6.5/10
19,982
87 user 109 critic

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

Trailer
1:22 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
4,618 ( 4,383)
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two adults and a juvenile break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children. There, they must fight for their lives.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Brandon Quintin Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie
Shocker (1989)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After being sent to the electric chair, a serial killer uses electricity to come back from the dead and carry out his vengeance on the football player who turned him in to the police.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Michael Murphy, Mitch Pileggi, John Tesh
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Robert Houston, Martin Speer
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After her husband dies under mysterious circumstances, a widow becomes increasingly paranoid of the neighboring religious community that may have diabolical plans for her.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner
Deadly Friend (1986)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After his friend is killed by her abusive father, the new kid in town attempts to save her by implanting robotic microchips into her brain.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Matthew Labyorteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

5 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La serpiente y el arco iris See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,848,000, 7 February 1988, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,595,031
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

At about the 1:05 mark a computer screen shows the word "specimen" misspelled as "speciman". See more »

Quotes

Dargent Peytraud: I want to hear you scream!
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

Featured in The 100 Scariest Movie Moments: Part IV: 40-21 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Interesting, But Could Be Even Better
5 October 2004 | by jcanettisSee all my reviews

The best thing about "The Serpent and the Rainbow" is probably the topic it covers: Not known to the general public (including me, until I watched the film and researched the subject a little more afterwards), the so-called zombies, which legend has it that they are people who were condemned by sorcerers to become living deads, are in fact nothing more than the victims of a special powder thrown to them, whose active ingredient is a substance which is now well-known by scientists worldwide. This substance has the effect of rendering the person in a dead-like state (no ostensible breathing, moving, etc.), while his brain is still lively (which means that the horrified person is even able to understand what surrounds him, without being able to do anything about it); in such cases, an inexperienced doctor claims the person deceased, and he is then put into a grave. When the effect of this substance starts to diminish after 12-24 hours, the sorcerer is usually there to undig the completely shocked and shattered person, convincing him that he is now his zombie-slave.

The movie is based on a true story by a scientist (Pullman) who went to Haiti, a country were such practices were rife, in order to get his hands on this substance and provide it to his employer, a pharmaceutical company, in order to analyze it and use it as an anaesthetic. In his quest he was assisted by a female local psychiatrist (Tyson), who treated several "zombified" people. However, he soon realized that things were much more complicated than that, as the police chief (Mokae), who used this zombie-trick as one of his suppression tools, was quite unhappy with this intrusion.

Although based on a very interesting story, the movie goes a bit far and becomes a typical horror film, full of black magic, terrifying visions, etc. In my opinion, it would be much better if the plot sticked to the basics, as from some point onwards everything (and especially the ending) becomes too unconvincing.

The cast does a fair job, despite the fact that it includes actors not widely known. The make-up and scenery produce and impressive atmosphere, traveling the viewer to the mystifying secrets of Haiti.

Grade: 7/10.


20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 87 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed