Haeckel's Tale

Haeckel's Tale Haeckel's Tale

Haeckel's Tale - the story of a lost traveller who encounters the undead - is included in the Dark Delicacies collection, which was published in the US in 2005.
Originally conceived as a direct to DVD project (through Anchor Bay), Masters of Horror has now been broadcast in the US by Showtime (Haeckel's Tale premiered on 27 January 2006) with a second series following.
John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer) directed Haeckel's Tale, which stars Derek Cecil in the title role, supported by Jon Polito. Anchor Bay's DVD release is now expected in the US on 14 November 2006.
The Masters of Horror series aired in the UK on Bravo from 13 January 2006, but Anchor Bay's UK single title DVD releases have now been cancelled (see below) and we'll need to wait for the full box set...

"Corman is the ideal director for this project because his Poe pics, particularly 'Masque of the Red Death', are incredilbly stylish and definitely cinematic. Together, we will scare the bejesus out of people."

Masters Of Horror

By [ ], Masters Of Horror supplement, Daily Variety, 13 July 2005

"I know, of course it isn't filmable! I mean, I can't wait, particularly because there's talk of Roger Corman directing... I've always been fond of Roger as a person, he's always been very nice to me and I'm hoping he'll be well enough to do it and if he isn't well enough to do it then there'll be somebody else at the helm, but I said to Mick [Garris] last time we spoke, please to hold out for Roger as long as you can because he's a wonderful guy...
"It might be one of a few things that Roger chooses to do at this end of his life and I've always thought of him as a master and the fact is it's a period story and my favourite of his movies are the Poe pictures - it feels like an interesting match. And of course, he was always fond of cleavage and even Haeckel's Tale goes a little beyond..."

Rummaging Through The Toybox: Plushes, Plagues and Plaudits

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 11 August 2005 (note: full text here)

"It was, if you'll excuse my French, fucking marvellous. Haeckel's Tale is a story that I'm very proud of, and they did a magnificent job with it, particularly since it was a period piece and the FX are amazing. It's pretty intense stuff, and that pressed me to push even further with the second story, so the erotic elements in Valerie On The Stairs are probably extreme.
"I gave [Mick] that 45 page treatment and said, 'I know there are going to be things in this story that you are not going to be able to get on to the screen, primarily for financial reasons, but I want that stuff in the short story, so I gave you everything,' and I completely trust him to make the right choices as to where he's going to put the money. Mick is going to direct it, which is a real pleasure, so that's where that is right now."

Weird Fantasy

By Joe Nazzaro, Starburst, Special No 76, 2006

...other comments

Roger Corman : "Clive Barker's provocative short story suggests an opportunity to go one step further than Mary Shelley's nightmare masterpiece, Frankenstein, in suggesting how closely the erotic drive and the obsession with death are linked."

Masters Of Horror

By [ ], Masters Of Horror supplement, Daily Variety, 13 July 2005

Roger Corman : "I hurt my back, and it was very painful, and I knew that, even though I wanted to do it, I just wouldn't be able to. Incidentally, I've seen a few of the Masters episodes, and I'd like to put in a plug for one that, although it's gotten a fair amount of attention, should be talked about even more: Joe Dante's Homecoming. When Joe told me in advance what he was going to do, I said, 'That's one of the best ideas I've ever heard for a horror picture.' "

USHERed Into History

By Tom Weaver, Fangoria.com, 9 January 2006 (note - full text online at www.fangoria.com)

Mick Garris : "I kind of put together the Masters of Horror dinners. A lot of us knew each other, and some of us didn't. We thought we ought to get together, so I did it. It took a long time to get the first one together, and ever since the first one, it's been really easy because it's so much fun. We are going to be doing a Masters of Horror anthology series that some of the guys from the dinners are going to be directing. We've got great writers like Steve Niles, David Schow, and Richard Christian Matheson is adapting one of his father's stories for us. It's the ultimate horror wet dream."

Mick Garris of Riding the Bullet (Freestyle Releasing) Interview

By Daniel Robert Epstein,Ugo.com, 2003 (note - full text online at www.ugo.com)

Mick Garris : "Haekel's Tale: It's actually an adaptation of a Clive Barker short story. I did the script for it. The short story hasn't been published yet but it's coming out next month in a collection called Dark Delicacies.

Know More Mister Nice Guy

By Joshua Jabcuga ,Movie Poop Shoot.com, 29 September 2005 (note - full text online at www.moviepoopshoot.com)

John Landis : "It's really funny the way these projects began. There was this television documentary called Masters of Horror, and it was about George Romero, Tobe Hooper, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Guillermo del Toro and myself, and a whole bunch of horror movie directors. Mick Garris called everybody and said, 'Hey, we should have a dinner and call it the 'Masters of Horror Dinner!' So we met in the Valley last year: Guillermo, Tobe, myself, Sam Raimi and Carpenter, David Cronenberg was there once... a whole bunch of people, and it was very fun, because we got very silly and it was like: 'The Masters of Horror have coffee!' or 'The Masters of Horror order dessert!'
"We've done that four or five times now, with different people every time, but the good thing Garris did was he put together a deal with this company to make a series of movies called Masters of Horror - which I think is a really stupid label - where each one of us is supposed to direct a movie, so now we are doing it. They are giving us a budget of $1.5 million for each film, and with that money we can basically do anything we want, as long as it's shot in Vancouver, with the same crew. And it has to be scary, somehow!
"I'm doing the first one, and John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Sam Raimi, George Romero and Hideo Nakata are all doing one. They're trying to make it much more international now. It's an interesting deal because Anchor Bay owns the DVD rights only for the United States, so we are free to do whatever we want on everything else. So we might do a feature, cutting together two or three episodes, or something for cable television. What's fun is that because it's DVD, there's no censorship at all, so Masters of Horror is going to be pretty gruesome and outrageous."

Masters of Horror!

By [ ],(as reported at) Killer Movies.com, 11 February 2005 (note - full text online at www.killermovies.com)

John Carpenter : "It's a little series we're doing for Showtime. We each have an hour. Each of us has an hour to shoot in ten days. And the first director they got was John Landis. He's now way over budget and way over schedule. So there may not be anymore 'Masters of Horror'. He may do them in.
"Dario Argento starts next week. They pushed me later on the schedule because they're going to take all the money out of my show and put it in everybody else's... The story was written by Drew McWeeny and Scott Swan... It's called 'Cigarette Burns' and I've never seen anything else like it. It's real unique. I'll be shooting in July at some point. As I said, the first director up was John Landis. Last night I had dinner with Dario Argento. He's the second one up. They are going to kick the crew's ass so by the time I get there you know. It'll be fun to do."

John Carpenter on Masters of Horror

By [Heather Newgen],Coming Soon.net, 7 May 2005 (note - full text online at www.comingsoon.net)

Mick Garris : "It's a long story. But a couple years ago, I organized informal gatherings of genre directors for the occasional dinner together. They have been great fun. I had been trying to create a horror anthology with they guys who really know how to make scary movies, and I went to several of the veterans and asked if they would be interested. To my amazement, we got fully financed without even having a network attached, and the guys were enthusiastic about it. And then Showtime signed on, and it just suddenly came alive, thanks to my agent at CAA making the introduction to the company that provided the financing, and my producing partners, Andrew Deane and Keith Addis and Industry Entertainment, who really brought the business end all together. They have been particularly tenacious in driving the deal-making part...
"This is a 'no-rules' show. It's being produced completely independently, and as long as it can be done on time and on budget, the creative issues are in the hands of the directors. There are no commercials, and there is no real censorship. I don't really want to get into specifics at this point, but some of them even go too far for me!...
"Kim Henkel has been working with Tobe Hooper on his episode, though it looks like Tobe is going to be directing an adaptation of Richard Matheson's 'Dance of the Dead', from a screenplay by Richard Christian Matheson. Larry Cohen will be directing David Schow's 'Pick Me Up'; Roger Corman will shoot Clive Barker's 'Haeckel's Tale', which I'm adapting; Joe Dante is also working from a short story, but I forget the author's name at the moment. We're not sure which one Romero is doing, but Don Coscarelli is do Joe Lansdale's 'Incident On and Off a Country Road'. "

Mick Garris Talks With Really Scary

By Elaine Lamkin,Really Scary.com, [June] 2005 (note - full text online at www.reallyscary.com)

John Hyde (COO IDT Entertainment) : "For its high profile directors, writers and producers, Masters of Horror is a labor of love, which oftentimes results in productions that go on to become instant classics. We are proud to house Masters of Horror within our prolific IDT Entertainment companies. At the same time, we are delighted to work alongside Industry Entertainment and Nice Guy Productions as we enter the production phase of this exciting project."

Press Release

By [ ],IDT Entertainment, 3 November 2004

Andrew Deane (Industry Entertainment) : "Ever since we first brought the project to their attention, IDT Entertainment's New Arc Entertainment and IDT Entertainment Sales have been extremely supportive of Masters of Horror. As a result of IDT Entertainment's enthusiastic support, creative input and distribution prowess, we can look forward to a successful launch of Masters of Horror in the U.S. and throughout the world."

Press Release

By [ ],IDT Entertainment, 3 November 2004

Mick Garris : "Well, first off let me say about Roger Corman. We are very disappointed to announce that he will not be part of the first thirteen because of health issues. I just talked to him yesterday, and he is not going to be able to do it. He was going to do a version of Clive Barker's new story 'Haeckel's Tales' that is coming out in the Dark Delicacies Anthology. However, Lucky McKee, who directed May and The Woods, is going to join us. So we are really happy about Lucky and really sad about Roger. Roger will join us for future episodes of Masters of Horror, and yes, there will be future episodes of Masters of Horror beyond the first thirteen."

The Masters Speak From Comic Con

By Sean Clark,Dread Central, 26 July 2005 (note - full text online at www.horrorchannel.com)

Mick Garris : "I'm really excited to have McNaughton on the show. [His segment is] really a different kind of horror movie, being a period piece, set in 1832, and with a real Clive Barker kind of whacked sexuality to it. It's quite a meal, and I know that John will make it a nutritious one."

Masters/Horror: Romero Out, McNaughton In

By Tony Timpone,Fangoria, 7 September 2005 (note - full text online at www.fangoria.com)

John McNaughton : "When they called me in, the story was already chosen. Clive Barker had written the short story and gave it to Mick Garris, who wrote the screenplay. I made some notes on the script and there were a few minor changes, but it was already in good shape. I chose the actors; in fact, I brought in two actors I had worked with before. Because we shot in Vancouver, most of the cast came from Canada, and my episode was in fact the last one shot there...
"It's different from anything I've done. We have a scene in a graveyard with this naked dead woman who's surrounded by dozens of zombies. When I look at the episode, there are a number of scenes that really remind me of paintings I like, because art is a great influence in my style as a director and storyteller. So I have a whole store of paintings in my head, and I look at them when I need an influence for a certain scene."

John McNaughton Rejoins The Masters

By Nicanor Loretti,Fangoria, 27 January 2006 (note - full text online at www.fangoria.com)

Review : "Don't lie, this is the episode you have been waiting for, a genre geek's wet dream, the horror in Masters of Horror. The pedigree is damn near flawless...
"This episode should have worked like gangbusters, even with McNaughton's less than stellar résumé. Barker's storylines, unlike Stephen King's often overcome even the most inept direction, including that of Barker himself. So I find it difficult to lay blame directly on Barker, Garris or McNaughton. It seems that once again, time was the ingredient that spoiled our chef's banquet of blood. The first half of the film sets up Haeckel's arrival at the cottage where the real meat and potatoes of the plot takes place. Unfortunately, with the set up of the lead characters motivation eating up 30 minutes of runtime before even meeting the catalysts for the films climax, the introduction of the man, his wife, their backstory, the tension, the execution, the climax and the aftermath is a tall order for the final 25 minutes of any film. So dear friends, as the season ends, we'll chalk up one more episode of Masters of Horror into the 'what coulda been' category."

John McNaughton's Haeckel's Tale

By Tex Massacre,Bloody Disgusting, 5 February 2006 (note - full text online at www.bloody-disgusting.com)

Review : "Haeckel's Tale reminded me of a cross between - stay with me, now - The Redheaded Stranger, Frankenstein, and Zombie Honeymoon. And I mean that in a good way. This is not an easy story to tell and while director John McNaughton's body of work seems to have no specific signature 'style', I do think he is a better choice than (original choice) George A. Romero, whose penchant for theatrics and slapstick would probably have focused too much on the more lurid aspects of Haeckel's Tale.
"In keeping with the top-notch music and cinematography the whole first season has enjoyed, Haeckel's Tale looks and sounds great. (The editing is razor-sharp, too.) It's one of the few period pieces in the series, and as such it's an extra-special treat."

Masters of Horror - Haeckel's Tale

By Staci Wilson,About.com, February 2006 (note - full text online at http://horror.about.com)

Press Release : "We've analysed fan feedback over the last month on and off the forums and have decided on a different release strategy for the MoH Franchise. We will be commencing work on a box set for the entire series which will come out sometime in the Autumn, full details to be announced.
"As a result of this, the doubles will no longer be released as previously planned. We apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment this may cause but we feel it is the best way forward for the series and the best way to give you, the fans, the best possible package and value for money. Full details of the box set will be revealed once they are finalized."

Masters of Horror: News Update

By [ ],Anchor Bay Entertainment UK, 10 April 2006 (note - full text online at http://www.anchorbay.co.uk/)

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