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The Serpent And The Rainbow

By Jeff Shannon

Eight years before he scored a phenomenal hit with Scream, horror master Wes Craven made a worthy effort to "legitimize" horror with this chilling supernatural thriller, based on the best-selling book by Wade Davis. More ambitious than most horror films, this one allowed Craven to generate compelling plausibility with the fact-based story of a Harvard researcher (Bill Pullman) who travels to Haiti to procure a secret voodoo powder that places people into a state of simulated death. His investigation into the hidden world of black magic grows increasingly dangerous until he's caught in a living nightmare--a potentially deadly predicament that inspired the film's advertising tag line: "Don't bury me... I'm not dead!" Craven pays particular attention to authentic details of Haitian society and the role voodoo plays in Haitian culture, and the film gains additional atmosphere from location shooting in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Craven would, of course, continue to thrive by making more "conventional" horror films including Scream, but this remains a fascinating departure for one of the genre's most celebrated directors.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Wes Craven

Stars: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae, Paul Winfield

Released: January 15, 1988

Availability: DVD VHS


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