The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Richard Maxwell and Adam Rodman based on the book by Wade Davis
Starring: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zake Mokae, Paul Winfield, Brent Jennings, Conrad Roberts, Badja Djola, Theresa Merritt, Michael Gough, Paul Guilfoyle
My pa taped this off of the History Network for me a while ago (aw, how sweet, and yes, I do have a pa) and I just got around to watching it. It's one of those fiction movies based upon a non-fiction book, and we all know how that goes...
Anyway, it's about this anthropologist who goes to Haiti in 1982 to find out about voodoo zombies because apparently black magic will be really useful for the company he works for and locate a man who has apparently been dead for seven years. While in Haiti, he gets drugged, abducted, tortured and eventually turned into a zombie, but he keeps on going back to get his girlfriend. Stupid boy.
So. Voodoo zombies. I think so far I'll opt for Romero's ghouls, if you don't mind (if you do, in fact, mind, than your life is sad). The fact that these voodoo zombies exist (which I guess they do) is rather unsettling, and the idea that somebody would do something like that to another human being equally so, but in terms of sheer fear/repulsion factor, legions of the flesh eating dead come out on top so far. Not to say that nobody will ever make a scary movie about voodoo zombies, or that nobody has yet. I just haven't seen it.
But enough the scariness (or lack thereof) of these specific zombies and/or their evil masters. There are some pretty nifty scenes in there, as the main character is frequently on drugs and bewitched by a voodoo priest and therefore tends to hallucinate a lot, giving the film a very nightmarish quality.
Funny that the last Craven movie I watched was Nightmare on Elm Street - there are a lot of images that seem to have carried over from that into this. People getting dragged down into holes and attacked by things with really long arms, for example.
So that was cool. I can't say that the plot of the movie was really that apparent (based off of non-fiction!), or that it was at any point scary - not even the actual walking corpses really got to me that much - but hey, it was funky.
And I can't help but like Bill Pullman. He's not the greatest actor in the world, but I do like him (ever since I saw him play the dad in Igby, God knows why). And he does make a pretty good zombie.