For the longest time, I thought this film was about vampires.
For years, the poster for The Serpent and the Rainbow hung in the window at Showtime Video and creeped the bejesus out of me. (This is Waller we’re talking about – the posters only got changed when they were stolen or someone peed on them.) The poster has Bill Pullman coming out of a coffin, in whiteface makeup, with what looks like blood on his forehead – totally vampires, right? WRONG – it’s about zombies and voodoo. I don’t know what serpents and rainbows have to do with zombies and voodoo – or vampires, for that matter, but I guess it’s a better film title than “Bill Pullman Goes to Haiti and Gets a Railroad Spike Through His Penis.”
Or maybe it was through his balls, I couldn’t really tell through all the wiggling and screaming. In any case, my husband was NOWHERE to be found during this scene, with good reason. Any time this film is mentioned in male company, the atmosphere turns somber – eyes are cast downward and the head shaking begins. Nothing makes a man turn introspective quite like damage to the babymaker.
Other than the aforementioned peepee skewering, The Serpent and the Rainbow is pretty boring stuff. The zombies do not eat brains. The Voodoo Master is pretty scary, but mostly because he has crazy eyes. The drug induced nightmares are kind of whacked out – they seem like what some of my friends report after taking Ambien. Maybe that shit was scary in the 80s, but we’ve got bigger fears in the 00s – drywall that emits a toxic gas, Chimpanzees ripping people’s faces off and Octo Mom. That’s WAY fucking scarier than a crazy voodoo master with smokebombs and a railroad spike.
Although it is generally agreed upon that either Plan 9 From Outer Space or Manos: The Hands of Fate is the worst movie ever made, every once in a while – this piece of shit is mentioned. In the future, one of the people mentioning it may be me.
The problem with this film isn’t that it’s bad – although it IS bad – it’s that it’s boring. It’s a film about a zombie that kills strippers…strippers that don’t ever get naked, so technically I guess they’re burlesque dancers. The zombies aren’t even the dead kind – they’re the mind controlled kind. Again, BORING!
The cinematography is horrible as well. Not only is the film stock quality wretched, but the guy holding the camera (I hesitate to use the term ‘cinematographer’) is completely incapable of framing a scene. Every shot is off center and/or crooked. It was distracting to the point of irritation. I’d rather watch that Blair Witch shaky cam shit than total incompetence.
If I had known that MST3K had done an episode with this film, I definitely would have preferred to watch it that way. I spent an hour and a half bored off my ass that I will never get back!
The stars could have used Voodoo for Dummies.
The movie started off right with a Voodoo showdown in Haiti, then shifting to New Orleans, the Voodoo capital of America. But less than halfway through the film, the action shifted to Tennessee. Tennessee? Tennessee is all about country music – not Voodoo…unless of course, Daniel the Voodoo demon intended to harness the power of country music to enslave innocents and send them to hell? Because country music could TOTALLY do that! No joke, country music is not something to fuck around with.
I’m nowhere near a Voodoo Aficionado, but I’m pretty sure the person who wrote this movie wasn’t either. There was some bone throwing at the beginning and some zombies, but they were more like brain-eating Return of the Living Dead zombies, as opposed to Voodoo zombies. There were some flayed farmers – no skin at all – which was maybe kind of Voodoo? Isn’t that more Hellraiser territory? Besides, the word “Voodoo” was never even uttered throughout the whole film. So maybe the title was just added as a selling point?
I guess Eric Mabius got to keep his costume from that Crow sequel he was in – because he was totally rockin’ the Crow look in this movie, everything except the make-up. Maybe that was how he got the job – offering to bring his own costume, including a single white contacts lens? Because he certainly didn’t get it based on talent. What happened to him…he was so good in Welcome to the Dollhouse, but he turned into a total scenery chewing cheeseball.
Since ditching Angel, Charisma Carpenter has been churning out Cable TV movies, with a concentration in Lifetime and Sci Fi. I would have figured her for straight to DVD or Skinemax softcore – she’s moving up in the world. I need to check out her Lifetime movie, The Cheaters’ Club. Any movie about a nymphomaniac psychiatrist who forces her patients to have adulterous affairs has got to be good, right?
Oh yeah – Jeffrey Combs is in it – that’s one whole BOB right there. And this time, HE plays the zombie.
This is actually not half bad for a Sci Fi Channel movie. It could have used some T&A though.