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YMMV: Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders

  • Accidental Innuendo - The way Grandpa Borgnine phrases that [the female psychic] is "sensitive in that area" is rather disturbing.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Too scary to be a good kid's movie, too childish to be a good horror movie.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment - David's son playing with the monkey, wearing googly eye glasses and singing "Rock and Roll Martian" over and over. As noted in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode guide, all the writers were just fascinated by this scene: "It seems like such a pure 'kid' moment; how did they ever get it on film?"
  • Designated Hero: Merlin is portrayed as the good guy, even though he tricks a man into summoning a demon and burning down his house.
    Mike: Clearly Merlin has brought good into the world!
    • Oh, it's even worse when you think about it. Merlin wants to bring magic back into the world - so everyone can do things like summon demons and wreak havoc, or at the very least age horribly quickly from using it.
      • Well, that guy WAS a jerk and he can't control the magic, which is why it gone horribly wrong. Merlin might have intended to bring good magic to children and basically good people.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending - There really wasn't a good way to put a happy ending on that first bit, so they just had Ernest Borgnine insist to his grandson that it was a happy ending when the Jerkass with an infertile wife became her baby.
  • Freud Was Right: The first tale. Even Lampshaded by Tom Servo.
    Servo: Based on a story by Sigmund Freud!
  • Funny Moments - This exchange between Grandpa Borgnine and his grandson:
    Child: The monkey killed the dog?
    Borgnine: I told you, it's a bad toy.
    Child: What happens next? Does it kill Michael?
    Borgnine: Well, now you're getting ahead of me.
  • Glurge - So, you have Ernest Borgnine telling stories to his adorable grandson about funny old Merlin just wants to bring magic back to the world, as he tells the wide-eyed kid watching the puppets. Then the lady who can't have kids comes in and gets all teary-eyed as she tells random strangers about her husband's infertility issues. THEN Merlin loans his book to the mean old husband, to teach him a lesson about believing in magic. Said husband then burns a cat to death with his fire breath. Hooray!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • Late in the film, Mike makes a joke about the father rushing to get Barb Wire at the video store. This is already a Shout-Out to that film causing the studio to dump the Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie. What brings it firmly into this trope? The first time this episode aired, Sci-Fi ran heavy advertising for their broadcast of Barb Wire during this episode.
    • The rise of sites like Yelp has made giving a store a bad review a pretty effective threat.
  • Memetic Mutation - "You're weeelllllcoooooome."
    • How can you forget the ROCK N' ROLL MARTIAN?
    • "MY GOD, DAVID!"
  • Mondegreen - "Rock N' Roll Martian, Fuckin' Old Martian..." You know you heard it.
  • Narm: Damned near everything.
    • "Rock and Roll Martian!"
    • "My God, David!"
    • "You're welcome!"
  • Nightmare Fuel - This is a family film In Name Only.
    Crow: Remember to believe in magic...or I'll kill you.
  • Recycled Premise - The second half was blatantly plagiarised from the Stephen King story The Monkey.
  • Recycled Script - Most of the second half was taken from the earlier film The Devil's Gift, complete with the same footage and a few inconsequential scenes of Merlin edited in.
    • In-story the whole framing device is that this is a script the grandfather wrote and couldn't sell.
  • Snark Bait
  • Special Effect Failure - The first half of the film has horrible special effects. In particular, when Johnathan starts breathing fire, the source of the flames is clearly several inches away from his face. Johnathan's aging makeup is laughably bad as well (he has an open collar and they forgot to apply makeup below his neckline!).
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Merlin makes the exact same mistake that Pod People did: shoehorning a crappy horror movie into the package of a crappy kid's fantasy movie and then forgetting to take out the "horror" part.

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