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-->''Don't bury me... I'm not dead!''

''TheSerpentAndTheRainbow'' is a 1988 horror film directed by Creator/WesCraven. It is, in a broad sense, [[OurZombiesAreDifferent a zombie movie]], but one of the more traditional, pre-''NightOfTheLivingDead'' voodoo types. Originally filmed in UsefulNotes/{{Haiti}}, where a majority of the action takes place, the political and social unrest meant [[CaliforniaDoubling moving the entire production to the nearby country of Dominican Republic]] midway through production for the safety of the cast and crew.

Anthropologist Dennis Alan (Bill Pullman) travels to Haiti to investigate rumors of a drug used by {{black magic}} practitioners: one allegedly capable of transforming the living into zombie slaves. He meets with Marielle Duchamp, a Haitian medical doctor who has been working closely with cases of zombification. One of her most recent cases is a man named Christophe, a fresh zombie with a better memory than usual. In their investigation, they meet with Louis Mozart, who, despite being something of a {{con man}}, is willing to provide them with the mysterious zombie drug.

Meanwhile, Haitian [[SecretPolice paramilitary]] leader Dargent Peytraud notices Dr. Alan's investigations, and seeks to intimidate him into leaving the country. Alan stands up to the man, only to have his dreams haunted by visions of Peytraud, and the living dead.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: Why Dennis goes back to Haiti again.
* BadassBoast: After purchasing a vial of zombie powder from Mozart, Dennis Alan loudly calls him an idiot, says "You want to know what I think of your powders?", pours the entire vial into a drink, then chugs the mixture. Before leaving, he hisses: "It's piss." [[spoiler:He actually used slight of hand to switch the real vial out for one of his own; ultimately, it was a move meant to psyche out Mozart enough to give him the real powder]].
* BigBad: Dargent Peytraud.
** BiggerBad: Duvalier.
* BuriedAlive: This is part of the zombie-creation process.
* ChekhovsGun: The eating of glass mentioned below. [[spoiler:The woman dining with Dennis back in the US, gets controlled by Peytraud, and does this right before she tries to kill him]]
* CigarFuseLighting: Peytraud lights a cigar with a blowtorch, while preparing to torture Alan.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Done by Peytraud to Allan when he doesn't want to leave the country.
* CreepyCemetery: Several scenes.
* TheDragon: Gaston, Peytraud's right hand (and also the one who dresses as [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Samedi Baron Samedi]]).
* EvilSorcerer: Peytraud.
* GroinAttack: With a [[NailEm nail]]. "I want to hear you ''scream!''" [[spoiler:In the first case, Peytraud only tries to terrify Allan without actually doing much damage. When Allan does it to Peytraud at the end, however...]]
* HollywoodVoodoo: At least, in the sense that it the religion was highly sensationalized ([[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory see below]]).
* IronicEcho: "I want to hear you ''scream!''"
* JustThinkOfThePotential: Dr. Alan is working for a pharmaceutical company that believes the zombie powder can be used as a safe anesthetic; something that might prevent patients from dying on the operating table as the result of anesthetic shock.
* MasochistsMeal: A woman, apparently under the influence of possession, [[SoftGlass eats part of a wine glass]].
* MindOverMatter: As part of the climax, [[spoiler:Dennis Alan gains telekinesis]].
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Peytraud is pretty blatantly based on both Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier (being a voodoo sorcerer) and Luckner Cambronne (being the head of the Tonton Macoutes). Given that the Duvalier family still had many supporters when the film began production in Haiti despite Papa Doc's son and heir Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier's recent ouster, one suspects they were more concerned about harm coming the the celebrities acting in the film.
* NightmareSequence: Dennis Alan suffers through this more and more frequently as the movie continues, eventually having to cope with waking {{hallucinations}}.
* NotUsingTheZWord: Discussed ("If you don't like the word 'zombie,' you can choose another word").
* OffWithHisHead: [[spoiler:Mozart gets his head cut with a sword, and Lucien's zombie decapitates himself with his bare hands.]]
* OurSoulsAreDifferent: They are stored in ceramic pots.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: Averted. See YouKeepUsingThatWord.
* ReligiousHorror: Voodoo or vodoun, in this case.
* ScaryBlackMan: Peytraud, as well as his men.
* SecretPolice: The Tontons Macoutes.
* TookALevelInBadass: Allan at the end.
* TortureTechnician: Peytraud personally supervises Alan's torture.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: The film was inspired by a book of the same name, by a Botanist who went to Haiti to scientifically analyse the substances used in Voodoo rituals and investigate the legends of powerful Houngans who could re-animate the dead as zombie slaves. [[spoiler:Turns out the truth is somewhere in the middle. Zombies are real, but they're not actually dead, it's just a combination of fugu poison, oxygen deprivation-induced brain damage from being buried alive for a while and a healthy dose of the power of suggestion.]]
** In fact, the author, Harvard ethnobotanist Wade Davis, was extremely unhappy with the film, because it ended up [[TheyJustDidntCare presenting voodoo in the sensationalist]] BlackMagic sideshow light that he notably avoided in the book. There are several passages in the book in which he condemns the way [[HilariousInHindsight Hollywood has demonized ''vodoun'' religion in film]].
* WitchDoctor: Peytraud.
* YourSoulIsMine: Haitian dictator Dargent Peytraud keeps a collection of them.
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