From the earliest days of the Varèse Sarabande CD catalog comes a Deluxe Edition of an oft-requested horror score by Brad Fiedel: The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988).
The Serpent and the Rainbow was directed by horror icon Wes Craven, starring Bill Pullman as a doctor sent to Haiti to investigate a possible drug used in Haitian Vodou to create a real-world zombie. Filmed on location in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the film has been lauded for its authentic setting, grounded take on the Vodou/zombie myth, and Craven’s effective horror atmospherics—including a memorable and moody score by Brad Fiedel.
The mid to late 1980s was arguably Fiedel’s most prolific and influential period. Working from his home studio, the composer used cutting-edge synthesizers and samplers to create his own, highly personalized sonic atmospheres, with custom-made colors and a mature tone that helped distinguish some of the biggest hits of the period (The Terminator, Fright Night, The Big Easy, The Accused).
For The Serpent and the Rainbow, Fiedel created hypnotic soundscapes from his keyboards, including wood and metallic percussion elements, synthesized hawk screams and choral samples. He perfectly evoked the Haitian setting and Vodou aesthetic while providing a disturbing blanket of doom and dread—but also a unique sense of almost uplifting melody and spirituality.
This 2CD set Deluxe Edition features, on disc one, a new program of Fiedel’s expanded score, restored from film mixes in the Universal Pictures vaults by Mike Matessino; and, on disc two, the original 1988 Varèse Sarabande soundtrack album with a bonus selection of additional music by Nigerian drummer and recording artist Michael Babatunde Olatunji. Some of the Olatunji selections are heard in the film; others were part of a rejected score. Liner notes are by Randall D. Larson, with new interview comments by Fiedel.