Masters Of Horror - "Haeckel's Tale"

haeckels_talerating-1.5"Clive Barker's Haeckel's Tale", as they like to sell it, is a real piece of shit.

John McNaughton's involvement is a selling point of the episode, yet Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer was eons ago and seems like a fluke in his career, the odd interesting and visceral movie amongst a sea of crap. More recent is McNaughton's Wild Things and a series of other second-rate unknown pictures. Why he was invited to be involved, based solely on the weight of Henry, is a question I will always ask myself... Well, I would say "whenever I watch this episode," but I will never watch it again.

Clive Barker's involvement is no great selling point either, even if it's just based on a short story, as he is something of an incredible hack and the few decent ideas he's had have come more out of stylization and concept design than execution, invention, or any semblance of interesting writing. If this is any representation of his work, he should have his ability to write revoked.

Though I imagine much of the script's blame is on "Masters Of Horror" creator Mick Garris, whose tin ear for a worthwhile plot comes through yet again in this turd, which is on the same level as Orgy Of The Dead, nothing more than a softcore porn with zombified people standing around to watch the sex act.

In fact, as stupid as it is, I'm surprised anyone bothered writing a script. McNaughton shows much more similarity to Wild Things in this movie than anything like Henry's dark documentarian style. It's a seemingly Victorian fable that quickly takes a turn toward the too-colorful and too-sexual, barely having enough material to even fill the time of the alotted show, instead padding it out with long sections of nothing.

If this episode teaches you anything it's that John McNaughton is severely overrated, Clive Barker can't fucking write worth a shit, and Mick Garris should only perform in a production capacity, because he's a shitty writer, mediocre director, and bad fucking judge of worthwhile story.

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