Friday, November 26, 2010

1003: Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders

MST3k, Experiment #1003

In a world where magic only exists, anything can happen. Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders.

This is a movie within a TV movie within a made-for-video movie. A boy is watching TV when a power outage forces him to talk to his grandpa for entertainment. His grandpa, a former screenwriter, re-tells an old screenplay about Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders. In it, Merlin sets up an enchanting store in a modern-day strip mall, accompanied by his gleeful wife and gnomes, snakes, dragons, etc. From this framing device, we then see two stories about people's encounters with items from the shop. The first sequence (created for this film but looking like an episode of "Tales From The Darkside") involves a pompous, cranky newspaper critic who begins casting spells using Merlin's spell book. The second story, an edited version of the full length movie, The Devil's Gift, is about an evil monkey doll (you know, the wicked grin and the cymbals?) who kills every time his hands clap. Merlin of the 1990s is disjointedly tied-in with the 1980 movie.

This is one of the clumsiest, most "thrown together" film ever riffed on this show. It's a pretty fun episode, but it actually kind of just fades out of memory most of the time.

This doesn't have anything really to do with the episode, but the reporter in the first part of the movie is listed on IMDb as "John Terrence" ... Anyone who is a LOST fan (such as I am) might remember him as "John Terry" who played Christian Shephard (Jack's dad). Why he went by (what I can only guess is) his full name for about 6 performances in the very middle of his career is beyond me. Perhaps he knew movies like this would be schlock, so he decided to not taint his name. I don't know... but it's definitely him.

I absolutely love the first host segment, in which Crow and Servo review each other. It's very classic and very funny.

That's all I really have to say about this episode. Thank you.

Favourite line: "Otherwise I won't continue to not have your children."

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