DirectorKenneth J. Berton ScreenplayKenneth J. Berton Duration CountryUnited States
Release date1996 (1996) CastErnest Borgnine, George Milan, Bunny Summers, John Terrence, Patricia Sansone Similar moviesThree… Extremes, Terror Tract, Haunted Tales, Gabi Ng Lagim, Mga daing sa libingan, Mga Alamat Ng Sandaigdig
Merlin s shop of mystical wonders digest
Adults remain unconvinced when the famous wizard appears in the 20th century to dazzle a modern-day audience.
Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders is a 1996 film starring Ernest Borgnine. In spite of what the title might imply, this is more of a horror film than a child-friendly fantasy movie. Borgnine plays a grandfather telling his grandson a story about the wizard Merlin opening up a store in modern-day America. He tells him two separate stories about Merlin and the store.
Two creepy "horror" films joined together by Merlin's Shop which is, in turn, introduced by a Grandpa telling the story.
Although the opening segment implies that Merlins magical interventions in peoples lives are intended to have a benign effect, in practice this proves to be far from the case.
Mst3k s10 e03 merlin s shop of mystical wonders
The first story focuses on a married couple, Jonathan and Madeline Cooper. Jonathan is a respected, though obnoxious columnist, and Madeline is desperate for a baby, as she and Jonathan have been unable to conceive. The couple visit the store, where Jonathan berates Merlin and threatens to write a negative article in the newspaper that will cause his readers to avoid the store. Merlin loans Jonathan his spell book as proof that he is actually the legendary wizard. Jonathan takes the book home and begins to toy with several of the spells. Jonathan becomes convinced of the books authenticity when an unsuccessful spell to summon a spirit results in him having a vision of Satan and causing Jonathan to breathe fire. Jonathan quickly grows excited and becomes obsessed with the books powers, but begins to dramatically age due to the rapid depletion of ones life force required to cast the spells. Jonathan attempts to transform his pet cat into a mystical servant, but it becomes demonic and proceeds to attack him. Using the spell from earlier, Jonathan breathes fire and burns the cat alive. By then, Jonathan has aged so severely that his hair is white and receded. Jonathan retrieves the books rejuvenation spell and proceeds to create the required potion. He takes a sample of Madelines blood and adds it to the mixture. Jonathan drinks the potion, but the spell backfires: Jonathan regresses into infancy. Madeline happily decides to raise her former husband as her own child.
In the second story, which bears a very close resemblance to Stephen Kings short story The Monkey, a thief steals a Cymbal-Banging-Monkey Toy from Merlins Shop, and sells it to a novelty store, where it is quickly bought as a present for a young boy. Every time the monkeys cymbals are struck, a nearby living thing dies. The boys father takes the monkey and attempts to bury it, but it finds its way back into the boys house. But before the monkeys cymbals are struck, Merlin shows up and takes the toy back to his shop.
The second segment of the film is a recut version of The Devils Gift, a 1984 film made by the same director.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 version
The film enjoys the dubious honour of being one of the most recent works to be featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, the hosts and writers of which used the sloppy editing on the second subplot, the nigh-total disconnection between the two halves of the movie, and the wildly varying tone of the film (which is presented as though it were a family-friendly fantasy, but frequently features horrific incidents, something made even more disturbing by the fact that the halves of the film are stories that a grandfather is telling a little boy) as the basis for many of the jokes. For example, a wraparound segment depicted host Mike (Michael J. Nelson) and his robot companions taking a look at an (invented) range of Ernest Borgnine childrens books, whose benign titles and presentation belied the frightful nature of the stories therein, with the exception of one which has a macabre appearance but features an innocent story. Another host segment depicted Mike turning into a baby due to his disbelief in magic.
Ernest Borgnine - Grandfather
Mark Hurtado - Grandson
George Milan - Merlin
Bunny Summers - Zurella
John Terrence - Jonathan Cooper III
Patricia Sansone - Madeline Cooper
Nicholas Noyes - Nicholas
Hillary Young - Nicholas Mother
Julia Leigh Miller - Antique Store Clerk
Ben Sussman - Jake Cosgrove
Randy Chandler - Burglar
Richelle Hurtado - Baby
Merlin: The Return (2000). Merlin and the Book of Beasts (2009). Merlin and the War of the Dragons (2008). Merlin: The Quest Begins (1998). The Sword in the Stone (1963).