Directed By: John McNaughton
Starring: Derek Cecil, Leela Savasta, Steve Bacic
The Main Review: Haeckel's Tale was an 2006 episode of the Showtime series, Masters of Horror. Based on a short story by Clive Baker, Haeckel's Tale seems like your average re-animation horror flick when you start watching. It centers around Ernst Haeckel, a medical student, who believes he can re-animate the dead. He goes to visit his sick father and stays for the night with a old farmer and his beautiful, young wife. You soon learn that this is not just a fun re-animation movie. At all.
Gosh, do I wish it was.
The movie actually begins with a widower, Ralston, coming to ask Miz Carnation, a necromancer, to bring his dead wife back to life. She agrees to do it if he listens to the harrowing tale of Haeckel and decides, at it's conclusion, that he loves his wife that much. Haeckel is introduced as the wealthy, educated medical student who wants to bring dead people back to life, because that's always a good idea. After being humiliated by not being able to bring someone back to life, Haeckel is directed to the necromancer Montesquino. Haeckel thinks Montesquino is a swindler, believing that only science can bring a person back to life and not magic.
Okay, switching story gears, Haeckel receives a letter saying his sickly father has taken a turn for the worse and would like to see him. He then abandons just being a re-animation film and steps into... Something else entirely. While on his journey, he is invited into the home of Walter and Elise Wolfram. The two of them, and their baby, are simple farmers but Elise seems to be preoccupied with something else. Haeckel spends a couple of scenes making eyes at Elise, then goes to bed.
Here's Where It Gets Spoilerific: God, I don't even know how to say this without being completely tasteless...
So, Montesquino shows up and Elise runs off into the graveyard. Walter starts crying and tells Haeckel, whose gotten out of bed by now, that Elise remarried him after her first husband's death. It's mentioned several times that no normal man can satisfy her. You hear Elise making some, uh... noise in the graveyard and Haeckel thinks "Hey, let's go see what's going on. That's a good idea. Totally." So, he goes to the graveyard with Walter in tow and sees Elise and her dead husband enjoying some Coldplay. And, then, it gets worse because you notice all the other dead men in the neighborhood seem to be waiting for their turn.
Walter gets killed as does Montesquino, who was hanging around the graveyard. Haeckel gets knocked out and, in the morning, goes back to the Wolfram's house. Elise is nursing her baby and it... It's a corpse baby. It a dead, disgusting corpse baby. And, it totally kills Haeckel. And then Elise has sex with dead Haeckel.
Needless to say, Ralston isn't exactly excited at the end of the story to bring his wife back. He actually says "That is the most horrible tale ever told," (which is a sentiment rather similar to how I feel about this movie). We find out that - Gasp! - Miz Carnation is Elise and she's totally keeping her dead lovers with her in the house, along with her awful, dead baby.
Scenes to Watch Out For: When Elise shows Haeckel her child. God, I'm still having a hard time getting over that.
Anything Else: Of course I kid when I say this was the most horrible tale ever told. Kissing Jessica Stein was way worse. (Ah, I joke, I joke.) Seriously, though.... Still a better love story than Twilight?