Look, my reviews have destroyed whole cities!
  — Tom Servo, as Cooper

Remember to believe in magic... or I'll KILL YOU!
  — Crow T. Robot, as Merlin

The Movie


Merlin himself

The film opens on a married couple, Jonathan Cooper, a newspaper columnist, and his wife Madeline. Madeline is desperate for a baby, as she and Jonathan have been unable to conceive. The couple visit Merlin's store, where Jonathan berates Merlin and threatens to write a negative article in the newspaper. 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.

The Evil Monkey from Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders

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 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 attacks 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. He finds a rejuvenation spell and proceeds to create the required potion, which includes a sample of Madeline's blood. He drinks the potion, but the spell backfires, regressing Jonathan into infancy. Madeline happily decides to raise her former husband as her own child.

In the second story, 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. Before the monkey's cymbals are struck again, Merlin shows up and takes the toy back to his shop.[1]


  • The film's second story, involving the demonic toy monkey, are re-used scenes from the director's previous 1984 film The Devil's Gift which, in turn, seems to have been heavily based on the short story "The Monkey" by Stephen King, though it does not give any form of credit to King.
  • The old cartoon the kid is watching is a 1935 animated short film called Balloon Land.
  • The anime movie seen in this film is The Adventures of Ultraman.

The Episode

Host Segments

  • Bobo on the SOL

    Prologue: The gang on the SOL are into 1920s college pranks. Mike is swallowing goldfish; Tom is stuck in a phone booth with a bunch of other Toms; and Crow T. Robot is flag-pole sitting.
  • Segment One: Pearl receives orders from the Institute of Mad Science for an experiment, which is to give Servo complete power and authority over the others. Before Pearl can even finish her hypothesis, Servo has made himself autocratic ruler of the SOL. However, Pearl adds a variant to the experiment: fire ants in the test subject's underwear, which causes Servo to return his power to Mike.

"Give me your cookies, good people, and I will NOT have you killed!"


  • Segment Two: Servo and Crow review each other. Things degenerate and both are panned.
  • Segment Three: Servo, using a bogus magic book, accidentally turns Mike into an adult baby but Mike doesn't realize it. Mike makes a present for Servo, and asks him to 'do the honors', leaving Servo to scream 'NO!!' and flee.
  • Segment Four: Mike & the Bots browse through the series of Ernest Borgnine children’s books, which is a bit disturbing.
  • Segment Five: Pearl sends an evil monkey up to the SOL: Bobo; back in Castle Forrester, Brain Guy is trying to "accidentally" knock Bobo into a paper bag.
  • Stinger: ROCK N' ROLL MARTIAN! [2]

MST3K cast


  • Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders was the third episode produced for Season 10, but due to last-minute legal complications, it went un-aired until after the official series finale, Diabolik.
  • According to Mary Jo Pehl, there were two choices for "The Stinger": the "Rock N' Roll Martian" scene and the psychic lady yelling "My God, David!". They chose the former because, to them, it sounded more like "F***ing Old Martian" rather than "Rock N' Roll Martian."

