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