6.5/10
18,294
84 user 97 critic

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

An anthropologist goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people into zombies.

Director:

Writers:

(inspired by the book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shocker (1989)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After being sent to the electric chair, a serial killer uses electricity to come back from the dead and carry out his vengeance on the football player who turned him in to the police.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Michael Murphy, Mitch Pileggi, John Tesh
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two adults and a juvenile burglar break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children and become trapped.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Brandon Quintin Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After her husband dies of mysterious circumstances, a widow becomes increasingly paranoid of the neighboring religious community that may have diabolical plans for her.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner
Deadly Friend (1986)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After his friend is killed by her abusive father, the new kid in town attempts to save her by implanting robotic microchips into her brain.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Matthew Labyorteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Robert Houston, John Steadman
Swamp Thing (1982)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After a violent incident with a special chemical, a research scientist is turned into a swamp plant monster.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Louis Jourdan, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Wise
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker
New Nightmare (1994)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Jeff Davis
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where, following a series of supernatural "accidents", she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale
Creepshow (1982)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An anthology which tells five terrifying tales based on the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen, Adrienne Barbeau
The Howling (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Aleta Mitchell ...
William Newman ...
Jaime Pina Gautier ...
Julio (as Jaime Piña Gautier)
Evencio Mosquera Slaco ...
Edit

Storyline

In 1985, after a successful research in Amazonas, Dr. Dennis Alan from Harvard is invited by the president of a Boston pharmaceutics industry, Andrew Cassedy, to travel to Haiti to investigate the case of a man named Christophe that died in 1978 and has apparently returned to life. Andrew wants samples of the voodoo drug that was used in Christophe to be tested with the intention of producing a powerful anesthetic. Dr. Alan travels to meet Dr. Marielle Duchamp that is treating Christophe and arrives in Haiti in a period of revolution. Soon Alan is threatened by the chief of the feared Tonton Macuse Dargent Peytraud, who is a torturer and powerful witch. Alan learns that death is not the end in the beginning of his journey to hell. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't bury me...I'm not dead!

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

5 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La serpiente y el arco iris  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$19,595,031 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Author Wade Davis agreed to sell the book rights on the condition that Peter Weir direct and Mel Gibson star. Neither man had any involvement in the project. See more »

Goofs

At Captain Peytraud's first meeting with Dr. Alan, Peytraud wears his full Haitan Tonton Macoute uniform including a row of several award ribbons. All of these ribbons are in fact United States armed forces decorations - clearly visible are the Vietnam Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Ribbon, and the Army Good Conduct Medal. See more »

Quotes

Dargent Peytraud: [Peytraud is menacing Dr Alan with a blowtorch] You've got a pretty face. The girls must like it. Do you like it, your pretty white face? I asked you a question.
Dennis Alan: ...Yeah... I like it...
Dargent Peytraud: I like it too. I'll leave the face...
See more »

Crazy Credits

[Opening card] In the legends of voodoo the Serpent is a symbol of Earth. The Rainbow is a symbol of Heaven. Between the two, all creatures must live and die. But because he has a soul Man can be trapped in a terrible place Where death is only the beginning. See more »

Connections

References Night of the Living Dead (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata No. 14, D Major, Presto
Written by Domenico Scarlatti
Performed by Gita Karasik
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Interesting, But Could Be Even Better
5 October 2004 | by (Athens, Greece) – See all my reviews

The best thing about "The Serpent and the Rainbow" is probably the topic it covers: Not known to the general public (including me, until I watched the film and researched the subject a little more afterwards), the so-called zombies, which legend has it that they are people who were condemned by sorcerers to become living deads, are in fact nothing more than the victims of a special powder thrown to them, whose active ingredient is a substance which is now well-known by scientists worldwide. This substance has the effect of rendering the person in a dead-like state (no ostensible breathing, moving, etc.), while his brain is still lively (which means that the horrified person is even able to understand what surrounds him, without being able to do anything about it); in such cases, an inexperienced doctor claims the person deceased, and he is then put into a grave. When the effect of this substance starts to diminish after 12-24 hours, the sorcerer is usually there to undig the completely shocked and shattered person, convincing him that he is now his zombie-slave.

The movie is based on a true story by a scientist (Pullman) who went to Haiti, a country were such practices were rife, in order to get his hands on this substance and provide it to his employer, a pharmaceutical company, in order to analyze it and use it as an anaesthetic. In his quest he was assisted by a female local psychiatrist (Tyson), who treated several "zombified" people. However, he soon realized that things were much more complicated than that, as the police chief (Mokae), who used this zombie-trick as one of his suppression tools, was quite unhappy with this intrusion.

Although based on a very interesting story, the movie goes a bit far and becomes a typical horror film, full of black magic, terrifying visions, etc. In my opinion, it would be much better if the plot sticked to the basics, as from some point onwards everything (and especially the ending) becomes too unconvincing.

The cast does a fair job, despite the fact that it includes actors not widely known. The make-up and scenery produce and impressive atmosphere, traveling the viewer to the mystifying secrets of Haiti.

Grade: 7/10.


19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page