Ugly stereotypes, anorexic socio-political allegory, scant scares, and Bill Pullman – that’s The Serpent and the Rainbow in a nutshell. Based on Wade Davis’ novel, Wes Craven’s lame documentary-flavored horror story follows anthropologist Dennis Alan (Pullman) as he searches revolutionary Haiti for a mystery drug that reportedly raises the dead. With the help of a local psychiatric institution doctor (Mona Lisa’s Cathy Tyson), Alan undergoes a crash coarse in the island’s history, discovering a culture where 110 percent of the population practices voodoo, including an evil political leader (Zakes Mokae) who’s using zombifying white powder as a means of silencing opponents. Imagery of people being buried alive is the film’s calling card, and Craven handles his suffocating coffin-encased dream sequences with sufficient skill. Yet in every other respect, the film is either offensive or incompetent, from the sight of blacks behaving like superstitious witch doctors or the dance floor-gyrating possessed, to Pullman’s unbearably overwrought performance as the altruistic Alan, to the persistently aggravating narration, which wants to function as helpful connective tissue between scenes but instead only provides a wealth of superfluous information that neither complements nor amplifies the already dull, pointless action.