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HARVEY NERZOF’S ON-LINE MAGIC REVIEWS

February 2007

 

Thanks for downloading my reviews. Feel free to print, incinerate, or distribute them, but please don’t alter the contents. Enjoy!
H.

 

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CONTENTS:

Introduction..........................................................................................................3
List of Reviewed Items .......................................................................................4
EXCELLENT .......................................................................................................8
Very Good ...........................................................................................................20
Good .....................................................................................................................47
Average ................................................................................................................77
Below Average .................................................................................................104
Weak ...................................................................................................................116
JUNK..................................................................................................................141

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Introduction

Welcome to the HN Magic Reviews Ebook. It contains my reviews of several hundreds of magic tricks, props, books, videos, DVDs, CDs and accessories painfully gathered in more than 20 years of magic and mentalism.

If you are a performing magician, mentalist or stage hypnotist, you drawer is certainly full of items you have never used: this gimmick needs a coat, this prop is not examinable, that trick is for stage shows only, spectators can only watch from a restrictive angle, this secret device is too bulky, that one is too noisy, people can’t talk to each other at the end of the effect etc. etc. etc. These concerns certainly sound familiar – but you discover them only after the purchase. My reviews focus on the negative aspects of the magic products, the “dark side” of the tricks, in order to provide some constructive critics and help you in assessing whether the purchase is worthwhile or not, independently from the misleading magic ads.

Please note that I do not buy, trade or sell anything, I do not belong to any magic/mentalism/ hypnosis organization, I am not acquainted with any famous performer, and I do not accept ads, sponsors or affiliate links on my website (the ads you see are part of the free hosting deal, and are not under my control): this hopefully allows my opinions to be as “objective” as possible... take a quick look at my tiny best-of and at my large magical junkyard to see what I mean.

All the reviews are also posted in the wonderful Magic Café, which is a very well-managed discussion forum; however, due to the everincreasing difficulty in locating the reviews among one million messages, I decided to create this website to allow an easier consultation (and to satisfy that egocentric feeling). For your convenience, all the reviews include a link to the relevant pages of the Magic Café, should you wish to view or post further comments. If you wish to be informed about updates, new reviews etc. you may want to subscribe to my free newsletter as well.

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Hopefully these reviews will be of some assistance in your magical journey, saving you time and money in locating the best effects for your own performances. Find out what’s right for you… and enjoy!

H. 3

 

List of Reviewed Items

 

Most recent items are on top of each category:

EXCELLENT:
HN Magic Review 117: SGM Vol 19: The Magic of Tom Mullica – Tom Mullica
HN Magic Review 114: Close-up Hypnosis Vol.1: Stop-Smoking Mentalism – Fabio Tabbo’
HN Magic Review 14: Real Mind Reading DVD / videotape – Docc Hilford
HN Magic Review 6: Wonder Words Volume 1, 2 and 3 – Kenton Knepper
HN Magic Review 2: Psychological Subtleties – Banachek

VERY GOOD:
HN Magic Review 103: An Evening at the Tom Foolery DVD / videotape- Tom Mullica
HN Magic Review 82: Building Blocks – Luke Jermay
HN Magic Review 80: The Extraction (booklet and gimmicks) – Mark Ghia / Kevin Dunn
HN Magic Review 78: Floating Bill – Michael Ammar
HN Magic Review 79: Card on Ceiling – Michael Ammar
HN Magic Review 75: Easy to Master Invisible Thread Miracles DVD / videotape Volume 1, 2 and 3 – Michael Ammar
HN Magic Review 71: ESR (Electronic Slow Rewinding Invisible Thread Reel) - Magic Shop M
HN Magic Review 55: Hypnoheat - Viking Magic
HN Magic Review 54: Sussurus Arcanus audiotape– Docc Hilford HN Magic Review 51: Classic Renditions DVD / videotape Vol. 3 – Michael Ammar
HN Magic Review 50: Classic Renditions DVD / videotape Vol. 2 – Michael Ammar

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HN Magic Review 47: Band of the Hand – Docc Hilford
HN Magic Review 43: Folding Bunny Bill – Robert E. Neale HN Magic Review 25: Miracles of Suggestion – Kenton Knepper HN Magic Review 20: Weerd Enough – Kenton Knepper
HN Magic Review 12: Theater of the Mind – Barrie Richardson HN Magic Review 9: Peek Performances – Richard Busch
HN Magic Review 5: 7 Deceptions – Luke Jermay

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GOOD:
HN Magic Review 112: Fickle Nickel – John Cornelius/ Ronnie Gann HN Magic Review 108: Killer Konceptions – Kenton Knepper HN Magic Review 107: Kolossal Killer – Kenton Knepper
HN Magic Review 106: Visual Impossible Penetration (VIP) - Mike Powers
HN Magic Review 100: Mini Rabbit From Hat - Dick Barry HN Magic Review 99: Holey Terror II – Mike Powers
HN Magic Review 98: Peek Encores – Richard Busch
HN Magic Review 92: The Stock holder – Gregory Wilson
HN Magic Review 89: The Cantrip Codex: a Guide for the Advanced Enigmatist - Tony Doc Shiels
HN Magic Review 87: Fortune and Fate – Anthony Lindan HN Magic Review 84: Linking Life Savers / Linking Polo Mints – Colin Gilbert
HN Magic Review 69: Paper Balls over the Head DVD / videotape – Tony Clark
HN Magic Review 68: Mobile Mentalism - Mark Strivings
HN Magic Review 66: Boomerang Rubber Band – Chris Kenner/Dan Garrett
HN Magic Review 64: Psychokinetic Pen (PK Pen) - Banachek HN Magic Review 63: Celebration of sides DVD / videotape – Robert Neale
HN Magic Review 61: Psychokinetic Touches (PK Touches) - Banachek HN Magic Review 60: Wonder Pen-a-tration – Doug Edwards HN Magic Review 38: Magic with rubber bands DVD / videotape Volume 1, 2 and 3 – Dan Harlan
HN Magic Review 37: Psychokinetic Silverware DVD / videotape – Banachek/Gerry Mc Cambridge
HN Magic Review 36: Easy to Master Money Miracles DVD / videotape Volume 1, 2 and 3 – Michael Ammar
HN Magic Review 35: Psychokinetic Time – Banachek
HN Magic Review 30: Jump! – John Kennedy
HN Magic Review 21: An Enchanted Evening – Kenton Knepper HN Magic Review 1: Dynamic Mysteries – Richard Osterlind

