The Serpent and the Rainbow

1988

Action / Fantasy / Horror

6
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 61%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 56%
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 18946

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Bill Pullman as Dennis Alan
Michael Gough as Schoonbacher
Paul Guilfoyle as Andrew Cassedy
Theresa Merritt as Simone
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
743.05 MB
1280*714
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 38 min
P/S 0 / 11
1.51 GB
1920*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 38 min
P/S 4 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DeuceWild_77 8 / 10

Far-fetched as a serious film, but works wonders as a piece of postmodern surrealism involving black magic

Loosely based on the non-fiction book by the ethnobotanist Wade Davis, "The Serpent and the Rainbow" started production as a realistic approach on the author's investigation in Haiti about a drug used in the Voodoo religion to create zombies.

Davis wanted Aussie director Peter Weir to direct and his then favorite leading actor, Mel Gibson to portray him on screen, but after the duo lost interest, the project was delivered to the "master of schlock", Wes Craven due to his work in the dreamlike movies such as "Deadly Blessing", "Deadly Friend" and his most well-known "A Nightmare on Elm Street". Craven brought in all his bizarre imagination, surreal sets & gruesome scenes, but with him on the helm the movie started itself to distance from the realism of a, supposedly, true story.

Visually, "The Serpent and the Rainbow" is craftsmanship at its best for a movie of this peculiar genre: the locations were perfectly spotted so as the hundreds of extras selected and the engaging cinematography by John Lindley gave it a sweaty, gritty & hypnotic feel, in the vein of what Michael Seresin did for Alan Parker's "Angel Heart" a year before.

The screenplay have its flaws, it may be too confusing for a viewer at a first watch and like Craven's own direction, it tried to achieve in so many genres: the 'serious' drama / suspense movie; an unrealistic popcorn horror film (such as "A Nightmare on Elm Street") or a revolution / war drama (such as Weir's "The Year of Living Dangerously") that the end result is a bit messy.

The pace is uneven and the plot is slow to develop and the editing even if it isn't the best, it's still passable.

Bill Pullman for the central role of Dennis Alan (an alias for the author Wade Davis) was an odd choice, he isn't that great of an actor and lacks charisma to carry a movie on his shoulders and his clean looks, boy scout smile and fragile appearance of a townsman did not contrast well with the "Indiana Jones" adventurer, skilled in Jungle methods of survival and in establishing contact with lost tribes that his character required. The supporting cast however were fantastic in their roles, especially Brent Jennings as the quirky Mozart & South African actor, Zakes Mokae as the unforgettable creepy Dargent Peytraud.

In short, even with its flaws, "The Serpent and the Rainbow" still works as a piece of surrealism / hypnotic film that captivates the viewer and put him side-by-side with the fears of the protagonist of falling into the realms of a strange drug: a compound of tetrodotoxin, a powerful hallucinogenic plant called Datura and black magic, that can provide him a worse fate than death...

Reviewed by Richard Chatten 3 / 10

Hot Voodoo

This vividly designed but muddled Wes Craven extravaganza about voodoo clocks in at just 98 minutes but feels much longer. Structurally it recalls 'Nightmare on Elm Street', with local Tonton Macoute commander Zakes Mokae as its Freddy Kruger equivalent as its hero's grasp on reality grows ever more tenuous and the film increasingly resembles either an extended dream sequence or a drug-induced hallucination. Using an actual revolution that had just taken place in a Caribbean country as the backdrop for such a fanciful subject seemed to me rather tasteless.

Reviewed by John Brooks 4 / 10

Ridiculous ending ruins everything

The movie starts off a bit roughly, then takes on a nice pace and settles in, delivers its plot and introduces the various characters, all the while showing life in Haiti, some of the cultural aspects there.

It should be said Zakes Mokae, the 'bad guy', puts in a fabulous performance.

Other than that, the ending ruins so much of the potential the whole film may've been driving towards, there's not much commentary to be made really. We get the gist of it, but it totally explodes in that last act and there's little to salvage, really.

Good for a while, not good as a whole.

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