A Note from Derek: As you may notice, at least one of the pictures used in this post is from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode of the same name. This is because, although we watched this film completely un-riffed, finding any pictures without the familiar silhouette is (not-so-)surprisingly difficult. It's like people don't recognize this film for the cinematic genius that it clearly is.
This week, Derek and Larry started their month of anthology horror films for October with a flick Derek first discovered on Mystery Science Theater 3000: the Ernest Borgnine tour de force, Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders!
|Oh, you want a story? I'll give you a story, you little bastard!|
A small boy wanders into Merlin's shop, only to be accosted by a relentlessly cheerful Zurella. When the boy's mother comes in to get him, she is followed by Madeline (Patricia Sansone), a woman who is clearly trapped in a loveless marriage with her sterile and self-important husband, Jonathan Cooper III (John Terrence), a critic for the local Penny Saver who acts like he works for the goddamn New York Times.
|Ladies and gentlemen...LEON REDBONE!|
Jonathan agrees, and he takes Madeline and the book home. Madeline, upset because Jonathan blames their inability to conceive a child together, skulks off to pout in their bedroom, while Jonathan goes to his office in the garage to read the spellbook and mock it relentlessly.
He quickly discovers that the spells are real, accidentally setting his desk on fire in the process, and when he tries to turn his cat into a familiar, he burns it to a crisp, as well. Friggin' muggle.
Chugging the potion, Jonathan goes a little too far and is turned into a baby. Madeline, who only wanted a baby, seems okay with this and decides that she will raise the baby to hopefully not be half-assed blowhard critic for the local paper.
The grandson interrupts Grandpa Borgnine's rambling to point out that there was no toy monkey in this story, so Grandpa pretends like he did that on purpose and starts a new story, making sure to cram a monkey in there, no matter how pointless it will be.
Anyway, Michael loves his new monkey, and makes it sing the haunting ballad, "Rock and Roll Martian". Over and over again. Really, it can't be done enough.
|ROCK AND ROLL MARTIAN...ROCK AND ROLL MARTIAN...|
David, suitably concerned his wife bought their some a murder monkey toy, consults with a psychic friend (not endorsed by Dionne Warwick), who says she thinks the monkey is posessed by Satan himself, and the only way to get rid of it is to do an exorcism.
After a near-miss between Michael and a car, David tries to sneakily stuff the monkey into a bag so he can take it to the desert and bury it. Will he be rid of the monkey? Or will it somehow find its way back to them? You'll have to tune in to find out!
|Curious George is only curious about one thing: MURDER.|
Larry is of two minds about it. He agrees that it was bad, but he also thinks it was fun to make fun of. He may have been doing this too long. One thing he certainly agrees on is that "Rock and Roll Martian" should sweep the nation.
So put on your wizard robe, give up on joy, and listen to this week's episode!