Mystery Science Theater 3000

Season 10 Episode 13

Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders

Aired Unknown Sep 12, 1999 on Comedy Central

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • "Remember to belive in magic, or else I'll kill you!"


    The wonders of Merlin come to present day as he opens of shop filled with heart's desire. Now this sounds a movie fun for the whole family, but the truth is, it isn't! Yes, for most of the flick, there's a monkey of doom that terilizies a small family! And I bet you're asking yourself "Where did this evil monkey stuff come from"? Well these scenes are actually from the director's older film, The Devil's Gift that was incorporated here for some unknown reason. From 1995, Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders which really should have been called Merlin's Shop of Mystical Horrors, but it's not, it's Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders!

    Man, what kind of movie was that? A family film goes horribly wrong? That's not good! While not the side splitting I was expecting from this, the riffing is widely funny for the most part. I liked the grandpa quips at the beginning, as well as the riffs aimed at the monkey. They help prove the real heart of this flick. I loved the host segments, like Mike's transformation into a baby and Ernest Borgnine's Children Books review. These segments take the cake and give this a higher grade.

  • Grampa Borgnine, no!

    Nothing better than a chilling horror story to lull an innocent child to sleep...unless there's TWO terrifying stories! Ernest Borgnine, slumming in a huge sweater vest (that the Bots guess is concealing a sea turtle) plays the Grandpa, a washed-up TV writer who recalls some of his "Amazing Stories" reject scripts for his grandson's bedtime stories. Not only are the tales horribly scarring for a kid, but they're eight kinds of lousy. The first involves an egocentric reporter who tries out Merlin's spells (and ends up flambaying the cat), and the second involves a homicidal monkey toy out to kill a family (so, why does Merlin have it in his shop?) It's great fodder for the crew.

    Host segments are good, starting off with Pearl's experiment to give Tom absolute power and see what happens. Of course, it corrupts him, and he delivers a dictator-balcony speech to his subjects, Crow and Mike. "And give me your cookies, and I won't have to kill you!"
  • Imposing Gandalf type walks around looking angry.

    Legend has it that the wizard Merlin saw dragons wrestling in a pit where they were going to set the foundations of Camelot castle. He then predicted that Arthur would become a great king. Dragons are still part of important insignia in the United Kingdom-- for instance, in the flag of Wales and in the 'three dragons' emblem in England.

    That whole story has nothing to do with the movie. I just pointed that out because this movie has nothing to do with Merlin-- I thought I'd be fair.

    Why Merlin would come back just to *open up a store* is beyond me. If you need to do that to restore magic to this world... you're not much of a magician, are you?

    Murky sound and muddy-looking film quality plague the movie from beginning to end. The scratches and skips make it even more difficult to see what is going on. Not that anything really is, to begin with.

    The villain is an evil monkey that claps its cymbals and brings death. Why somebody didn't just go into the shop and beat the daylights out of the monkey with a sledgehammer, is beyond me.

    Also ridiculous is the idea that someone looking like Merlin could walk around and nobody would know off the bat something was very, very wrong. Even today, there are few places where a person in that get-up could just blend in without being noticed immediately.

    Mike and the 'Bots try to deal with all this trauma as best they can.

    This is the last original episode of the show ever made.

    We need them now more than ever.
  • The movie features Ernest Borgnine as a grandfather babysitting for his grandson. They are watching a scary movie on the TV when the power goes out. So it is up to Grandpa Borgnine to save the day by telling the boy a scary story he wrote years ago.

    Wow where to begin with this episode. So many great bits. You got Ernest Borgnine obviously in need of some quick cash, that or parts really dried up, cameo-ing as Grandpa. You also have the smarmy nasty newspaper writer who can either save or trash a business into oblivion with a few strokes of his poison pen. Then you got henpecked Merlin. You\'ve also got a very out of place story line of a killer cymbal monkey that is at least 10 years older footage than the rest of the film. What do you get when you add all this up and toss in Mike and the bots? A great episode of MST3k.
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