Combustible Celluloid
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With: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae, Paul Winfield, Brent Jennings, Conrad Roberts, Badja Djola, Theresa Merritt, Michael Gough, Paul Guilfoyle, Dey Young, Aleta Mitchell
Written by: Richard Maxwell, Adam Rodman, inspired by a book by Wade Davis
Directed by: Wes Craven
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 98
Date: 02/05/1988

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Voodoo That You Do

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

After a huge hit with A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven appeared to be taking a more serious route with The Serpent and the Rainbow, which was apparently inspired by a true story. Either way, he delivered one of his best movies, filled with creepy nightmare imagery brought on by voodoo spells. Bill Pullman plays anthropologist Dennis Alan, who travels to Haiti in search of a special "zombie" drug, hoping to put it to good medical use in the U.S. He meets a man that was dead and buried, and then emerged again, alive, years later. He also meets a pretty local doctor, Marielle (Cathy Tyson). After experiencing all kinds of chemically-induced states, Dennis battles an evil witch doctor (Zakes Mokae), who is posing as the leader of the Tonton Macoute. Craven keeps the tone somewhat realistic here, using his special gift for nightmare rhythms to brilliant effect.

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