"Haeckel's Tale" is the twelfth episode of the first season of the Showtime television series Masters of Horror, based on a story by Clive Barker and directed by John McNaughton. It first aired on the 27th January 2006.
The episode features an original score by The Residents, which the group have released separately on a number of compilations of their soundtrack work.
The story mainly concerns Ernst Haeckel (Derek Cecil), who is trying to follow in the footsteps of Victor Frankenstein, but is unsuccessful with his attempts to create life. He learns of Montesquino, a necromancer, but believes that the man is a charlatan. Learning of his father's ill condition, he travels and encounters Walter Wolfram (Tom McBeath) and his wife Elise (Leela Savasta). Haeckel is oddly drawn to Elise and vice versa. Wolfram seems undisturbed by the attraction but when unearthly shrieks echo outside, Elise is drawn to them. Haeckel also notices that Elise is caring for a baby.
Elise finally goes outside and the despondent Wolfram notes that he can't satisfy his wife, although he has sold everything he has to take care of her. Haeckel goes after Elise and follows the shrieks to a nearby necropolis. There he discovers that Elise is having sexual consort with her dead husband and the other resurrected corpses. Wolfram has paid Montesquino to raise the dead so that they can satisfy Elise. When Wolfram tries to take her home, the corpses kill him. Haeckel confronts Montesquino and demands that he make it stop. The necromancer says that he cannot, and an angry Haeckel shoots him as he tries to escape. The dying Montesquino shoves Haeckel into a tombstone, knocking him out.
The next morning, Haeckel wakes up and returns to the cabin, where he finds Elise nursing the baby: a corpse-child, the son of her "true" husband. The baby rips out Haeckel's throat. The next scene takes place again at the necropolis, except it is the dead Haeckel with whom Elise now has sex.
The Residents first released an extract from the score (the main theme) on their 2006 compilation Best Left Unspoken... Volume One, followed by the end credit music in 2009 on the compilation Ten Little Piggies.
The score for Haeckel's Tale was first released in its entirety in 2010 alongside their score for the documentary film Strange Culture on a Robot Selling Device compilation entitled Film and Video Series - Volume 2. This compilation would again be reissued (also featuring The Rivers of Hades) in 2015 as a two-disc set on Klanggalerie.
Haeckel's Tale (Ten Film Cues)
- Haeckel's Tale Cue 1 (0:28)
- Haeckel's Tale Cue 2 (2:16)
- Haeckel's Tale Cue 3 (1:33)
- Haeckel's Tale Cue 4 (1:06)
- Haeckel's Tale Cue 5 (The Graveyard) (9:19)
- Haeckel's Tale Cue 6 (1:30)
- Haeckel's Tale Cue 7 (1:04)
- Haeckel's Tale Cue 8 (3:29)
- Haeckel's Tale Cue 9 (1:58)
- Haeckel's Tale Cue 10 (Credits) (1:21)