Halloween White Elephant: The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)


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From John Gholson–”When people bring up zombie rules, I almost always think of this film — the last significant movie about “real” zombies.  Wes Craven is not a favorite of mine, but I think THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW is one of his more successful efforts.  It’s a sweaty, unpleasant fever dream about Haitian voodoo, with trace elements of old fashioned ‘white man’s guilt’ racism.  I haven’t seen it in a while, but many of its images linger. While that alone may not make it a great film, it’s a worthwhile one, especially for fans of the zombie genre.

By its climax, Wes Craven’s The Serpent and the Rainbow has transformed into an almost profoundly silly film, filled with wacky hallucinations, broken laws of physics, a villain that just won’t die and a chair with a mind of its own. I bring this up in the very first paragraph of this review because the film ends with a completely different tone than the creepy, sobering beginning, complete with opening titles that inform us that what we’re about to watch is “inspired by true events.”




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