- The Serpent and the Rainbow (film)
name = The Serpent and the Rainbow
caption = Theatrical release poster
Doug Claybourne David Ladd Robert Engelman
Wade Davis(book) Richard Maxwell Adam Rodman
Bill Pullman Cathy Tyson Zakes Mokae Paul Winfield Brent Jennings Conrad Roberts
released = flagicon|USA
February 5, 1988
May 11, 1988
June 10, 1988
runtime = 98 min.
country = USA
language = English
budget = $7,000,000 (estimated)
gross = $19,595,031 (USA) (sub-total)
amg_id = 1:43768
imdb_id = 0096071
"The Serpent and the Rainbow" is a
1988American horror film, directed by Wes Cravenand starring Bill Pullman. The film is very loosely based on a non-fiction book by ethnobotanist Wade Davis, dealing with his experiences in Haitias he investigates the story of Clairvius Narcisse, allegedly poisoned, buried alive, and given a herbal brew whose effects mimicked zombification.
Dennis Alan, an ethnobotanist/anthropologist from Harvard University, narrowly escapes the Amazon Jungle at the beginning and returns to Boston. Word of his exploits gets around and he is approached by a large pharmaceutical corporation looking to investigate a drug that is part of the Voodoo religion in Haiti that they want to acquire in order to mass produce. They send him to Haiti to find out about the drug, but he winds up learning more about zombification instead. In essence, the drug is an alternate and less dangerous method of anesthesia.
When Alan arrives in Haiti the country is in the middle of a revolution of sorts. The government is taking anyone prisoner who they think is against the current political powers. He eventually meets another doctor who helps him research and investigate the so-called zombies. What he finds is the evil that lurks behind the Voodoo religion and the destruction it can cause to the human mind.
The drug named in the film is
tetrodotoxin. In the real-life "zombification" case of Clairvius Narcisseof Haiti, the poison that caused the appearance of death was reported to be tetrodotoxin, but the mind-control drug given after he was unburied was a brew derived from " Datura stramonium". The film depicted the poisoning attack with the powdered drug being blown into the victim's face, which is most consistent with involuntary dosing of scopolamine. Scopolamine is one of the alkaloids in " Datura", known to facilitate behavior control, but not the appearance of death.
Wade Davis' Reaction
Wade Davishas frequently voiced his displeasure with the final film. "When I wrote my first book, 'The Serpent and the Rainbow', it was made into one of the worst Hollywood movies in history. I tried to escape the hysteria and the media by going to Borneo." [http://www.ed.psu.edu/icik/2004Proceedings/section7-davis.pdf]
The Canadian musical group
Swollen Membersmentioned this movie in the song Black Magic.
Bomb the Bass
In their song 'Bug Powder Dust', they mention the book/movie with the lyric "Wakin' up the dead like Serpent and the Rainbow".This song is also remixed by Kruder & Dorfmeister on the K&D Sessions Album, disc 1, track 5.
*imdb title|id=0096071|title=The Serpent and the Rainbow
* [http://science.howstuffworks.com/zombie1.htm/ Zombie Powder]
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