The film is very loosely based on the non-fiction book of the same name by ethnobotanist Wade Davis.
Davis' book recounted his experiences in Haiti investigating the story of Clairvius Narcisse. Narcisse was allegedly poisoned and buried alive. When he was released from the grave, he was given an herbal brew whose effects produced what was called a zombie.

Dennis Alan, an ethnobotanist/anthropologist from Harvard University, narrowly escapes the Amazon Jungle and returns to Boston. Word of his exploits gets around, and he is approached by a large pharmaceutical corporation looking to investigate a drug used in Voodoo religion in Haiti. They want to acquire it for mass production. They send him to Haiti to find out about the drug. He learns more about the process of making zombies instead. He discovers 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. The government is imprisoning and killing all opponents. Alan meets another doctor, who helps him research and investigate the so-called zombies. Alan finds the negative side of Vodou religion, which can destroy the mind. Alan's exploration in Haiti to find the "zombie drug" draws the attention of the authorities. As they have used the zombie legends to create fear in the population, they do not want the secrets revealed. The commander of the Tonton Macoute, Captain Dargent Peytraud, threatens Alan to get him to leave Haiti.

Director: Wes Craven
Producer: Doug Claybourne, David Ladd, Robert Engelman
Writter: Wade Davis (book), Richard Maxwell, Adam Rodman
Starring: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae, Paul Winfield, Brent Jennings, Conrad Roberts
Running Time: 98min

Rating: 9/10


The film is adapted from the novel Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg, and is generally faithful to the novel with the exceptions being the introduction of a child of Epiphany Proudfoot conceived at a voodoo ceremony by "a devil", and that the novel never leaves New York City, whereas much of the action of the film occurs inNew Orleans.

The movie opens in January 1955. Mickey Rourke plays Harry Angel, a seedy private investigator in New York City. Louis Cyphre (De Niro) hires Angel to locate Johnny Favorite, a popular big band crooner who was severely injured in World War IIand hospitalized with profound neurological trauma. Cyphre has discovered that the hospital may have falsified Favorite's records and wants Angel to find out what happened, as Favorite owed a debt to Cyphre. But there's more to the case than initially appears, as the doctor who treated Johnny at the hospital (Michael Higgins) is soon found dead after Harry questions him. The detective also has some serious reservations about the enigmatic Mr. Cyphre, who is vague about the "debt" that Favorite owes to him. At the same time Angel begins to detect hints of bizarre religious underpinnings to the case. Despite his misgivings, Harry accepts Cyphre's offer of $5,000 to continue with his investigations. Angel travels to New Orleans as he digs deeper into the case, delving into a world of voodoo and Satanism and growing increasingly worried for his own safety. One informant after another that he speaks to turns up dead. Angel fears becoming a suspect in their murders and he begins experiencing terrifying dreams. One contact, Epiphany Proudfoot (Lisa Bonet), the beautiful 17-year-old daughter of a deceased voodoo priestess and, as she eventually admits, Favorite's daughter, becomes his lover...

Director: Alan Parker
Producer: Alan Marshall, Elliott Kastner
Writter: Screenplay: Alan Parker, Novel: William Hjortsberg
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
Running Time: 113min

Rating: 9.5/10


Betsy Connell (Frances Dee), a Canadian nurse, relates in a voiceover narration how she "walked with a zombie." Betsy is hired to care for Jessica Holland (Christine Gordon), the wife of Paul Holland (Tom Conway), who is the owner of a sugar plantation on the Caribbean island of Saint Sebastian. She arrives on Saint Sebastian, which is populated by the descendants of African slaves and a small white community of doctors and officials. Betsy is taken to Fort Holland, where she is told the story of how the Hollands brought the slaves to the island, learning that the statue of "Ti-Misery" in the Hollands' courtyard comes from the figurehead of a slave ship - it is an effigy of Saint Sebastian with arrows in it. That night at dinner, Betsy is joined by Paul’s half-brother Wesley Rand (James Ellison) and told about their mutual mother, Mrs Rand (Edith Barrett). While getting ready for bed, Betsy hears a woman crying from across the courtyard. She goes to investigate and ends up in the tower stairwell. She begins to ascend the stairs when she is cornered by Jessica Holland, who walks towards her like a ghost in a light robe, her eyes staring. Betsy screams for help, waking most of the household...

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Producer: Val Lewton
Writter: nez Wallace (story), Curt Siodmak, Ardel Wray
Starring:  James Ellison, Frances Dee, Tom Conway
Running Time: 69min

Rating: 9/10

No comments:

Post a Comment