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The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) Poster

Trivia

Due to political strife and civil turmoil in Haiti during the production, the local government informed the film crew that they could not guarantee their safety for the remainder of the shoot. The crew subsequently relocated to nearby Dominican Republic to complete filming.
In the beginning of the film, the viewer is shown Christophe Durand's funeral, present at which is Dargent Peytraud who is looking very nervous. Later in the film it is revealed that Durand was poisoned with a zombie powder by Peytraud, and that this created the appearance of death with the powder "wearing off after about 12 hours". Giving that Durand is shown dieing in a hospital at around 8 or 9 the night before, and that the funeral is presumable the next morning shortly after sunrise, Peytraud's nervousness is adequately explained in that he is worried Durand will come out of his zombie spell before he is buried.
A note is imposed on the final scene that states that scientists are studying the "zombie powder" and that what makes it work "remains a mystery." There is also a disclaimer at the end of the closing credits which states that Davis came back with "rare powders" that are being subjected to "intensive study in the United States and in Switzerland," and that, "apart from these facts," all other persons and incidents in this film are fictitious. The exception is Jean-Claude Duvalier, the Haitian dictator who was in fact ousted by a popular revolution in 1986 and who appears in the film in archival news footage.
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.
Newly-wed, Bill Pullman's wife was invited to be an extra and appears on screen as the blonde who pushes a long needle through a willing man's cheek.
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The CD Soundtrack to this film is extremely rare, as it was pressed in limited quantities. Part of this was due to the film's poor release and the fact that the market was transitioning from LP to CD as a mass format, meaning that the number of copies is much smaller than an average soundtrack album run.
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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.
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Bill Pullman acted alongside a jaguar, a viper and a tarantula during the course of film. However all the animals were raised in captivity and were relatively tame.
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.
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When Dr. Alan is poisoned in Lucien Celine's villa, he grabs a Haitian man who emphatically shouts "No! No! No! No!". This extra actor was seen earlier in the film playing a grave robber where he shouts the same phrase (his only spoken line) as he flees a cemetery following discovery by Alan and Marielle Duchamp.
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According to article about the film from Fangoria #71, original cut of the movie was 3 hours long but Wes Craven felt that it was too long and talky so it was cut down to 98 minutes. It was then test screened to the audience and their reactions were favorable.
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Inspired the song Voodoo by Godsmack, an alternative rock band. The band wrote the song while watching the film together, however most people believe that the song is about shooting heroin. Voodoo is also used every year at Carowinds Amusement Park during the annual S'Carowinds Halloween Haunt.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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