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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Serpent And The Rainbow (1988)

A Harvard anthropologist (Bill Pullman) is sent to Haiti in 1978 to retrieve a powder that is reputedly able to bring humans back from the dead. He is cynical about the prospects but soon finds himself involved with voodoo, ancient curses, blood rites and walking zombies which make him a reluctant believer. Very loosely based on a non fiction book by Wade Davis and directed by Wes Craven (NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET). Unlike the zombie films and TV shows of today with the walking dead taking over an apocalyptic Earth, this is an old fashioned zombie voodo movie although more far more graphic than films like I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943) or ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU (1957). Considering how far fetched the topic is, Craven creates a believable scenario and he's lucky to have such a no nonsense actor like Pullman to play it straight which helps maintain the illusion of reality. For a horror movie, it's not really scary but it effectively plays on our fear of the unknown. There's a very nice underscore by Brad Fiedel. With Cathy Tyson, Paul Winfield, Zakes Mokae, Michael Gough, Brent Jennings and Theresa Merritt.   

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