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The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

 -  Horror  -  5 February 1988 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 15,497 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 61 critic

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

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(inspired by the book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cathy Tyson ...
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Badja Djola ...
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Aleta Mitchell ...
William Newman ...
Jaime Pina Gautier ...
Julio (as Jaime Piña Gautier)
Evencio Mosquera Slaco ...
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Storyline

Dennis Allan is a scientist who visits Haiti on the strength of a rumour of a drug which renders the recipient totally paralyzed but conscious. The drug's effects often fool doctors, who declare the victims dead. Could this be the origin of the "zombie" legend? Alan embarks on a surprising and often surreal investigation of the turbulent social chaos that is Haiti during the revolution which ousted hated dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier. Often a pawn in a greater game, Alan must decide what is science, what is superstition, and what is the unknown in a anarchistic society where police corruption and witch-doctory are commonplace. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wes Craven confirmed in interview that unlike some of his previous films, his first cut of The Serpent and the Rainbow got R rating without any problems by MPAA. See more »

Goofs

When the Duvalier government is overthrown, it is stated to be "in the middle of the night", yet news reels show cheering crowds outside in the daylight in the middle of the day. See more »

Quotes

[Doctor Alan is strapped in a chair, about to be tortured]
Dennis Alan: I'm a U.S. citizen! Think about that!
Dargent Peytraud: I don't see the Ambassador here, do you?
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

Featured in The Directors: The Films of Wes Craven (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Llamándote
Performed by A. Charles Dessalines
Courtesy of ADC Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An intense and involving Wes Craven film.
19 May 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"The Serpent and the Rainbow" is true horror, a deeply sinister tale just dripping with flavour and atmosphere. It's based on the non-fiction book by Wade Davis, and tells the story of anthropologist Dennis Alan (Bill Pullman) who travels to Haiti for the purpose of investigating what could be causing supposedly dead people to still be alive. He finds himself in a whole lot of trouble, what with his stubborn insistence on solving the mystery and poking his nose into places where other people don't want it. His chief antagonist is local policeman Dargent Peytraud (an effectively scary Zakes Mokae), a man who's not exactly subtle about his malevolent intentions. Fortunately, Dennis has some allies, in the form of crusading doctor Marielle DuChamp (gorgeous Cathy Tyson) and business owner Lucien Celine (Paul Winfield). There are some absolutely great horror moments in this very competently made chiller, and some very vivid characters. Dennis, unfortunately, is an intelligent but not terribly likable protagonist, and Pullman can't do much to make us want to root for him; it's the other actors & characters that really make this sing. Tyson is appealing and Winfield solid as always; Brent Jennings as Mozart, Conrad Roberts as Christophe, Michael Gough as Schoonbacher, Badja Djola as Gaston, Theresa Merritt as Simone, and Paul Guilfoyle as Andrew Cassedy are all fine, especially the engaging Jennings and the haunted Roberts who is able to mine his part for much pathos. Adding to the feel of the piece is its political subtext as the movie takes place during the reign of the notorious "Baby Doc" Duvalier. Makeup and visual effects are nicely done, and the movie has some good zombie action and highly surreal moments. It sizes up as one of the more interesting and entertaining films of Craven's career, projecting a strong sense of doom & gloom; it could have used some more humour, and the finale gets a bit silly, but overall, it's definitely worth a look. Seven out of 10.


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Anybody been to Haiti? gurgledog
One of Craven's greatests, but... JackForrester
Creepy....Just flat out creepy jesse_s_138_98
ANyoen know where i can find this film? DevilsAndDragons
Wade Davis's 1985 Book - The Serpent + the Rainbow antimusick
Why? wolverine3390
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