Mystery Science Theater 3000: MERLIN'S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS
February 28, 2018 1:00 PM - Season 10, Episode 3 - Subscribe

"In a world where magic truly exists, anything can happen." What if... someone made a movie like The Princess Bride, except instead of Peter Falk he could only get Ernest Borgnine, and instead of a charming and witty tale he had two mediocre made-for-TV fantasy-horror movies, and the kid instead of going to sleep with dreams of high adventure and romance was instead left with nightmares of demonic familiars and cursed deadly toy monkeys? In a world where schlock truly exists anything can happen. I love this one, it's all so bizarre and inexplicable. It's easy to make fun of Ernest Borgnine (hell, I do it too) but he had a long career and seemed like a good guy. In subplot land Pearl performs an experiment on Mike and co. for the Mad Science accreditation board. Taste the rainbow of fruit pain! Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders is available on YouTube. Premiered September 12, 1999. By the way: this was the last new episode of MST3K to appear on the Sci-Fi channel, actually showing after the series conclusion. Ten episodes left.


Satellite News - Mighty Jack's Episode Review - War of the Colossal Fan Guide - Annotated MST3K - TVTropes

Mary Jo Pehl wrote the entry for the online ACEG, which BTW contains a very long and funny movie synopsis:
In just about every movie we've ever done, there's always a moment upon which we writers fixate. We will go back and forth over the same few seconds of movie, frame by frame, and we'll dissect and discuss the moment. This will happen in each of the four or five viewings of the particular film; and each time we'll have a long discussion, casting theories and supposing explanations for the odd moment. Or we'll simply be fascinated by the moment. To wit: "Rock and roll martian..." We laughed very hard, we played it over and over again, and there was a lot of discussion about what the kid was saying. It sounds like he could be saying "F***ing old Martian..." It seems to be such a pure kid moment -- how did they get it on film?
We also loved the psychic taking David to task so virulently. "MY GOD, DAVID!" This was a close second in our choice of stingers. Man, working at MST3K was a fun job...
Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt
Rotten Tomatoes (Critics N/A, Viewers 16%) - Wikipedia - TVTropes
IMDB (Made for video, 1996, 2.3 stars)
"Two creepy 'horror' films joined together by Merlin's Shop which is, in turn, introduced by a Grandpa telling the story."
Directed and written by Kenneth J. Berton. Starring Ernest Borgnine, George Milan and Bunny Summers.

Check out the movie "poster" (really package box, it was made for video) for the movie on that Wikipedia link. That is what you call polishing a turd, folks.
posted by JHarris (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. This is one of the few episodes I consider unwatchable.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:57 PM on February 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

It's basically two episodes of Tales From the Crypt, slightly re-written to be acceptable for kids.

You know, Ernest Borgnine did some really good acting at one point.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:00 PM on February 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

It's framing devices all the way down.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 4:32 PM on February 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ah yes, Ernest Borgnine, McHale of McHale's Navy, officially the 'star' but more the straight man to excellent comedic turns by Tim Conway, Joe Flynn, Carl Ballantine and every other comic actor they could put in a naval uniform. (I grew up in a middle-class L.A. valley neighborhood where the nearest Celebrity Home was that of Tim Conway, so I'm a couple degrees plus three blocks from the Original Borg of Nine).
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:40 PM on February 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

It's basically two episodes of Tales From the Crypt, slightly re-written to be acceptable for kids.

I actually seem to recall reading somewhere that at least one of them—presumably the Single Dad segment—was originally some kind of thinly-veiled Christian moralizing-disguised-as-entertainment (moralztainment?) before it got Borgninified.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:28 AM on March 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

AAAH forgot to make the comment! MST Club's starting NOW at come on and see!
posted by JHarris at 4:03 PM on March 1, 2018

The monkey segment was edited together from The Devil's Gift. You can watch original ending, but it's probably not really worthwhile. (Instead of a last minute save, the screen cuts to black and you hear a chime and then an explosion).
posted by ckape at 8:13 PM on March 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

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