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AVERAGE:
HN Magic Review 113: Ultimate Float Controller (UFC) - Stefan Schutzer
HN Magic Review 111: Bent Cent - Ray Koenig
HN Magic Review 102: Encyclopedia of Paper Money Magic – Mike Bornstein

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HN Magic Review 101: Rising Dollar Bill – Mike Borstein HN Magic Review 96: Bottle Thru Table – Norm Nielsen / Tony Clark HN Magic Review 95: Mentalism Lecture Notes – Ian Rowland HN Magic Review 76: Flickers – T. Everett Bookings III
HN Magic Review 67: Expert Impromptu Magic Made Easy DVD / videotape Volume 1– Tom Mullica
HN Magic Review 59: Perfect Pen – John Cornelius
HN Magic Review 58: Perfect Holdout (gimmick+videotape)– Antonio Romero
HN Magic Review 57: Final Book Test – Elian Agaian
HN Magic Review 56: Exploding light bulb – Yigal Mesika HN Magic Review 48: Healed and Sealed – Anders Moden HN Magic Review 32: Sense of Touch – Ian Rowland
HN Magic Review 31: Zoom – Ben Harris
HN Magic Review 29: Finger Fantasies DVD / videotape – Meir Yedid HN Magic Review 24: 5 Minutes with a Pocket Handkerchief DVD / videotape – Quentin Reynolds
HN Magic Review 23: Kentonism – Kenton Knepper
HN Magic Review 17: The Paper Rose DVD / videotape – Docc Hilford HN Magic Review 10: The Raven set (gimmick + videotape) – Chuck Leach
HN Magic Review 8: Pure Effect - Derren Brown

BELOW AVERAGE:
HN Magic Review 109: Flashback - Larry Becker
HN Magic Review 105: Another Book - Karrell Fox
HN Magic Review 104: Cut and Restored Credit Card - Mark Leveridge HN Magic Review 77: Gellerism Revealed – Ben Harris
HN Magic Review 73: Mind and Matter – Stephen Minch
HN Magic Review 46: The Elevator (gimmick + cdrom) – Peter Loughran
HN Magic Review 44: Fat-free Mentalism – John Riggs
HN Magic Review 40: Unfaked Book Test – Val Andrews
HN Magic Review 39: Brain Control – S.W. Reilly
HN Magic Review 26: Creating Material and Making Performances Memorable – Kenton Knepper & Allen Zingg

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HN Magic Review 13: Classics – Bruce Bernstein

WEAK:
HN Magic Review 97: Center Tear Bill – Craig R. Dickson HN Magic Review 94: Dishalicious - Daryl
HN Magic Review 91: Ah-ha! – David Harkey / Eric Anderson

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HN Magic Review 88: The riddle of Chung Ling Soo, Chinese conjuror – Will Dexter
HN Magic Review 86: Elastrix vol.1 – Ed Mishell & Abraham Hurwitz HN Magic Review 81: Making Contact -Satori
HN Magic Review 72: The Web – Jim Pace
HN Magic Review 70: The X-pert Device – Neil Tobin
HN Magic Review 62: Linked for life – Andy Leviss
HN Magic Review 52: Penomenon – J. Mirage
HN Magic Review 49: Who wants one, say I – Tom Osborne HN Magic Review 41: Miracles from the Hip – Mark Striving HN Magic Review 34: Really Linked – Bernard Sim
HN Magic Review 33: The Joining – Jeff Pierce
HN Magic Review 27: Live In Lecture, M.I.M.E 1a – Kenton Knepper HN Magic Review 22: the X Book – Kenton Knepper
HN Magic Review 19: Rants into Rave – Kenton Knepper
HN Magic Review 18: Sorcerer Series 1,2 and 3 – Kenton Knepper HN Magic Review 7: Credit Card Fraud – Brad Manuel

JUNK:
HN Magic Review 118: Shocking – Vincenzo Ravina
HN Magic Review 116: A Ghost on the Table – T. Everett Bookings, III HN Magic Review 115: Zinger – Meir Yedid
HN Magic Review 110: The Self Levitation video/DVD – Ed Balducci / Michael Maxwell
HN Magic Review 93: Super Neck Cracker (Bone Crusher) – Tom Burgoon
HN Magic Review 90: Liquidizer – Klamm the Magic Man
HN Magic Review 85: Altered States – David Regal
HN Magic Review 83: Coin Holder – Tannen Magic
HN Magic Review 74: Clipped – John T. Sheets
HN Magic Review 65: Linking rubber bands – George Murray / Norm Nielsen
HN Magic Review 53: EM Pocket Charger – Mark Allen
HN Magic Review 45: Pocket Levitator – Andrew Mayne
HN Magic Review 42: Universal Holder - Alexander de Cova HN Magic Review 28: ImMAKulate Ring Flight – MAK Magic

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HN Magic Review 16: How to Perform Impromptu Levitations DVD / videotape – Docc Hilford
HN Magic Review 15: Zero Gravity – Mike Bent
HN Magic Review 11: Excalibur gimmick – Daniel Miraskill HN Magic Review 4: Compact Key – Marvoyant
HN Magic Review 3: The Eighth Maneuver – Luke Jermay

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EXCELLENT

This section contains, in my humble opinion, the best magic/mental/hypnotic stuff commercially available for professional performers. Alas, you will find very few items here…

HN Magic Review 117: SGM Vol 19: The Magic of Tom Mullica – Tom Mullica

 

AD:

 

Sorry I couldn’t find the ad. Basically it is a show with explanation by Tom Mullica, filmed at Stevens Magic Emporium in the early nineties.

