CULT FACTION

For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders (1996)

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.

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 book’s 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 book’s powers, but begins to dramatically age due to the rapid depletion of one’s 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 book’s rejuvenation spell and proceeds to create the required potion. He takes a sample of Madeline’s 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 King’s short story The Monkey, a thief steals a Cymbal-Banging-Monkey Toy from Merlin’s 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 boy’s father takes the monkey and attempts to bury it, but it finds its way back into the boys house. But before the monkey’s cymbals are struck, Merlin shows up and takes the toy back to his shop.

Related Posts
Zeiram (1991)

Directed by Keita Amemiya, Zeiram follows two intergalatic bounty hunters named Iria (Yûko Moriyama) and Bob (Masakazu Handa) who accept Read more

Willard (Blu-Ray)

Willard Stiles (Bruce Davison, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 4) is a young man with a big problem. He lives alone in a Read more

White Ghost (1988)

Written by Gary Scott Thompson and directed by BJ Davis, White Ghost (which is military code for a Vet who Read more

The Stuff (1985)

Written and directed by Larry Cohen, The Stuff mixes satire, horror and science fiction to deliver somewhat of a throwback Read more

The Courier of Death (1984)

Directed by Tom Shaw, Courier of Death follows expert deliverman J.D. Blackman (played by Joey Johnson), who alongside his partner Read more

The California Dolls (1981)

Directed by Robert Aldrich, The California Dolls (aka ...All The Marbles) follows wrestling manager Harry Sears (Peter Falk) and his Read more

Shadowchaser (1992)

Directed by John Eyres, Shadowchaser (known is some regions as Project: Shadowchaser) will look very familiar to you, especially if Read more

Retro Puppet Master (1999)

Directed by David DeCoteau, Retro Puppet Master is the seventh film in the Puppet Master franchise. It begins in 1944, Read more

RED tv show in the works

Deadline reports that another comic book property is in development at the network with an adaptation of the RED films. Read more

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

Directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund, and written by S. Craig Zahler, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a Read more

Founded Cult Faction in 2014; previously crawled out of the Black Lodge in 1976, only to find himself in the Village.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: