Masters of Horror: Season 1, Episode 12

Haeckel's Tale (27 Jan. 2006)

TV Episode  -   -  Horror | Thriller
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 2,009 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 18 critic

While on his way to see his sick father, a man takes shelter with an elderly man and his young wife but soon discovers their horrible secret.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
John Ralston
Micki Maunsell ...
...
Dr. Hauser (as Gerrard Plunkett)
...
Ernst Haeckel
Pablo Coffey ...
Chester
...
Warren Kimmel ...
Faron
...
Rachel
...
Young Woman
Tom McBeath ...
Wolfram
Leela Savasta ...
Christopher DeLisle ...
Elise's Dead Husband
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Storyline

In the nineteen century, a man seeks help with a necromancer, asking her to revive his beloved wife. The woman advises him that the process could be dangerous, since she can bring the body back, but not necessarily the spirit and proposes him to listen to Haeckel's story to help in his decision. Ernst Haeckel is a cocky medical student fascinated with resuscitation. When the illness of his father becomes terminal, he travels to visit him and in his journey he meets the necromancer Montesquino, who claims to have the ability to bring the dead back to life. While preparing to spend the night nearby a cemetery, the old man Wolfram offers him shelter in his home, telling him that it would be very dangerous to stay near the necropolis. Haeckel accepts the invitation and meets his young wife Elise Wolfram. He feels seduced by the sexy woman, and sooner he finds her eternal love for her deceased husband. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Horror | Thriller

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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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27 January 2006 (USA)  »

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Trivia

George A. Romero was originally going to direct, but couldn't fit it in his schedule. Then Roger Corman was approached to helm the episode, but health issues came up and he was then replaced by John McNaughton. See more »

Goofs

The supposedly dead body that Chester brought to Ernst clearly shows breathing chest movements. See more »

Soundtracks

Hush, Little Baby
(traditional)(uncredited)
Performed by Leela Savasta
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User Reviews

 
Necromance in the Necropolis
3 December 2006 | by (Hellfudge, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

'Haeckel's Tale,' one of the last "Masters of Horror" episodes to be released on DVD, is a strange concoction of contradiction. Plot-wise, the film begins on a serious note but dives further and further into B-level silliness; visually, the costumes and sets run the gamut from impressive accuracy to jaw-dropping cheapness; the FX have a slapdash obviousness (the puppet-dog in the basket to the 'budget zombies'); and finally, it doesn't seem typical of any party involved (which, in this case, really isn't a good thing). John McNaughton, pinch-hitting for George Romero, directs a script by Mick Garris, based on a short story by Clive Barker...it's hard to imagine where such a fine teaming would go wrong, but it does. After the introduction of a poorly conceived (and unnecessary) framing device, we focus on Ernest Haeckel, a young upstart med student with delusions of Frankenstein-ian grandeur; on the way to see his ailing father, he comes across an old man and his attractive bride, who has a strange fixation with the residents of the local cemetery. Even for a 60-minute episode, the plot feels stretched, and the twists and revelations run the gamut from dumb to simply insulting (the ending being the worst offense). While the faux-Hammer period setting and costumes would have made this one of MOH's more ambitious episodes, McNaughton and Garris ultimately transform a promising premise into the type of Saturday-afternoon cheese-fest Vampira would be right at home hosting.


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