 

REVIEW:

Freaking hilarious... Yes I know, the “magic” is very basic (don’t expect some new techniques, moves or gimmick here!), and you’ll probably never perform it: but who cares about the methods, the show is just FREAKING HILARIOUS and that’s what it is all about.

As opposed to the video “An Evening at the Tom Foolery”, Mullica sits down with Mark Stevens at the end of the show and explains some of the tricks (no, not the cigarette-eating stuff). There is one thing you will (re)learn for sure: humor is a fantastic form of misdirection. For example the first card trick in the show went wrong (the spectator forgot his card!), but nobody cared. And nobody cared about the modus operandi, the moves, the “how he did that” question… spectators are just too busy laughing.

OVERALL RATING: Excellent

 

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Read/post comments:
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HN Magic Review 114: Close-up Hypnosis Vol.1: Stop-Smoking Mentalism – Fabio Tabbo’

 

AD:

"I was amazed by the depth and the quality of his thinking... I can't recall the last time I saw something explained so well, and backed up by such clarity of thought." - Michael Ammar

"I am fascinated with it... I pick it up often and just dive into wherever I open the book, and there is some fascinating reading here. Fabulous." - Doc Eason

"The work is not only a complete act, but a unique perspective in audience control, pacing, and staging. I was riveted." - Marc Salem

 

"I was fascinated by the intriguing and well thought-out writing style. Wonderful stuff. Can't wait for your future endeavors." - Banachek

"This wonderful book not only explains 'how' to present a very strong impromptu-looking demonstration, it also explains 'why' each specific movement or sentence is critical to the overall effect... Many wonderful ideas." Chuck Hickok

"A very detailed and informative thesis on the combined presentations of magic and hypnosis." - David Berglas

 

00002.jpg"In a nutshell, this effect can be done on stage, up close, informally, anytime, anywhere and is simply a miracle." Geoffrey Ronning

 

"A new level of thinking. Great stuff." - Lior Manor

 

"It is magic in a performance/motivational sense, yet magic also in the

 

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ancient idea of using 'illusion to create truth' - one of our mottos. The cover of the book is a powerful spell..." - Kenton Knepper

"Actual wit and intelligence wrapped up in a lovingly and artfully prepared book... A wonderfully structured and thought-through routine, described with humor and style. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!" - Bruce Bernstein

"A unique concept, also helpful to people who are trying to change harmful habits." - John Riggs

 

"What a great thinking! Definitely a different book, recommended to the real worker." Guy Bavli

 

"A very thorough, well thought-out approach. Absolutely nothing has been left out. Well done!!" - Bill Palmer

 

"I find it both fascinating and wonderful." - TC Tahoe

" Stop Smoking Mentalism is certainly a unique book, where you can't fail to be stunned, beyond the presented effects, by the author's preparation and care in the research and study of the elected topic. A volume that will surely be cherished by mentalism fans, but that should also be read by everyone else to understand, learn and personalize the method of analysis and the creative process." - Tony Binarelli

“There seems little doubt that, once mastered, this piece will provide a convincing ‘YES!’ in response to the question ‘Can you hypnotize?’” - Genii Magazine

00002.jpg“The sheer depth of thought that has gone into this presentation sets a new standard in magical writing.” - The Magician Magazine

 

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“A phenomenal work… More than just an incredibly effective trick and a staggeringly good effect, this a doctoral thesis on performing. StopSmoking Mentalism isn't just a keeper for anyone wanting a powerful demonstration of hypnotic ability; it's a requirement for anyone performing in front of living, breathing people.” - Visions

“This is a book every magician should read. I’m sure you’ve all heard that you should be prepared for all possibilities in every trick you perform, but how many of you have actually done it? I really mean ALL possibilities. If you want to really understand what this means, and you want an example of this amount of preparation, you really need to read this book. This is truly a case where every move, every word, every gesture, every movement, is well-thought out, analyzed, and fully described. If you’ve ever wondered how to improve what you already do, or how to improve your stage presence and performance, this book is a must reading.” The Linking Ring

Effect: A spectator is asked to participate in an experiment of stopsmoking hypnosis. She pretends to smoke an imaginary cigarette, and feels as if a real one was being used: she vividly visualizes its gray smoke, smells and tastes the tobacco, feels like coughing, etc... She then brings this invisible cigarette closer to her hand, causing a noticeable warming sensation; and when she finally decides to stub it out on her hand, she feels a sharp burn! You can present the effect under any conditions: it seems completely impromptu and gimmickless, with the performer away at all times.

REVIEW:

For once I have to agree with the hypes: wonderful, extreme, controversial, brilliant book from Underwords: I have never seen anything like it in more than 20 years in magic and mentalism.

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The book is the first volume of a collection called “Close-up Hypnosis”, and (as the name implies) consists in a unique blend of hypnosis and magic: you’ll never find those gimmicks and physical manipulations in hypnosis books, and such attention to wording/scripts and psychological subtleties in magic or mentalism publications. The work is also very entertaining, and easy to understand.

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Now, as usual, let’s focus on the negative sides:

1. the therapists (i.e. medical hypnotists) will complain about the sacrilegious mix of “real” hypnosis and magic;
2. the book is expensive;
3. you may have to pay a few more $$$ for the gimmick(s).

In any case, the effect is an impromptu killer, the book is wonderfully written and has a lot to teach (and I do mean it, A LOT to teach!!!!) apart from the described effects.

Certainly one of my best purchases in recent years.

 

OVERALL RATING: Excellent

 

H.

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HN Magic Review 14: Real Mind Reading video/ DVD – Docc Hilford

 

AD:

The mindreading demonstrations that Doc Hillford teaches you on this new video are so real that you'll be believing them yourself. This is an incredible suite of three effects, designed to be presented in an intimate close-up environment, such as a living room or after a good meal. This is Real Mind Reading.

With no phony psychobabble or mentalistic posing, Doc Hilford reads a person's mind not once but three times. He ascertains a playing card that is merely thought of (no deck used, not the AS). He receives a word projected from the person's mind. Last, he psychically duplicates a picture drawn by the person. Yes, there are other methods for these

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effects, but not that can be used close-up, surrounded, and in close succession with the same person.

This is not just a set of effects. This is a carefully orchestrated suite of killer demonstrations that will make the reputations of those who use them. Want to impress a client or prospect? Want to seal that new trade

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show deal? Want to never be at a loss again when someone wants a demonstration of what you can do? This tape is the answer.

It's astounding that material of this caliber can be made available so inexpensively, but it is. This is a limited edition tape, but you can have your own copy of Real Mind Reading for just $55.00.

REVIEW:

Great and expensive video from the late Brian Flora, one of the best I own. The tape includes a verbal card effect (also described in Kenton Knepper’s Killer Konceptions) – the introductory patter is definitely worth your consideration and can be applied to any of your psy-forces: I suggest you transcribe it and pay close attention to every single gesture and pause, because there is much more than what is actually explained.

The second effect is a Flashback-type booktest, performed with your own dictionary, while the last one (a DR design duplication) should definitely not be used as a closer…

OVERALL RATING: Excellent

 

HN

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 6: Wonder Words 1, 2, 3 – Kenton Knepper

 

AD:

This is the classic set of audio and booklets that changed the face of magic and mentalism forever. Discover the true power of words and how words can change what people see, think, hear, and feel. Learn how words alone may be used as your only gimmick in a trick. Create miracles and do nothing – but use these "magic words" to produce miracles.

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Wonder Words, Volume 1

Imagine being able to take control of the very thoughts, perceptions, and responses of your audience. Picture your audiences' amazement when they really can not explain the trick because the magic is done with words, not sleights or props. This is what Wonder Words will teach you. It is prestidigitation of the mind.

It's finally here, the audio book everyone has been waiting for now on CD! After lots of prodding from Larry Becker, Jeff Mc Bride, Docc Hilford, Dr. Juris, Lee Earle and many other pros, Kenton has agreed to part with the information that he has kept under tight wraps to all but a very select few.

Whether you're a magician or mentalist, Kentons' secrets will radically alter your work and the reaction to it. Revealed are the verbal tools used by top psychologists to influence and control clients' actions and attitudes. This is not a dissertation on hypnosis, this is Wonder Words -- The Art of Linguistic Deception.

Perhaps even more telling was the response at Docc Hilfords' Weerd Weekend. Wonder Words was a complete sell-out less than an hour after Kenton introduced it. Docc himself said "This is the new Fitzkee." Others said "One of the most significant works ever produced in magic," "This is going into the library at the Castle."

Even before it's official release, Jeff McBride praised Wonder Words saying, "You're a spell-weaver of words that can even make mimes speak...I'm living proof. Your material has dramatically transformed the way I'm doing my spell weaving these days!"

As important as this material is to your work, you're probably anxious to get a copy of your own. Finally you can...here's how. Just fill out the order form on the back of this sheet, mail it in and very soon you will know what few others know... The Art of Linguistic Deception.

00002.jpgWonder Words, Volume 2

Yes, it's finally here! NOW on CD...AND at a LOWER PRICE too! If you didn't purchase Volume One and somehow missed all the reviews, you may not know what all the excitement is about. You wouldn't know

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that Kenton's work has been compared to Fitzkee; you would be unaware that Jeff McBride, Michael Close, Doc Eason, Larry Becker, Lee Earle and lots more say that this is ground breaking material... a must for everyone's library.

Wonder Words Volume Two is subtitled "The Real Work" because it is exactly that. In Wonder Words Volume One Kenton began the journey....Volume Two turns that journey into a performance altering adventure. So what's the big deal?

For starters: Wouldn't it be great if people constantly talked about a trick they saw you perform when in fact you NEVER EVER did that trick at all? Just think of it! There is a secret way to simply tell a story and cause people to believe they actually SAW YOU PERFORM the trick, when all you did was TALK ABOUT IT! (No, it isn't "hypnosis").

In Volume One, you were (As Michael Close said) "Totally Blown Away" by how easy it was to greatly improve your performance by changing a few simple words. Volume Two -- The Real Work offers equally simple techniques that achieve even more startling results.

Still want more? Well of course there are killer effects as part of the package. Like how to cause a spectator to TRAVEL THROUGH TIME and come back with PHYSICAL PROOF. This is directly from Kenton's act. Yes all the little touches Kenton uses are there as always.

What else? How about an "Invisible Deck" routine with no deck at all? No stooges or other sneaky set ups either. The spectator just MIMES taking a card from thin air, and you can TELL them what they chose (No it isn't some silly mathematical thing either).

Another diabolical effect is a never before published telephone trick. Already several performers are using this bit to book thousands of dollars in extra performances.... You can too!

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OF COURSE THERE'S MUCH MORE... Perhaps you'd like to be able to point into the sky and cause a cloud, any cloud a spectator chooses, to vanish from the sky. No kidding. It's easy once you know the right WORDS. Kenton gives you the WHOLE story on how to do this with words alone.

Imagine you have a spectator just THINK of any letter in any word they choose. Now imagine that you not only tell the spectator the letter they 15

are thinking about, but you also describe the EXACT THOUGHTS they had while deciding on that particular letter! Isn't that what a REAL "mindreader" would be able to do? Now you can!

Did we mention the ability to look at a spectator and KNOW if they would "play along" or be overly skeptical? You will learn this too. Wouldn't it be great if you could determine how a spectator felt about money, people, their play time, their work time, etc. just by a spectator uttering a few simple words? You can, and Kenton will tell you how.

Of course there is still so much more! So just consider this: If you have ever wanted to be a rousing success in your work; If you have ever wanted to honestly MOVE an audience; If you have ever wanted to be considered "legendary"; If you have ever wanted people to remember your shows for YEARS even DECADES to come; If you have ever wanted to learn the REAL WORK that only the most successful acts in entertainment use, THEN THESE TAPES ARE FOR YOU.

If you don't care about ANY of these things, then maybe all the effects above have got your attention. There's even more of those too!

Whatever your reason for purchasing Wonder Words Volume Two, you're bound to be blown away by the material it contains. If you have Volume One you already know how important this series is to your performances. Many of you have applied the principles in the first volume to your "other" work.

Find Out Why Movie Studio Heads, Theatrical Directors, Lawyers, Publishers and Performers The World Over Have Been Anxiously Awaiting!

Wonder Words, Volume 3

 

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Yes, the time has come... The very last volume of the Wonder Words Series is almost at your doorstep. Now on CD...and NOW at a FAR LOWER price too! This is the end of it all, friends - and what an ending it is...

Kenton ends the series with a BANG including contributions from Jeff McBride, Dan Harlan, Joel Bauer, Docc Hilford, and MORE. This final volume will leave you breathless! The book alone is over 50 pages in length, with detailed effects direct from the acts of working pros. There is also a complete and precise index to BOTH Volumes Two AND

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Three, for easy reference (Volume One has its own index). And Volume Three is JAM-PACKED, the biggest volume ever!

So what else is in here? Imagine being able to get a spectator to scream, just by saying a few seemingly harmless words. Just think of an entire audience believing in you INSTANTLY, because you speak a single phrase. Learn to stop unwanted annoyances dead in their tracks. Discover the one secret word that causes people to do what you want them to - it's proven scientifically! Uncover the "code" used throughout the series. This alone can expand the series into the equivalent of another several volumes. Hear how your tone of voice can become a "gimmick" in any effect or routine. Uncover the secret about ALL words! And that's just for starters...

What about the "tricks?" A spectator holds his watch and merely THINKS of a special moment in time. You not only begin to describe this event, you reveal the time - which now shows on his watch! Or how about this: You not only talk about "subliminal programming" - you prove it. In fact, this might be how the trick really works! There are more than a half-dozen other incredible effects. You won't believe all that Kenton has given up THIS time - the final time!

REVIEW:

All those glitters and hypes… they are hard to swallow, but this pricey NLP trilogy is a must have. The amount of information provided on linguistics, suggestions and psychological subtleties is HUGE.

The indexes are poorly made (sorry Marelli), but I guess this was planned to leave most of the information on the tapes, and to avoid photocopies? Also, a digital format would have been appreciated, since accessing specific information on a tape can be very time consuming. The WW series have been recently converted to CD format, but the oldtimers like your humble reviewer are stuck with the audiotapes.

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For reference purposes only, fillers such as “Oh I have so much to tell you, and so little time to do it, so we’re going to move right along, blasting through all those new concepts very quickly, you can always stop the tape and rewind it, and listen to it several times, and you should

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be doing that anyway blah blah blah“ are somewhat disturbing. The “marking” tape, on the other hand, is simply COMICAL….

 

In any case, a valuable investment for the serious performer.

 

OVERALL RATING: Excellent

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 2: Psychological Subtleties – Banachek

 

AD:

In this long-awaited new book, Banachek reveals the true secrets of his success: psychological subtleties that transform "mental magic" into "psychic entertainment." Most of the effects require no advance preparation and may be performed at a moment’s notice. Those who have Steve Shaw’s earlier monographs will not hesitate to add this to their
libraries.

From the introduction by Teller: "BANACHEK IS BRILLIANT at subtle deceptions. My partner Penn and I have repeatedly called upon his vast knowledge, diabolical ingenuity, and remarkable imagination, and have never been disappointed. This man has the goods, and now you do, too. But be careful. THIS IS A VERY DANGEROUS BOOK. In the wrong hands, these subtle, deeply devious methods could be used to convince audiences that the performer is not an artist, but a supernatural being..."

REVIEW:

 

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The name says it all – a book full of “psychological convincers” and forces to be integrated in your mental routines. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific issue, i.e. cards, coins, postcards, dreams, handwriting, metal bending (not a surprise!), drawings, hands etc.

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Most of the chapters are unfortunately very short (each of them could have taken a full book…) and only skim the surface of the issue.

My personal favorite is a letter divination (also published in Knepper’s Wonder Words and Busch’s Peek Performances), used in conjunction with a booktest.

OVERALL RATING: Excellent

 

HN

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Very Good

 

Recommended items. In average, I get one of those every 30 items I purchase (sigh…)

 

HN Magic Review 103: An Evening at the Tom Foolery - Tom Mullica

 

AD:

Here is the only existing record of Tom Mullica's frenzied comedy magic as performed at the Tom-Foolery Magic Bar Theatre. See dozens of sidesplitting gags, jokes and routines. See his "Apple Trick" and his trademark "Nicotine Nincompoop" where he eats a pack of lit cigarettes and a stack of napkins. Not only will you view this video over and over, but you will want to show it to your non magical friends as pure entertainment. Red Skelton called him the Best in his Field!!

REVIEW:

A truly hilarious video, showcasing Tom Mullica at his very best. Beware, the tricks are NOT explained: this may frustrate the beginners, but anyway you need to be a geek like Tom to perform certain stunts. Besides, this allows you to share the fun with your non-magical friends, if you find any.

The performance scripts are also available (edited by Richard Kaufman), but sold separately.

 

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 82: Building Blocks – Luke Jermay

 

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Luke Jermay has done it again! He has decided to release more of his awesome material, the routines which he uses to stun audiences around the world.

In this important new volume, Luke has tipped the real work on using Suggestion Techniques. Luke covers the Definition = Creation theory along with several other techniques and teachings. This, coupled with his groundbreaking applications of the four Convincers, is enough to transform and amplify your performances right away. But that’s just for starters! Wait until you see some of the effects he teaches. Imagine yourself performing these routines:

A plucked rose visibly wilts and dies as you talk about the fragility of life!
An aura reading routine, which climaxes with the spectator genuinely seeing your aura - and you can provide proof!
You cause the spectator’s sense of time to physically slow down (we don’t just mean their watch, although of course that happens as well!). They are almost unable to physically move as they are stuck in a single moment of time.
You perform a version of Out Of This World, with a borrowed deck, with no set-up, no sleights or switches. In fact the spectator’s intuition can even be shown as correct for each individual card as it is dealt! This is the real work on the verbal control of a spectator.
Despite being blindfolded, you can read a selected sentence chosen at random from a borrowed book, with your fingertips! You can even scan through the whole book with your fingertips and comment on the story and characters. Did we mention that the blindfold is real and that you genuinely can’t see a thing and you can do this anywhere anytime?!

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Imagine having your spectator actually feel their thought leave their mind and enter yours - imagine no more! With the Burst Bubble suggestion, your spectator will believe they felt the moment of magic happen inside their own mind!

These are just a few of the incredible routines that Luke teaches in this new book. Every routine is accompanied by his suggestion techniques as 21

 

applied to that specific piece, as well as his full performance script, plus many additional touches and ideas.

His sensational Out Of This World is taken to an even more impossible level with just five un-gimmicked ESP cards. He has shared his personal Book Test, his acclaimed work on PK Touches, his thinking on playing cards in mentalism and so much more. He teaches the techniques of Anchoring and specifically how to apply them to magic performances.

By blending up-to-the-minute psychological techniques with some classic conjuring methodology, Luke has created cutting-edge Mentalism and Magick effects that will have your audiences believing that you can do anything! Going far beyond the material in his first release, 7 Deceptions, this new book really does teach you the “Building Blocks” of becoming an expert at previously jealously guarded techniques of suggestion and mind control.

But don't take our word for it; read below for what the pros have had to say about Luke Jeremy’s new work:

"Luke Jermay's Building Blocks is a brilliant and exhilarating blueprint of magic's tomorrow. Not only a collection of stunning audiencecentered wonders, but also a clear and detailed guide to constructing your own. Buy it now! It will change the way you do magic forever." -- Caleb Strange

"Luke is one of those rare individuals who brings a unique touch of originality to everything he does. Great thinking and great routines! With fresh presentations like these, I look forward to the future of our craft." -- Steve Banachek

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"Unless you want to be left behind, I suggest you get Luke's works. Luke applies Wonder Words, suggestion and psychology in a manner which makes all of us who have gone before very proud indeed. Luke's applications are a must-have for all who would perform the 'new magic' and mentalism sweeping the minds and hearts of the public and modern peers. If you wish to continue the journey made popular by some of us, then Luke's offerings are almost required." -- Kenton Knepper

"Building Blocks is simply SENSATIONAL and I like it very much. If you 22

want to enhance the power of your tricks into real wonders or miracles, YOU NEED A COPY OF THIS BOOK! It contains techniques, which you have never dreamt of, but the best thing is: they really work! I recommend this book highly to every serious performer of our art. It is worth its weight in gold, pure gold!" -- Ted Lesley

"We have all long wanted to use the power of suggestion in our mentalism routines, but have not quite figured out exactly how to use it. We need want no longer; Luke Jermay is here to fill our desires! Study this book and become the performer you have always dreamed of being!"
-- Millard Longman

"Luke Jermay's new book, BUILDING BLOCKS, is the kind of book I love! In it you will learn techniques and philosophies that will set you apart from the rest. This is the kind of material our art is all about. It is crammed with worthwhile ideas that deserve deep study and practical effects that will stagger. I congratulate Luke for a great contribution!"
- Richard Osterlind

"I'm blown away by the material in this manuscript. These are techniques and strategies that will cause people to FEEL the experience of real magic." -- Nathan W. Kranzo

"From what I've read of Luke Jermay's latest, Building Blocks, it contains, some ground breaking material. I'd recommend it for those looking to heighten their performance." -- Ford Kross

REVIEW:

 

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Well-produced hardbound book from Peter Nardi. The “theory” section mainly consists in a practical upgrade of several suggestion tools described in Banachek’s Psychological Subtleties, coupled with NLP linguistics of Wonder Words fame.

The second part describes original bizarre/mental effects along the lines of 7 Deceptions, not always close-up “workers” but often thoughtprovoking and inspiring.

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OVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 80: The Extraction – Mark Ghia / Kevin Dunn

 

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Finally something new in magic. The Extraction is an ultra- visual appearance of a gem, 1/2"-1", using any glass and REAL water. The effect is not difficult to do but requires careful study. This is for the advanced performer who wants to show his audience real magic. The stone is a solid object you can remove from the water but if you wish to give it to your volunteer you should switch it with one of the stones we supply you with. Set time is only 5 minutes maximum for a performance. After it is set you have up to a full 30 minutes before you have to perform the effect. No angle limitations! You receive enough supplies for 100 performances and detailed 25 page manual!!! (not recommended for table hopping, best for one on one performances.)

REVIEW:

 

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Truly bizarre product from Kymystical Magic. The set-up is a devastating experience and goes against the basic rules defined by marriage counselors. After spending a Sunday messing with chemicals in the kitchen, I prepared a few gimmicks and waited for the right occasion to perform the effect… I was able to do it only once, before the gimmicks deteriorated.

Highly original stuff, looking for PATIENT performers.

 

OVERALL RATING: probably very good (?)

 

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HN Magic Review 79: Card on Ceiling – Michael Ammar

 

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The Card on Ceiling has proven to be one of the most impressive and talked about card effects in the entire realm of card magic!

 

A signed card is lost in the deck, which is then sealed with rubber bands.

 

The deck is tossed up to the ceiling (as high as a 40 foot ceiling will work!).

 

The deck falls back down, but the signed card sticks!

 

The fact that the card remains on display high above the heads of all who pass by, for months, forces people to notice and comment on it!

 

It could be called the "perfect effect" because of the clarity of what happens; and the reputation it helps earn for the person performing it!

The Card on Ceiling is one of Michael Ammar's favorite effects. This one effect has earned him more notoriety than any other single effect he performs. It is a real reputation maker.

Michael's method, along with a special formulation developed by Palmer Tilden makes this the best, easiest, and most sure fire way to put a card on the ceiling!

00002.jpgIn addition to the Card on Ceiling, you will receive as a bonus the fabulous Coin on Ceiling.

 

Practical, commercial magic that you will use!

 

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Another classic Signature Piece from Ammar. You get a large amount of the necessary “secret gimmick”, and a few colored sheets with general instructions. The card moves described are very basic, and you will need to know better card techniques.

The effect can only be performed in specific settings (unless you want to expose part of the working), but it’s well worth the wait…

 

The only card trick I do.

 

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 78: Floating Bill – Michael Ammar

 

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This is the Floating Dollar Bill that made Michael Ammar famous!

Michael says, "When I was booked for The Tonight Show, I knew this effect would get me rebooked! NOW, with this New Elastic Hookup, it has never been easier. The Constant Hookup is perfect for repeat work! This virtually IT can stretch up to 400% of it's length, repeatedly! Amazing!

It's already separated, colored and comes in a convenient size for travel.

 

Included are tips for increasing invisibility, lighting considerations and methods for securing the ends.

 

Let this wonderful routine make you famous, too!

 

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Not an “impromptu, anytime, anyplace” routine, as some ruthless dealers want us to believe, but a true reputation maker in the right contexts. The psychology involved is very deep and the effect IMO surpasses all other impromptu floating effects.

Ammar recently added a few extra touches (and refuted this gimmick!) in the third volume of the “Easy to Master Invisible Thread Miracles” series.

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 75: Easy to Master Invisible Thread Miracles videos/DVD Vol. 1, 2, 3 – Michael Ammar

 

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There is more powerful potential in just a few feet of invisible thread than almost anything else in magic. This is magic that becomes the stuff of legends. No matter what type of magic you perform, from the purest sleight of hand to the largest grand illusions, this is the type of magic that creates conversations and reputations. People vividly remember the moment they saw something levitated and animated just inches away from their eyes.

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Continuing in the Easy to Master tradition, this new set of videos is organized in a very structured fashion, taking the viewer from simple animations with short lengths of thread that can be easily set up and managed through intermediate effects that are a bit more involved and finally ending up with elaborate effects that are truly mind-bending.

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Each video in this series also contains valuable supporting information on lighting, concealment, and theory that will stimulate your thinking well beyond the featured magic.

Volume 1 contents:

 

Section One - Introducing Elastic Thread

 

Section Two - Accessing the Threads

 

Section Three - Magic With Invisible Elastic

Tahoe Tessie and the Magic Postcard; The Rising Business Card; Whirling Business Card; Dan Harlan's Financial Attraction; Ammar's Portable, Permanent Wallet Hookup

Section Four - Finn Jon's Elastic Loops

 

Phenomenon Fork; Finn Jon's Bill That Falls Up; The Floating Bill; Electrostatic Straw; Things That Affect Thread Visibility

 

Section Five - Visible but Hidden Threads

 

Stefan Schuster's Self-Folding Bill with Kicker, featuring Ammar's SelfContained Wallet Hookup; Acrobatic Matchbox

 

Section Six - The Traditional Reel

 

Knot Absolutely Instant; Knot Automatically Undone; Clearly Penetrated Mike Stand

 

Section Seven - James George Interview

 

Comparing Every Available I.T.R.; Care and Management

 

Volume Two

 

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We begin with amazing ideas and applications of the James George Invisible Thread Reel, which includes marvelously deceptive methods of passing a solid hoop over and around floating objects that are marvelously deceptive. Also included are methods for working with threads from 6 inches to twenty feet long that create magic that people will talk about for a lifetime.

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Section 1 – Magic Using the I. T. R.

Finn Jon’s Mystery Nut and Bolt ala I. T. R The Chop Cup Application
Dave Nelson’s Dollar Bill Flight
I. T. R. Floating Bill
The Perfect Practice Hookup
Open Face Hookup
Z Grip to Lock the Thread
Hoop Pass
Rotating Hoop Pass
Bloom’s Balancing Card
Robert Henry’s Ashra Coin
I. T. R. Whirling Card
Section 2 – The One-Hand Hookup

Al Baker’s Erectile Bill
Socrate’s Personal Chi Power Section 3 – The LeClair Hookup

Floating Bill
The Whirling Card
Section 4 – The One Point Hookup

The Animated Straw
The Coin in Beer
Baker’s Card from Hat Whirling Card
Baker’s Ring on Pencil Section 5 – John Kennedy’s

Stealth Retractor
Ammar’s Threading the Needle

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Care and Feeding of the Stealth Retractor
Rising Business Cards
Rising Card
Self-Turning Page
Section 6 – Bonus Guest Star James George

The Floating Pencil 29

Tips & Theory
Why Threads Break and How To Avoid Practicing with Threads
Controlling Your Space
The Hierarchy of Astonishment

Volume Three

This is the real work on storing, transporting and accessing the invisible threads you’ll use for any type of effect. The majority of this information is being revealed here for the first time in any format, and represents ideal solutions for almost any close-up, stand-up, corporate, bar or restaurant performer.

