IMDb > The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
The Serpent and the Rainbow
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 16 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Serpent and the Rainbow -- A terrifying story of one man's nightmarish journey into the eerie and deadly world of voodoo.
The Serpent and the Rainbow -- Trailer for this thriller directed by Wes Craven


User Rating:
6.4/10   15,915 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Wade Davis (inspired by the book)
Richard Maxwell (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Serpent and the Rainbow on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 February 1988 (USA) See more »
Don't bury me...I'm not dead!
An anthropologist goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people into zombies. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A Touch of Style See more (75 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Bill Pullman ... Dennis Alan
Cathy Tyson ... Marielle Duchamp

Zakes Mokae ... Dargent Peytraud

Paul Winfield ... Lucien Celine

Brent Jennings ... Louis Mozart

Conrad Roberts ... Christophe
Badja Djola ... Gaston

Theresa Merritt ... Simone

Michael Gough ... Schoonbacher

Paul Guilfoyle ... Andrew Cassedy

Dey Young ... Mrs. Cassedy
Aleta Mitchell ... Celestine
William Newman ... French Missionary Doctor
Jaime Pina Gautier ... Julio (as Jaime Piña Gautier)
Evencio Mosquera Slaco ... Old Shaman
Kimberleigh Aarn ... Margrite (as Kimberleigh Burroughs)
Philogen Thomas ... Priest
Ana Rosa Smith Avila ... Mulatto Nurse

Francis Guinan ... American Doctor
Sally-Anne Munn ... Nurse / Intern
Jean-Baptiste Rosvelt ... Black Waiter
Robert De James ... Old Lame Peasant
Jackson Delgado ... Possessed Dancer
Barbara Guillaume ... Mozart's Whore
Betty García Rodríguez ... Pretty Whore
Luis Tavare Pesquera ... Kyle Cassedy
Claudia Pimentel ... Old Crone
Michael Jackson ... Newscaster
Diamanda Galás ... Voices of the Dead (voice)
Ti-Blanc ... Lucien's Dancers Master of Ceremonies
Marie Carmel Noel ... Glass Eater
Frantz Thomas ... Coal Eater
Johnny Pephanon ... Man With Needles (as Johnny Pephanor)
Lucienne Charles ... Houngan Dancer
Suzette Cajusle ... Houngan Dancer (as Suzette Cajuste)
Rosemary Sylvain ... Houngan Dancer
Iversose Beuville ... Houngan Dancer (as Iverose Beuville)
Maxo Fercilien ... Houngan Dancer
Jacques Achilles ... Houngan Dancer
Francesco Chavez ... Houngan Dancer (as Francisco Chavez)
Saveur D'Orlean ... Houngan Drummer (as Sauveur D'Orlean)
Maurice Altenor ... Houngan Drummer
Miguel Valdez ... Houngan Drummer
Elías Gastavo ... Houngan Drummer (as Elías Gustavo)
Harold Désiré ... Houngan Drummer
Buche ... Bizango Dancers Master of Ceremonies
Providenia Alcántara ... Bizango Dancers Lead Singer (as Providencia Alcántara)
Dikatel Charles ... Bizango Dancer
Ana Ramirez ... Bizango Dancer
Rosa Bautista ... Bizango Dancer
Juliana José ... Bizango Dancer
Josiana Sant Louis ... Bizango Dancer
Jean Pierre ... Bizango Dancer
Otilio Nerius ... Bizango Dancer
Venat Ruis ... Bizango Dancer
Ramon Cherry ... Bizango Dancer
Rosa Charles ... Bizango Dancer
Luis Telemako ... Bizango Drummer
Federico Núñez ... Bizango Drummer
Americo José ... Bizango Drummer
Gérard Matonbe ... Bizango Drummer
Robert Regaldo ... Bizango Drummer

Directed by
Wes Craven 
Writing credits
Wade Davis (inspired by the book)

Richard Maxwell (screenplay) and
Adam Rodman (screenplay) (as A.R. Simoun)

