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G.O.R.E. Score: The Serpent and the Rainbow

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

Original Release Date: February 5, 1988
Run Time: 98 minutes

Wes Craven is a horror machine.

With over 50 different films that he has either written or directed, spanning from 1972’s “Last House on the Left” (which he wrote and directed) to next year’s “Scream 4,” the man has been an amazing presence in the film industry for quite some time.

In 1988, three years after he wrote and directed the original “Nightmare on Elm Street,” Craven finally turned his scary-movie attention to zombies, but he took the unusual approach of focusing on the “less popular” version of zombies, the “traditional” and original version of the zombie, the Voodoo zombie.  His movie, “The Serpent and the Rainbow,” was “inspired by a true story,” but in reality very little of the movie was actually derived from the book of the same name, a novel written by a pseudo-scientist about his attempts to prove the Voodoo rituals surrounding zombification were based in scientific fact.

As a little bit of back story for those unfamiliar: the phrase “zombie,” or in its original forms, “zombi” or “nzambi,” were key parts of the tenets and beliefs of the Voodoo system adhered to by natives of the West African and Caribbean regions.  Followers of Voodoo believe that a dead person can be returned to life by a bokor, or magician/sorcerer.


One comment on “G.O.R.E. Score: The Serpent and the Rainbow

  1. As always, a very thorough review. Kudos for providing the little tidbits, including the tag line for the movie and Nightmare on Elm Street 4…that cracks me up!

    It has been a long time since I watched this one-in between my youthful obsession with zombies and my more recent obsession that was renewed when 28 Days Later and the Dawn remake came out, so I never really had any issues with it not being about Romero style zombies. I think I recall just thinking that it was a creepy tale of voodoo. I probably would look at it differently today, with my heavy over dosing of Romero Z’s, heh, but I think it still would be entertaining. I actually like the voodoo zombies, so the rare movie that has them is fun to watch.

    I think you’ve convinced me to put this one in my Netflix queue so I can reminisce about this sucker. 🙂

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