I never realized how gay Wes Craven’s 1988 film The Serpent and the Rainbow is because I never managed to sit through it and care about it. After trying again, this is what I came up with. Serpent=devil and sin (Bible thumpers love to damn gays to hell). Serpent=euphemism for wiener (Gays love wieners). Rainbow=gay (No explanation necessary).
Star Bill Pullman’s name sounds like the mating call of a gay Cro-Magnon named Bill pulling his caveman honey by the back hair into his den of inequity: “Bill…pull…man!” Plus, Bill himself is sucked blatantly into a filthy dirty hole by his crotch, and a sweaty black dude straps him to a chair and raves about his pretty white face before going after his scrotum in this subliminal gay porn.
The Serpent and the Rainbow was like Wes Craven’s attempt to distance himself from the man of my dreams and do something completely new and horrifying. He takes us to Haiti for nonstop bar gossip while throwing every possible voodoo cliché at us. It’s like the gay version of Angel Heart.
There are jaguars, chickens, snakes, spiders, scorpions, and goats; everything God worshippers hope and fantasize gay sex is. Bill Pullman’s hunt for a zombie drug that will have you acting as comatose as a gym bunny at a circuit party leads to only one zombie—in Bill’s dreams—when he screams in terror at the sight of a female bride.
In fact, what makes The Serpent and the Rainbow so not scary is that after about a half hour, you start to realize every horrifying circumstance that Bill faces turns out to be either a dream or an hallucination. So by the time he has sex with a woman, you’re like, “Oh yeah. This is the biggest nightmare of all so far. Yawn.”
And for as much as Wes wanted to distance himself from A Nightmare on Elm Street, the ending is a total homage to his classic film. The horror is just magically gone as the main character steps through a door into a bright sunny day and another character basically says, “Isn’t this a bright sunny day?” followed by “Oh! Look at the pretty rainbow!” (Okay, I made up that second part).