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The Serpent and the Rainbow (1987)

Cast: Tony Cecere, Tony Cecere, Bill Pullman, more...
Director: Wes Craven, Wes Craven
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Studio: Universal Studios
Genre: Horror, Supernatural/Occult, Zombies
Running Time: 98 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: Spanish, French
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Horror maven Wes Craven attempted a slight change of pace from his usual slasher movie milieu with this chiller loosely based on a true story. Bill Pullman stars as Dennis Alan, a Harvard researcher sent to Haiti by a pharmaceutical company to investigate the zombie legend and any possible connection it might have to a rumored drug that could be used as a new breed of powerful anaesthetic. Once on the Caribbean isle, Alan is aided by a good voodoo priest or "houngan" (Paul Winfield) and his daughter (Cathy Tyson), who runs a local clinic. Alan's search also pits him against an evil houngan, Dargent Peytraud (Zakes Mokae). Peytraud also controls the Tonton Macoute (the Haitian secret police), who are involved with soon-to-be-deposed dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier. The Serpent and the Rainbow was based on the book of the same name by Wade Davis, an ethnobotanist whose real-life hunt for the zombie drug was credited with cracking the medical mystery behind the myth. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Some decent stuff amidst a pretty typical thriller by toddandsteph November 13, 2006 - 6:02 PM PST
The Serpent and the Rainbow: I'd been meaning to check this out because I really enjoy Wes Craven's 1980s output (for the most part). Unfortunately, I'd heard this one talked up a lot over the years, and it let me down a little. That isn't to say it's bad. In fact, there's plenty of admirable things about this little flick. The acting's all pretty solid. There are some absolutely horrifying scenes in this (the dream sequences, in particular, were impressive). The direction is spot-on (Craven's never been a bad director, but like his contemporary, John Carpenter, he has a knack for getting stuck with crap scripts). The reason I was disappointed is that the movie doesn't really play up much tension throughout. There are moments here and there that are spooky, but for the most part, it's a straightforward thriller. That said, it isn't a bad thriller, but it isn't anything extremely noteworthy either (except for maybe being one of Wes' last decent works). ** and 1/2 * out've ***** ??-Todd

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.26)
69 Votes
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