6.5/10
21,891
99 user 122 critic

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

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

Just before the spider starts crawling on Dr. Dennis Alan's face, you can see the crew member in the left background who placed it there. See more »

Quotes

Dennis Alan: Christophe, I need you to remember what happened before you died.
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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 Memories of Me (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Fiere Haiti
Performed by A. Charles Dessalines
Courtesy of ADC Records
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User Reviews

 
An entertaining, detailed thriller
27 July 2000 | by The_CoreSee all my reviews

One of Wes Craven's best, "Serpent and the Rainbow" is as much a psychological thriller as a horror movie. Some horror fans may find it too slow (it takes its sweet time to come to a climax) but it's worth it... the journey is entertaining and interesting. This is a polished, professionally filmed movie with higher production values than the average for its genre.

I've never seen a film before that went quite so in-depth into the subject of voodoo. Filmed on location in Haiti, this movie goes into a lot of detail about various voodoo practices and introduces the voodoo versions of the good and evil magician, the houngon and the bocor. If you have any interest at all in this subject matter (or the supernatural in general), I recommend the movie on that basis alone.

Acting is uniformly solid throughout, if nothing really outstanding. We do not come to care very deeply about these characters, so their trials, tribulations and deaths do not bother us much... but Craven's attention to detail really shows, and there isn't a moment of this movie that lacks entertainment value. 7/10.


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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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