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.