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

Inspired the song Voodoo by Godsmack, an alternative rock band. The band wrote the song while watching the film together. Voodoo is also used every year at Carowinds Amusement Park during the annual S'Carowinds Halloween Haunt. See more »

Goofs

When the Duvalier government is overthrown, it is stated to be "in the middle of the night", yet news reels show cheering crowds outside in the daylight in the middle of the day. See more »

Quotes

Dargent Peytraud: Doctor Alan...
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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

Featured in The Making of 'The Serpent and the Rainbow' (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Very Different and Intriguing
22 September 2003 | by lilac_point_burmeseSee all my reviews

Bill Pullman is an anthropologist who on a previous visit to Haiti experienced the power of black voodoo,filling his mind with evil dreams and eventuating in the murder of his pilot. His Jaguar spirit leads him to safety. Upon returning to America he is asked by a drug company to return to Haiti and investigate the process of "Zombification" as proof of a man being brought back from the dead has been discovered and the Americans of course would love to know how it is done.

In Haiti Dr Allen meets a beautiful female psychiatrist and together they become embroiled in a world of good vs evil voodoo style in search of this miracle which is in the form of a powder.

However, their is evil at work in the form of a very nasty voodoo witchdoctor, who unfortunately also happens to be Chief of Police in the very much oppressed Haiti.

This was a great film. I only just purchased and watched it for the first time on DVD for $6.95 AU, at that price I wasn't expecting much - Reviews I have read regarding this film dubbed it dissapointing, but I found it to be highly entertaining.

The film is eerie, the acting is excellent. I have found in most reviews that people have complained that the film is far-fetched and doesn't make sense. Well, in my opinion - that is the nature of voodoo -it is un-explainable and to a skeptical mind is silly, but there have been many accounts in real life of voodoo magic and it's power and this film was based on some such accounts.

The film starts of a little slow and can be described as a bit messy. However, as the plot unfolds, not only are we watching an eerie film about the supernatural, we are also watching an action packed political thriller. This is a very unusual film. There is just enough blood and gore to entertain the slasher fans, but not too much discourage the general film appreciating public.

As opposed to common belief, I found the story-line of this film to be tight, different and utterly engaging.


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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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