The Serpent and the Rainbow.

Best known for inventing Freddy Krueger, horror titan Wes Craven took a stab at old school zombie folklore in his “based on true events” / “based on a dude’s book” film venture “The Serpent and the Rainbow.”  This one stars Bill Pullman, who you might know as the president from Independence Day or that guy I always confuse with Jeff Daniels.  Starkwell and Lovelock are intrigued by the possibility that any of what they are about to watch actually happened, and eagerly wait for me to press play.


[Haiti, 1970s.]

Starkwell: Haiti doesn’t look all that happy.  People steal dead bodies.

Lovelock: I don’t know, that guy in the top hat looks pretty happy.

Starkwell: Yeah, he’s waving a gun, I don’t think we’re supposed to like him.


[Professor Pullman takes magic potion.  Wakes up being chased by a panther and some scary dead people.]

Lovelock: That’s why I never take strange potions from witch doctors.

Starkwell: I think he’s a shaman, and yeah, that’s why.

Lovelock: I think if I had a spirit animal, I’d want it to be a monkey.  No, a giraffe… actually, let me think about it some more.


[Pharmaceutical company sends him on a mission.]

Starkwell: It’s always the pharmaceutical companies.

Lovelock: Well, yeah… They’re called BIOCORP.  You can’t trust that shit.


[Professor Pullman meets a zombie.]

Lovelock: Wait, that’s a zombie?

Starkwell: I think that this movie is more grounded in reality than you’re used to.

Lovelock: Reality blows.  Bring on the flesh eaters.  If I wanted reality I’d be at work right now.


Starkwell watched the story unfold with great enthusiasm.  Lovelock was less enthused, but every time he wanted to make a comment like “where’s the action?” or “where’s the beef?” Starkwell would shush him like a librarian on crack.  Is there any other kind?  However, they both make fun of Professor Pullman’s philosophical narration every chance that they get.


Starkwell: This movie already has had at least two too many of those “thank goodness, it was only a dream” moments.

Lovelock: Can you really ever have too many of those?

Starkwell: Yes.  Yes you can.  This movie does.


[Really long sex scene.]

Starkwell: Apparently waterfalls and a large crowd put Professor Pullman in the mood.

Lovelock: She certainly seems to be enjoying it.  In slow motion.

Starkwell: Who has sex in a cave?

Lovelock: Probably cavemen.


[Professor Pullman cons the con man.]

Starkwell: He’s a doctor and a magician?  No wonder she couldn’t resist boning him in a dirty cave.

Lovelock: Plus, his hair is phenomenal.


I was unable to follow their conversation for a little while, because I passed out when the crazy police drove a huge nail through Professor Pullman’s scrotum.  I think I faintly heard Lovelock saying “good luck doing it cave style now” before I blacked out.  When I woke up, they were repeating the line “hey, it just went through the scrotum, right?” over and over again, since, as it turns out, Professor Pullman is a pretty hard dude.


[Another dream sequence followed by dramatic wakeup shot.]

Starkwell: That’s the sweatiest wakeup yet.

Lovelock: Hey, I mean, it just went through the scrotum, right?

[Finds severed head next to him.]

Starkwell: I think I would prefer the nightmare…

Lovelock: Hey, I mean, it just went through the scrotum, right?


[Back in Boston, Professor Pullman is attacked at a dinner party by the hostess.]

Lovelock: Voodoo or not, I think that’s how I would react to that boring ass conversation as well.

Starkwell: Wow, he just bails on the party?  She’s still seizing and screaming.  What a dick.  Considering this is all his fault, the least he could do is stick around and see if she’s ok.

Lovelock: They put a wallet in her mouth, she’ll be fine.


[Zombie powder blown in face.  Pullman is pronounced dead.  Eventually, he comes back.]

Lovelock: Man, they stole that shit from “In Like Flint”.

Starkwell: It’s not really the same thing.

Lovelock: Purple alert!


The ending of the movie was pretty spectacular, full of historical facts, supernatural terrors, and nail in scrotum payback.  But Starkwell and Lovelock didn’t really react at all.  They said they were waiting to see if there would be another shot of him waking up, all sweaty, thinking “thank goodness, it was only a dream.”  It never came.  Good news for Haiti, but bad news for his scrotum.


  1. Decent movie, even though it's about "those other" zombies. They don't even eat brains.

    Forgot about the nail to the balls - Bill Pullman (or Bill Paxton as I like to accidentally refer to him as) has very resilient testicles.

  2. Hey, I mean, it just went through the scrotum right?



  3. jervaise brooke hamster15:56

    The thing that always gets on my nerves about this movie is that it should have been a great film instead of just a pretty good one, all the ele-girl-ts are there for something quite superb (the atmosphere is of course pure magic) but those ele-girl-ts just dont fall into place quite the way they should. Its still a cult-item par-excellence though and i still visit it quite often on Youtube (or rather mo-girl-ts from it, i dont watch the film in its entirety very often any more).

  4. Yeah it has a lot of potential, and the tension builds up... but then it feels like it never fully delivers.

    Good film, but disappointing in a way, as well.