missed the screw that saved the world.

I miss everything.

I even miss being a God.

What happens now?

Grimaldi takes you in for killing Borden.

We were a hell of a team, you and me.

We still could be.

Maybe someday...

Phil? Yeah?

Kiss me before I faint.


Lovecraft?

Are you all right?

Sort of.

Hey, I thought you were going to Miami.

There's no need to now, is there?

I guess not.

What's that stuff?

Juice of leaves of the adder's tongue with distilled water, horsetail and a pinch of Mugwort.

And that? Mercurochrome.

I'm a witch, but I'm not a fanatic.

Bandages I have in my office.

Kropotkin?

Thanks. For what?

It's a long story.

I'll get the piroshkies.

I was tired as hell, but I could afford to be tired, now that it was over.

Over for a lot of people... for Locksteader and Willis, hackshaw and Borden, and all over for Connie.

I needed it to be morning.

I wanted to hear doors open and cars start, human voices talking about baseball and the weather.

I wanted to make sure there were still folks out there facing life with nothing up their sleeves but their arms.

They didn't know it yet, but they've got a better shot at happiness and a fairer shake today than they did yesterday.

'Cause today... I've got the book.