Obscure References

  • "Is there any cheaper vodka than Popov?"
Popov is a brand of vodka made by a British multinational drinks company. Its appeal is mainly the low price, but there are cheaper vodkas.
  • "Larry 'Bud' Melman in drag!"
Larry "Bud" Melman is a character played by Calvert DeForest on Late Night with David Letterman.
  • "I am who am the wise guy."
"I am who I am" is God's reply to Moses during the encounter of the burning bush.[3] The reference is made when thunder is heard in the movie, and the word "thunder" is often used as a metaphor in the Bible for the voice of God.[4]
  • "Oh wait, this was my spec script for The Rookies!"
The Rookies is an ABC police drama that aired from 1972 to 1976.
  • "On a starry night..." "This guy took his life, as lovers often do."
"You took your life, as lovers often do" is from the 1972 song "Vincent" by Don McLean. It is often erroneously titled after its opening refrain, "Starry, Starry Night".
  • "(gasp) Leon Russell!"
Leon Russell was a pianist and session musician, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Merlin.
  • "Now to summon Dick Weber's split pick-up."
Dick Weber was a ten-pin bowling professional and a founding member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA). Along with Don Carter, Weber is widely regarded as professional bowling's first superstar. A split is a situation in ten-pin bowling wherein scoring a spare is often referred to as a "killer shot".
  • "Meow, meow...Safe! Meow, meow..VERY safe!"
Mr. Cooper force-feeding his cat Miffy prompts Servo to reference the scene from Marathon Man where the escaped Nazi dentist "Szell the White Angel" forcibly drills a hole into main protagonist Thomas Levy's tooth. All the while Szell asks him the disturbing question: "Is it safe? Is it very safe?"
  • "He was drawn by Dave Berg!"
Cartoonist Dave Berg was an American cartoonist who is best remembered for The Lighter Side of..., a regular feature in Mad magazine.
  • "Riff Raff at home."
Riff Raff is a character from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • "Now, if it was 'Beware of Daryl Dragon', I could relate."
Daryl Dragon was an American musician and songwriter, known as "Captain" from the pop musical duo Captain & Tennille with his then-wife, Toni Tennille. Dragon's familiar image and stage name came from his time as a keyboard player with The Beach Boys from 1967 to 1972. Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love gave him the nickname "Captain Keyboard", and it stuck; Dragon began wearing a nautical captain's hat to go along with the name.
  • "Love will keep us together." "I will, I will, I will..."
Lyrics from the song "Love Will Keep Us Together", which was covered in 1975 by Captain & Tennille. The mother in this scene vaguely resembles Toni Tennille, mainly because of her hair.
  • "Do that to me one more time."
Lyrics from the 1979 song "Do That to Me One More Time" performed by Captain & Tennille.
  • "I'm gonna break things off with Nimue."
The Lady of the Lake, also known as Nimue (among other names), is a name or a title used by several fairy-like enchantresses in the Matter of Britain, the body of medieval literature and mythology associated with the legend of King Arthur. They play pivotal roles in many stories, including providing Arthur with the sword Excalibur, eliminating Merlin, raising Lancelot after the death of his father, and helping to take the dying Arthur to Avalon.
  • "So I'm *not* getting the Intellivision?!"
The Intellivision is an early home video game console.
  • "Killdozer!"
Killdozer is a short story by Theodore Sturgeon about a bulldozer that develops a violent mind of its own. In 1974, it was adapted as a made-for-TV movie. It would later provide the name for an 80s-90s noise rock band and a real life rampage in 2004 by Marvin Heemeyer.
  • "I got Tang and Bugles!"
Tang is a powdered orange-flavored drink made by Kraft Foods and marketed in the 60s as "what the astronauts drink". Bugles are a corn snack made by General Mills.
  • "I'm gonna buy an Ann Jillian poster."
Ann Jillian is an actress who was a popular sex symbol during the early 1980s.
  • "I'm going where the sun keeps shining/'thru the pouring rain."
Lyrics from the 1966 song "Everybody's Talkin' (Echoes)" by singer-songwriter Fred Neil, best known for the cover version by Harry Nilsson used in the film Easy Rider.
  • "I gotta go! They just got Barb Wire at Blockbuster!"
Barb Wire is a 1996 action film starring Pamela Anderson which Gramercy Pictures chose to promote over Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie. Blockbuster is a now-nearly-defunct chain of home video rental stores.
  • "What are you doing, Dave?"
A quote by the HAL 9000 computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey whose unblinking eye resembles the evil toy monkey's blank stare.
  • "In the fields of barley... duh duh duh... in the fields of gold."
A very offbeat version of the Sting song "Fields of Gold".
  • "It was all one movie!"
Tom describes "another not-pieced-together" Ernest Borgnine movie which incorporates elements from Marty, The Dirty Dozen and McHale's Navy, adding in an evil monkey. In the end Tom says, "I think it was called Airwolf" (which is a TV show co-starring Borgnine).