Produced by
Keith Barish .... executive producer
Doug Claybourne .... producer
Rob Cohen .... executive producer
Robert Engelman .... co-producer
Victoria Kluge .... associate producer
David Ladd .... producer
David B. Pauker .... associate producer
Original Music by
Brad Fiedel 
Cinematography by
John Lindley 
Film Editing by
Glenn Farr 
Casting by
Dianne Crittenden 
Production Design by
David Nichols 
Art Direction by
David Brisbin 
Set Decoration by
Rosemary Brandenburg 
Costume Design by
Peter Mitchell 
Makeup Department
David LeRoy Anderson .... special makeup effects artist (as Dave Anderson)
Lance Anderson .... special makeup effects artist
Michelle Bühler .... key makeup artist
Jeffrey S. Farley .... makeup technician (as Jeff Farley)
Robert Hallowell II .... key hair stylist (as Robert Hallowell)
James Kagel .... makeup technician
Leonard MacDonald .... makeup technician
Michael Shawn McCracken .... makeup effects lab technician
Jim McPherson .... makeup technician (as James McPherson)
Production Management
Michael Bennett .... unit production manager
Curtis Burch .... production executive
Juanita F. Diana .... production manager: Colossal Pictures/USFX (as Juanita Diana)
Jaime Pina Gautier .... production manager: Dominican Republic (as Jaime Piña Gautier)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rob Cohen .... second unit director
Robert Engelman .... first assistant director (as Bob Engelman)
George P. Gregg .... second assistant director
Miguel Heded .... additional second assistant director
José Luis Ortega .... additional second assistant director
Felipe Vicini .... additional second assistant director
Art Department
Gabriel Baez .... foreman: Dominican Republic
Michael Baker .... art assistant: Colossal Pictures/USFX (as F. Michael Baker)
Barbara Bayne .... art assistant: Colossal Pictures/USFX
John Beauvais .... scenic painter
Carl Copeland .... construction coordinator
Ken Counts .... construction foreman
Jonathan Craven .... on-set dresser
Ricardo Dalmasy-Duluc .... swing gang
Barry Franenberg .... leadman
James Hegedus .... sketch artist
Jose Hernandez .... swing gang
George Hinzo .... scenic painter
Heidi Holman .... art production coordinator: Colossal Pictures/USFX
Andy Keesee .... assistant art director
Linda Kiffe .... assistant props
Jess Moreno .... swing gang
Victor Nuñez .... swing gang
Bruce Pierce .... sketch artist
Daniela Prati .... set dresser
Jeannette Rodriguez .... props
Héctor Romero .... construction liaison
Emma Sanchez .... art department assistant
Juan Santana .... art department messenger
Dawn Snyder .... set designer
Charles Stewart .... property master
Juan Diego Vasquez .... draftsman
Chris Snyder .... construction foreman: reshoots (uncredited)
Sound Department
Andy Aaron .... sound effects recordist
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
John Benson .... supervising sound editor
Carolina Beroza .... assistant sound editor
Jay Boekelheide .... sound designer
Jay Boekelheide .... supervising sound editor
Gary C. Bourgeois .... sound re-recording mixer (as Gary Bourgeois)
Margaret Carlton .... assistant sound editor (as Margaret Bentley)
Chris Carpenter .... sound re-recording mixer
Paul Cope .... assistant sound editor
Christine Danelski .... assistant sound editor
Bruce Fortune .... dialogue editor
Dan Gleich .... sound effects recordist
Laura Graham .... assistant sound editor
Robin Harlan .... foley artist
Dorian Harris .... adr editor
Cliff Latimer .... dialogue editor (as Clifford Latimer)
Mary Helen Leasman .... foley editor
Christine Lemoine .... utility sound
John Morris .... adr editor
Thomas O'Shea .... assistant sound editor
Dean Okrand .... sound re-recording mixer
Daniel Ortiz .... assistant sound editor
Sara Roberts .... sound effects editor
Steve Sollars .... boom operator
Don Summer .... sound mixer (as Donald Summer)
Amy Vincent .... assistant sound editor
Claus Wedemann .... dolby consultant (as Claus Weideman)
Brian Hackett .... sound assistant: second unit (uncredited)
Troy Porter .... foley mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Bob Ahmanson .... special effects technician
Peter Chesney .... special effects coordinator
Robin L. D'Arcy .... special effects coordinator: Image Engineering (as Robin D'Arcy)
Bruce D. Hayes .... special effects key technician (as Bruce Hayes)
Emmet Kane .... special effects technician
Sandra Stewart .... special effects assistant
Peter Stolz .... pyrotechnician
Visual Effects by
Japhet Asher .... visual effects producer
Stuart Cudlitz .... optical supervisor: Colossal Pictures/USFX
Mark Freund .... optical effects: Illusion Arts
Gary Gutierrez .... visual effects supervisor
Sherry Halstead .... computer graphics
Terry Molatore .... rotoscope: Colossal Pictures/USFX (as Terry Sittig)
Marcy Page .... animator: Colossal Pictures/USFX
Anthony Cecere .... stunt coordinator (as Tony Cecere)
Eric Chambers .... stunts (as Erik Chambers)
Dane Farwell .... stunts
Al Lee .... stunts
Irving E. Lewis .... stunts (as Irwin Lewis)
Eric Mansker .... stunts (as Erik Mansker)
Perry Nichols .... stunts
Mark Orrison .... stunts
Debby Lynn Ross .... stunts
Marvin Walters .... stunts
Ray Woodfork .... stunts
Anthony Cecere .... stunts: fire gag (uncredited)
Dane Farwell .... stunt double: Bill Pullman (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Freddy Aquino .... electrician
Rafael Arias .... electrician
Findlay Bunting .... second assistant camera
Jon Caradies .... grip: Colossal Pictures/USFX
John Carney .... electrician
Alan Caso .... steadicam operator
Ario Cruz .... grip
Gary Farr .... still photographer
Rick Fee .... assistant steadicam operator
Ken Ferris .... camera operator
Rick Fichter .... director of photography: Colossal Pictures/USFX
John Gazdik .... camera assistant: Colossal Pictures/USFX
Len Gittleman .... additional photography
Sean Grey .... generator operator
Gregg Heschong .... additional photography: Colossal Pictures/USFX (as Greg Heschong)
Jan M. Heyneker .... key grip: Colossal Pictures/USFX (as Jan Heyneker)
George A. Hock .... electrician (as George Hock)
Lawrence Karman .... first assistant camera (as Larry Karman)
George Koblasa .... additional photography
Dwight Joseph Lavers .... dolly grip (as Dwight Lavers)
Luis Llinas .... grip
Henry Lynk .... additional camera operator
Jose Del Carmen Martinez .... grip (as Jose del C. Martinez)
Larry McCarron .... grip
Michael A. McFadden .... electrician (as Michael McFadden)
Gordon Miller .... second assistant camera
Daniel Pershing .... best boy grip
Tim Pershing .... key grip (as Timothy Pershing)
Gustavo J. Reynoso .... grip
Michael Whitehurst .... grip: Colossal Pictures/USFX
Casting Department
Heig Beck .... extras casting assistant
Barbara Harris .... adr voice casting
Sarah C. Koeppe .... casting assistant: New York
Sue Parker .... location casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Shawn Barry .... costume supervisor (as Shawn Barrie)
Lynda Foote .... wardrobe assistant
Editorial Department
Peter Amundson .... additional editor
James A. Brewer .... apprentice editor (as James Brewer)
Clayton Corrie .... post-production assistant
Phil Downey .... color timer
Joe Heffernan .... post-production assistant
Mike Murphy .... assistant editor (as Michael Murphy)
Julie Offer .... apprentice editor
Bill Ohanesian .... assistant editor
Music Department
Jim Boyer .... music supervisor: Olatunji tracks
Tim Boyle .... score mixer
Donna Cline .... music research
Babatunde Olatunji .... musician: percussion
Mary Parker .... assistant music editor (as Mary Patrao)
Robert Randles .... music editor
Allan K. Rosen .... supervising music editor
Transportation Department
Lawson Ellison .... transportation coordinator (as Lawson 'Whitey' Ellison)
Hugh Kelly .... transportation co-captain
Luis Felipe Kluge .... dispatcher
Robert Meisner .... transportation captain
Other crew
Nicole Alvarez .... dialogue coach: creole
Alberto Arvelo .... animal handler: domestic animal
Mark Billingsley .... production assistant: Colossal Pictures/USFX
Janice Convery .... key production assistant
Carmen De Lavallade .... special choreographer
Francia Decamps .... production assistant
Mario Delatour .... production liaison: Haiti
Loolee DeLeon .... production coordinator
Stel Deleon .... production secretary
Nora Dunfee .... dialect coach
Phil Frieborn .... production assistant: Colossal Pictures/USFX
Mariella Garcia .... production assistant
Elvis Guzman .... military liaison (as Lt. Elvis Guzman)
Joe Heffernan .... production assistant
Nancy Hynes .... production secretary
Ramiro Jaloma .... production consultant
Victoria Kluge .... production associate
Patrick Kohouten .... utility stand-in (as Patrick Kohoutek)
Alexandra Lutaud .... production assistant
Marianne Maddalena .... assistant: Mr. Craven
Dianne Mapp-Cheek .... production auditor (as Dianne Cheek)
Antonio Marcelli .... production consultant
Abdelilah Marrakchi .... assistant auditor
Steve Martin .... head animal trainer
Trish McCall .... utility stand-in
Michael Mercedes .... caterer
Martha Miniño .... set doctor (as Dr. Martha Miniño)
Pedro Molina .... craft service
Denise Morgan .... assistant auditor
Ren Navez .... location manager
Eugenia Orlowski .... assistant auditor
Musset Payant .... utility stand-in
Jim Picciolo .... animal handler: insect
Jim Picciolo .... animal handler: snake
John Rehmann .... animal trainer
Ivan Reynoso .... location assistant
Juan Rodriguez .... choreographer
Michelangelo Santana .... location assistant
Jill Simpson .... assistant to producers
Adam Smith .... production assistant
Carmen Soriano .... script supervisor
Sally Syberg .... assistant: Gary Gutierrez (as Sally A. Syberg)
Julia Tavares .... anthropologist
Gerry Therrien .... animal trainer
Edna Tromans .... unit publicist
Robbie Tucker .... production associate
Raul Maria Ventura .... craft service
Marcelo Victoria .... military liaison (as Col. Marcelo Victoria)
Daniel Wheatcroft .... studio executive
Henriette Wiese .... location coordinator
Johan Wiese .... craft service
Cynthia Zajonc .... production assistant: Colossal Pictures/USFX (as Cynthia van Alstyne)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects

Additional Details

Also Known As:
98 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

When this picture first aired in theaters in the U.S. in the spring of 1988, just prior to its opening, a bizarre excerpt from the film ran as a teaser, on at least one national television network during prime time. That clip, which is styled like a hallucination, features a blue computer rendering of the screaming face of Dennis Alan (Bill Pullman) engulfed in liquid, as serpents swarm through and around the top of his head. However, for some unknown reason, the scene did not make it to the final theatrical cut or DVD release of the movie.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At about the 1:05 mark a computer screen shows the word "specimen" misspelled as "speciman".See more »
Marielle Duchamp:[Dr. Alan is about to be buried alive by Peytraud] Lucien will turn your black to warmth!
Dargent Peytraud:Oh yeah?
[shoves her head in Dr. Alan's face]
Dargent Peytraud:Do you hear me Blanc? Her head will be taken as an offering tonight!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Fiere HaitiSee more »


What are the differences between the old British BBFC 18 Version and the Uncensored Version?
See more »
28 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
A Touch of Style, 27 October 2000

I remember watching "The Serpent and the Rainbow" in a cinema when it opened 12 years ago, and although it did not strike me as a masterpiece, I never forgot it. I had always had a memory of it as a good horror film, but tonight I saw it again on television and I was impressed about how good it is. One may associate Wes Craven with "Scream" or "A Nightmare on Elm Street", but this one is certainly one of his best films. I still see it as an adventure film with horror elements, but this time I found it full of style -a touch of documentary approach, clever use of colorful locations, good handling of massive scenes with many unprofessional extras, attractive ethnic art direction, a bit of grand guignol in some performances (mainly Zakes Mokae), humor and a sensitive and sympathetic approach to a different culture. Many times one sees American films dealing with others' cultural aspects -such as political affairs and religion-, without any respect or concern. It is true that "The Serpent and the Rainbow" is not a serious drama about people's revolt, or a tract on synchretic religions (such as Cuban santería, Haitian voodoo or Brazilian candomblé), but both aspects are not just décors, but elements well integrated to the story in its own terms -that is, in a low budget feature, whose main objective is to entertain and scare the audience. The so-called "South" is such an exotic locale for most First World filmgoers, that cultural "details" often pass unnoticed, because these persons seem to be too obsessed with their own "cinematic hedonism". Craven knows it, and that is why he makes foreign tourists applaud when they have seen a real possession, thinking it is just part of Paul Winfield's show. One of the reasons that this film is good is the script. Someone mentions in another comment how cleverly it introduces more than one level in a single scene: for example, when Dennis and Marielle are looking for Christophe in a cemetery, they not only meet grave robbers for scaring effect, but they also discuss about the possibility that Marielle is using Dennis to obtain funds for her hospital, and the scene fulfills its expectation: they find Christophe, who tells them about the mysterious 'powder'. What turns off some viewers -and myself, in a way- is the cinematic forms that take all the things dealing with energy and human capacity for evil. They are sometimes too gross, others just plain funny or ridiculous; but this is a Craven film, and they did not detract me from the main objective I mentioned earlier. Besides, there are other things I enjoyed watching the film again. First, to see once again the Bill Pullman whom I used to enjoy so much (remember the dumb blond in "Ruthless People"?) when he was beautiful and had not turned into the dull American president of "Independence Day." I also recognized elements I've witnessed. A lot of the things that you see and hear in this film are not just fiction (after all it is based on a "true" story): they are all part of many Caribbean cultures -from the sensuality of the islanders, to the rite in the river, or the powder itself. And believe me: the powders work! Not only for making zombies, but also for many other things. Don't ask me how, I do not know how they do it, but I have seen them work (in Cuba -no joke intended)! So beware.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (75 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Anybody been to Haiti? gurgledog
One of Craven's greatests, but... JackForrester
Scrotum *spoilers* knowledgefiend
why did the antagonist go after the protagonist at all? dooovall
Any hidden criticism or purposes in the scene... harkadenn
Creepy....Just flat out creepy jesse_s_138_98
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
An American Werewolf in Paris The Baader Meinhof Complex The Cat o' Nine Tails Mother of Tears The Holy Mountain
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Horror section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.