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     See Storybook Characters Come to Life! Hear Beautiful Songs! Laugh at the Rag Doll! Be thrilled, amazed, and just plain dumbstruck by this kooky kiddie klassick from Mr.Gore himself, HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS!
     Over-inflated Old King Cole escapes from Mother Goose’s Storybook ranting and raving about how bored he is. Out pops a real-life Raggedy Ann doll (who looks more like one of the monsters from Nightbreed than a child’s beloved plaything) to amuse the king. Unfortunately, this particular rag doll is not only lazy but a bit of a sociopath. Lo and behold, Merlin the Magician appears just in time to liven things up with his "amazing" feats of magic! See "Casper the Ghost" come to life! Not impressed? Well, he’s got plenty more tricks up his sleeve...
     And Storybook characters continue emerging from Fantasyland, including some that could possibly terrorize even the most sturdy youngster. Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty sing a song, actors wear life-size animal costumes and stumble around, and everyone is delirious with merriment until a Wicked Witch freezes them for "being happy." But before you start applauding, Merlin puts a whammy on the old hag, sticks her in a magic box, and sets it on fire, leaving just her charred bones behind.
     Mother Goose (who looks remarkably like the witch before she was incinerated) is shocked to find her entourage frozen and blames them for their predicament. Once again, however, Merlin saves the day and all the characters go back where they belong. But just when you think the movie’s wrapping up, not so. Merlin still isn’t done with his act yet...
     Producer J. EDWIN BAKER (a 1950’s spook-show veteran who performed as "Dr. Silkini" in his act, "The Asylum of Horrors") hired Herschell to shoot this abomination as a vehicle for magician ROY HUSTON who plays Merlin. Filmed entirely on a high school stage, I would venture to say that Lewis’ primary contribution was to point the camera on what was essentially a stage act and keep it in focus.
     H.G. couldn’t have made a movie worse than this if he tried. For that reason alone, you absolutely must see The Magic Land of Mother Goose (also known as Santa Visits the Magic Land of Mother Goose despite a glaring no-show from Mr. Claus), one of the two kiddie-matinee movies (1966’s Jimmy, The Boy Wonder being me other) the man who gave the world Blood Feast directed during downtime from his otherwise outrageous exploitation career.
From a 35mm childproof print. — Lisa Petrucci

SKU: 3166
Format: DVD-R
Year: 1967
Color: Color
Starring: Roy Huston
Co-starring: Mother Goose
Directed by: Herschell Gordon Lewis


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