Memorable Quotes

Pearl [introducing the movie]: I invite you to suffer through today's movie. It's called Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders, and it's a delightful Bambi romp through a flowery fairy land of happy, harmless, fru-fru family fun for the whole family of all ages... or IS IT!? Taste the rainbow of fruit pain!
[a bolt of lightning knocks the power out]
Grandpa: Uh-oh!
Crow [as Grandpa]: We better eat all the ice cream!
[In the dark sky, a single star flares brightly before going dim again]
Servo [as the star][straining] Twinkle! [grunts] That's all I got.
[Young Nicholas and his mother await the mysterious introduction to Merlin at his shop, where a fog creeps slowly across the floor.]
Mike: Merlin sends in his trained flatulence to scout the room.
Cooper[snidely] Allow me to introduce myself.
Servo [as Cooper]: I'm Bob Jackass.
[Cooper and Madeline proceed to leave Merlin's shop after his warning Cooper about using any of the spells in his spellbook.]
Servo [as Cooper]: Look, my reviews have destroyed whole cities!
[Cooper has inadvertently given himself "dragon's breath" as a side effect of a summoning spell, and subsequently set his basement on fire.]
Mike: Clearly, Merlin has brought good into the world!
[Novice magician Cooper is force-feeding a potion to his cat Miffy with a dropper.]
Servo [as Miffy]: Meow, meow... safe! Meow, meow... very safe!
[Aged with magic use, Cooper infuses his cat with an evil spirit and then fire-breathes on it to stop its attacks.]
Servo [as Madeline]: Honey? You okay down there?
Mike [as Cooper]: Well, I got old and roasted the cat alive with my breath, but I'm fine!
[Merlin's wife Zurella orders him to retrieve the evil cymbal-monkey toy.]
Merlin: Don't I get a kiss?
Zurella: You'll get a lot more than that if you don't get out there and find that thing! Now, go!
Mike: So, she threatened him with sex?
[David's son is watching a Japanese cartoon on TV.]
Mike: Why, here's something else Satan created: Japanimation!
Servo: It's the anime version of Peter Rabbit.
[David is attempting to escape from a crack in the earth created by the evil toy monkey.]
David: God help me!
Servo [as God]: Sorry, Unitarian. According to you, I'm in the butterflies and the sun, and I'm just a vague, benevolent force. [muttering] You're on your own.
Crow [as Merlin]: I'm going to hit the mystical can.
. . .
Crow [as Merlin]: Remember to believe in magic... or I'll kill you.
Mike [as Merlin, who is standing still nodding to himself while looking around the room]: I did a good job painting this room
Crow: And so, Billy, the little boy who looks just like you, went through terrible, irredeemable grief!
Servo [as the kid]: No, Grandpa Borgnine, leave light and hope for me! Please!
Crow [as Grandpa Borgnine]: Get out from behind that cushion, Billy! It gets worse!
[Merlin is giving Cooper sage advice.]
Merlin: Heed my words....
Mike [as Merlin]: ...munch my shorts.
[Cooper is "reviewing" Merlin's shop.]
Cooper: Do you know who I am? I am the supreme being!
Servo: Clapton?
Cooper: I chew places like this up and spit them into the toilet.
Mike[laughs] Why?
[Merlin is practically purring to Madeline.]
Merlin: Ohh, Mrs. Cooper...
Mike [as Merlin]: fine!
[A burglar alarm goes off, as a seedy looking man runs off into the alley.]
Crow : Merlin was a thieving crack head, who fenced VCR's to feed his habit.
[A kid looks at the front of Merlin's shop as the movie goes into slow motion.]
Servo [as the Kid][slowly] Loooooooook, mommmmmmmy!
[Cooper is grinning at Merlin's expense.]
Cooper: You really think you are Merlin, don't you?
Crow [as Cooper]: My cheek-lines disagree.
[Grandpa, played by Ernest Borgnine, has just finished telling his grandson the awful Merlin story that he wrote for TV.]
Crow [as Grandpa]: I have another script called Chinatown, but I don't like it as much.

Video Release