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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Layaway Plan

Haeckel's Tale on IMDb

Plot Overview

hearthA 19th century gentleman John Ralston (Steve Bacic) settles himself to hear a hearth­side tale from necro­mancer Miz Carnation (Micki Maunsell) before she'll raise his sadly missed wife from the dead:

College News

Easter resurrectionwild dogMethodology is importantOnce upon a time atheist medical student Ernst Haeckel (Derek Cecil) challenged the assertion of his instructor Dr. Hauser (Gerrard Plunkett) that life & death is the sole province of God. He performed his own experiment to prove him wrong, one modeled on the work of a German Dr. Franken­stein. He was unable to reproduce the German's purported results. Further­more, he visited a road­side show of a necro­mancer Montes­quino (Jon Polito) to see him reanimate a dead cur, but he passed that off as trickery.


dream catchergreen eggharlotHaeckel's studies are inter­rupted by a post informing him of a decline in his father's health, so he sets out by foot cross-country to see him while there's still time. While taking shelter during a down­pour in a convenient necropolis, he is accosted by an old man Wolfram (Tom McBeath) who offers him shelter at his nearby house. There he meets the guy's bewitching young wife Elise (Leela Savasta) and wonders about her acceptance of life with such a poor farmer. A night­time visit by Montes­quino followed by the lady's audible screams in the distance piques the young scientist's curiosity, so he goes out to investigate. What he discovers will cause the original Ralston to flee the witch's home and the departing movie­goers to try to unsee what they'd just done witnessed. Perhaps along the lines of novelist T.C. Boyle: “he could see it now, the alien digging in the cemetery with his shovel and digging, digging, digging till he had her dead body dripping beetles and grubs and he threw it over his shoulder and came right back and laid her out on the bed to be his bride like in The Evil Dead or one of those movies, he couldn't remember because they were all the same” (213).


card playersThis creepy story lends itself to comparison with one of Kenny Rogers's songs concerning a chance encounter with “The Gambler” on a train bound for nowhere. He offered his fellow passenger the advice that “the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.” The refrain goes:

You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This wisdom of the gambling man's repertoire is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

We have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any,” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” Miz Carnation sticks to her refusal to do any reanimation unless her would-be client loves his departed sooo much that he still wants her to go through with it after he's heard her tale.

We have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em.” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. A despondent couple must cut their losses after they see the necromancer won't help them out of charity and they can't afford his fee.

dwarf goatWe have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” Elise after having fulfilled her Faustian bargain with the farmer for a year up and walks away despite his pleas.

We have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” Ralston done flees the premises rightly calling the witch's tale “an affront to God.”

The gambler gave the advice:

nursing babyYou never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

Miz Carnation makes her guests wait until after the baby's done feeding before they will “play.”

Production Values

” (Episode aired Jan 27, 2006) was directed by John McNaughton. It was written by Mick Garris and Clive Barker. It stars Derek Cecil, Micki Maunsell and Jon Polito. Leela Savasta exuded sexuality raising the tale's interest a whole notch. Character actor Jon Polito portrayed a show­man with grand panache. The acting was generally good.

The film was certified TVMA. It was filmed on location in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is saturated with dark atmosphere, has exceptional makeup, and delivers horror in spades. Runtime is 59 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This one is like to cure one of any temptation to dabble in the dark arts. There must be a demand for horror or else they wouldn't have made it. It does deliver that.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: For horror fans in the mood. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture was quoted from the Authorized Version, Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Boyle, T. Coraghessan. The Harder They Come. Copyright © 2015 by T. Coraghessan Boyle. New York: Harper­Collins Pub., First edition. Print.