The movie, a Brencam Entertainment/Berton Films release, is one of the more bizarre pictures to come along in a way, and is nothing more than two poorly-conceived, barely-frightening horror stories cobbled together and loosely tied together with the flimsiest of plot devices.
It begins with a drunken medium consulting a Ouija Board and then being killed. It turns out that this was only a TV show being watched by Ernest Borgnine (who played the tough in "From Here To Eternity," won an Oscar for "Marty," then appeared in such shows as "McHale's Navy," "Air Wolf," and "The Single Guy") and his grandson, Mark Hurtado.
After the electricity goes out, Borgnine relates two stories he "wrote for television" to the skeptical kid dealing with the never-asked question of what if King Arthur's wizard, Merlin, were alive today ("Merlin used his powers to come to our time," Borgnine drones).
The first episode features an infertile jerk of a newspaper columnist in a small Northern California town, Jonathan Cooper III (John Terrance) and his co-dependent, wife, Madeline (Patricia Samson, who pines for a child). After insulting everyone around him, and uttering a great unintentionally-hilarious line ("I chew places like this up and spit them into the toilet!"), he is given the wizard' book of spells and told to go to town on them.
Merlin (George Milan), by the way, looks like a cross between Leon Russell and that one Oak Ridge Boy, and speaks like a gay guy on Novicane. A description of his wife, Zerella, played by Bunny Summers, is best left unwritten, suffice it to say, Lulu from "Hee Haw" mated with the Loch Ness Monster comes pretty close.
Anyway, Cooper, after mocking Merlin, starts looking through the tome, and talking to himself on a tiny tape recorder, but eventually begins to cast some of the spells. This of course leads to some goofy scenes of things flying about, him being attacked by a cat, and then turning into an old demon that looks like Saleri from "Amadeus; and finally a baby that his wife can now raise instead of the one she couldn't have.
The next story features a small-time crook who steals a toy cymbal-playing monkey from Merlin's store (nothing else - just the stupid monkey) and then pawning it off. The buyer then gives it to Michael (Struan Roberts), the son of an addled single dad, David (Bob Mendlsohn), who plays with it, briefly, before moving on to toys that are more fun and interesting.
For some inane reason, whenever the monkey bangs its cymbals, someone, or something (a plant, a fly, a goldfish, and a dog) dies. Which makes you wonder why Merlin even had it around to begin with. Another mystery is that why two different women would actually think that a normal 10-year-old boy would even want such a thing, or why the burglar thought it was valuable in the first place.
Oh well. This plot device gives us a chance to see two really goofy scenes, though. The first has the little moppet singing "Rock 'N Roll Martian" to it like that one retarded kid in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," and then David, being told by an angry "psychic" to get rid of the toy, but not to "let it know you're trying to get rid of it." So, the idiot begins cleaning his living room, trying to knock the monkey into a trash bag while whistling ("Do da do do da. Not thinking' about demons No demons").
Even after throwing it away, the stupid little kid fishes it out of the garbage can and is almost run over by a "stud" cruising for chicks in a Country Squire station wagon in a residential neighborhood.
The dad has no choice but to take it out in the country and bury it, which only causes the earth to shake and David to almost get swallowed up as the world cracks like a China cup. Once again this begs the question of why a toy monkey that plays cymbals would have such power over life, death, time, space and nature. Couldn't it have been a more terrifying symbol than a cheap child's toy?!
Later, after having a tree fall on him and almost dying trying to get rid of the thing, David discovers that his moronic mom brought it right back into the house. Merlin finally comes into the home and takes it back to his shop, placing it back on a shelf instead of destroying it.
Yikes. For those who have never had a bad acid trip, seeing this film will give you just an inkling of how it would actually feel.
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