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The Serpent and the Rainbow!

Now here's a horror classic from the late 80's that I've always felt was extremely underrated. Not because it's particularly gory or anything, but because it's actually one of the few horror movies that I believe to be genuinely scary. It is somewhat based on the bizarre experiences of Wade Davis, so I suppose it's the whole believability of the story that adds to the spookiness.


The premise of the movie is that an anthropologist is sent over to Haiti to uncover the mysteries of a "zombie powder" that is said to bring dead humans back to life. Black magic and voodoo? Check. Zombies? Check. Wes Craven back when he still made truly awesome movies? Check. Bill Pullman?

Hey babe, call me Mr. President

Check. Ok, now I'm no big fan of Bill Pullman by any means.  Sure, he was great in Spaceballs, but that's because they wanted someone who would come off as a bad actor just like Mark Hammil in the real Star Wars movies. I'm sure he's a nice guy in real life 'n all, but he's one of those guys who just can't seem to act or be interesting in any way no matter what role he ends up playing. I mean, if you saw him as the President in Independence Day, you probably wanted to punch him in the nuts. Yet in The Serpent and the Rainbow, the terror he experiences is quite convincing - so I guess that just goes to show you how good a director Wes Craven really was in his prime. Anybody who can manage to extract a convincing performance from Bill Pullman clearly has talent.

give me a kiss!

The Serpent and the Rainbow is filled with all sorts of nightmarish scenes; from voodoo rituals to being buried alive with a fat-assed spider in your casket, from waking up with a decapitated body to dreams of a zombie bride that pukes up a snake which tries to eat your face... this movie has it all.


Dargent Peytraud (played by Zakes Mokae) is an evil man. Now when I say "evil" I mean he's really evil. He's one of those bad guys that just does it a little too well to where you wouldn't want to meet him in real life because you don't believe anybody can really act that creepy without some of that creepiness being real. He wants to stop Dennis Alan (Pullman) from sticking his nose around town and trying to learn about the secrets of the zombie powder. After Dennis ignores his verbal warnings, Peytraud resorts to a far more influential way of getting him to leave Haiti.

After being knocked out by some of Peytraud's thugs, Dennis awakes to find himself strapped in a chair in a dark room. Dennis asks him what he wants, and Peytraud coldly responds, "I want to hear you scream." So Dennis starts to put on a big screaming show, but Peytraud isn't convinced that his warning will be heeded. So he gives Dennis an extremely unpleasant parting gift to remind him not to return to Haiti...

Be glad I'm not using a nailgun!


He hammers a big nail through his penis.

Bill Pullman with a bleeding crotch? I smell an Emmy nomination...

I remember the group I was with when we first saw this movie and we all winced in unison and immediately crossed our legs. Soon after, the film cuts to a half-naked Dennis being thrown from a moving van. He lands on the ground and writhes in pain over his bleeding crotch. Sure, I never thought Bill Pullman was a good actor, but a nail hammered through his' slim jim? OW. Come on he's not so bad that he deserves that.

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a horrible night indeed! :o