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The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

Trailer
1:22 | Trailer
An anthropologist goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people into zombies.

Director:

Wes Craven

Writers:

Wade Davis (inspired by the book), Richard Maxwell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Aleta Mitchell ... Celestine
William Newman ... French Missionary Doctor
Jaime Pina Gautier Jaime Pina Gautier ... Julio (as Jaime Piña Gautier)
Evencio Mosquera Slaco Evencio Mosquera Slaco ... Old Shaman
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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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. 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: Did you know this woman, Marielle Duchamp, is a radical? So was her father. He was... misplaced. Did you know that?
Dennis Alan: No, I didn't know that.
Dargent Peytraud: So is this man... Christophe Durand.
Dennis Alan: Christophe who?
Dargent Peytraud: The man you met in the graveyard.
Dennis Alan: Graveyard? I don't know... what you're talking about.
Dargent Peytraud: You're not a very good liar... Doctor Alan.
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 »

Alternate Versions

UK video and DVD versions are cut by 5 seconds by the BBFC to remove shots of cock-fighting (illegal animal cruelty). See more »

Connections

Referenced in NCIS: Head Case (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Prend Courage
Performed by Ensemble W. Sicot
Courtesy of Ansonia Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
Do you believe in voodoo?
19 April 2001 | by tezshouseSee all my reviews

The story of a chemist who is investigating a rumoured drug that brings people back from the dead. This is a great movie which keeps you in suspense right through. Not a horror movie but more of a suspense type movie that enters the world of black magic and voodoo. Very underrated movie and well worth watching, great plot and the story works.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

5 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Serpent and the Rainbow See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,848,700, 7 February 1988

Gross USA:

$19,595,031

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,595,031
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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