You’ll also find sources for invisible thread well worth the price of the video to anyone seriously interested in performing magic with thread. You’ll see what types of thread are strongest, ranked in order of strength according to similar dimensions, and how to separate and secure individual strands of the finest invisible thread.

Some of the information featured here has previously been sold individually for large sums of money. You’ll learn the exact method Ammar used to perform the Floating Bill on The Tonight Show, as well as the Steve Fearson Hookup, which creates what some of our greatest minds have called the most amazing magic they’ve ever seen!

Performance

 

Floating Bill

 

The Super String Theory

 

00002.jpgSection One - Thread Strength According to Similar Diameters

 

Section Two - Securing the Ends, Separating Individual Strands

 

Section Three –Storing and Transporting

Simple Playing Card
Finn Jon System
John Kennedy’s Z-Webs & Mini-Z-Webs
The Pin & Straw System
Sticky Mat Solution

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John Haar’s Deck Gimmick
Clear Plastic Sticks
Lifesaver Holders
Wine Bottle Hookups—Corks, Ribbons, Clear Tubes Under-Bar Bobbins
Mike-Stand Holders
Section Four – The Horizontal Two-Point Hookup Explanation

The Floating Bill
The Super String Theory
Section Five –The Steve Fearson Hookup

The Floating Lifesaver

 

James George’s Floating Spinning Ball

 

REVIEW:

A complete treatise on IT work – even though the electronic gimmicks are not fully considered (Ammar only deals with John Kennedy’s Stealth Retractor). The highlight of the tape IMO is the updated version of his Floating Bill routine: interestingly, the author does not use the gimmick he sold along with the routine for fifteen years…

I felt asleep a couple of times during the long explanations on accessing and transportation, but this is probably due to my poor metabolism.

A no-smoking version of Steve Fearson’s Floating Cigarette, performed with a Polo Mint and a different set-up (appropriate for bald people!) is also worth mentioning.

OVERALL RATING: very good (and very bad for exposure)

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 71: ESR (Electronic Slow Rewinding Invisible Thread Reel) - Magic Shop M

 

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This is the next level in the evolution of IT magic! With the ESR, you can not only perform all your favorite IT effects, you can perform them better!

Imagine adding slow-motion animation to your favorite floating or psychic effects!

 

Examples:

Borrow a dollar bill, crumble it into a ball, then cause it to float in air. Raise a hand, with fingers wide apart, and whenever you want, the bill floats up to your hand!

Place a nut on a bolt then cover with a glass. With both of your hands visible, and no movement on your part, the nut slowly unscrews and falls off the bolt. This is repeated, then everything can be examined!

For a psychic effect, borrow a pen and lay it on the table. Concentrate and the pen moves towards you!

 

REVIEW:

This electronic ITR allows you to remain motionless throughout the levitation (the switch could also be used to stop your pulse…); it is better IMHO than Stefan Schutzer’s Ultimate Float Controller (UFC), which needed constant body movements to operate.

The cons: the gimmick is longer than a pack of cigarette, and you will need a jacket to conceal it. It is kind of noisy in the retraction phase – loud patter may be necessary in real close-up situations.

00002.jpgSold with 2 types of IT and basic instructions.

 

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

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HN Magic Review 55: Hypno Heat - Viking Magic

 

AD: not sold anymore in the USA (officially…), due to inflated political correctness; it’s “that m*****y trick”.

 

REVIEW:

Also called “Hot and Cold” in the sixties. Comes in two forms: liquid (extremely toxic) and in pills (very toxic). I have been using the pills version for more than 15 years now, so far so gHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Seriously, the solid version is not 100%, but occasional failures increase the credibility of the effect. In the right hands, it’s a “killer”.

 

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 54: Sussurus Arcanus – Docc Hilford

 

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A secret source of information from Docc Hilford! Susurrus Arcanus means secret whisper, and the subject is SR.

 

On this exceptional tape, Docc gives you a complete tutorial, including practice sessions,

 

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and caps the whole thing off with a killer effect that is, to use an oft abused label, a true reputation maker. He tells you when to use this technique, and when not to use it. This is the best and most complete treatment of the topic ever published.

Yes, we are blushing. After all, if the others had done a good job, everyone would be using SR. If you have encountered SR before and dismissed it as either too obvious or too hard, it's because the earlier discussions were sketchy and not based on the kind of experience that Docc has with it. If you want a valuable and useful technique for discovering unknown information, you need this tape. This is a limited edition tape. One can be yours for just $34.95.

REVIEW:

Not sure I should post this one on the Internet. Not that the product is outstanding (usual overpriced item from the Floras), but SR is such a wonderful and underused concept.

The tape deals with basic shapes, numbers, letters and drawings. Docc uses a chalk and a board – it’s really harder with a pencil, in real life situations. The “Numbers” section is the most detailed, but still simplistic (BIG problems with 5…): I often feel the need for a back up.

The only tape entirely devoted to this principle, as far as I know.

 

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 51: Classic Renditions video/DVD Vol. 3 – Michael Ammar

 

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This is the third volume in the Classic Renditions series. Each video in the series focuses intensely on one single subject. Volume 3 is on The TT Bill Switch

Classic Renditions is considered to be among the best teaching tapes available anywhere. On these tapes, Michael uses his "Super Practice Sessions", and John Cornelius makes a guest appearance.

The Bill Switch, once mastered, will allow you to turn $1's into $100's, turn money inside out, and perform many other transpositions, restorations and transformations! This video will teach you how to perform one of the most requested tricks by laymen: "The $100 Bill Switch" - turning their $1 into a $100.

Michael has performed this on TV under unbelievable camera scrutiny - the bill is visible at all times and yet the secret move is neither seen nor suspected!

As a bonus, John Cornelius teaches his "Borrowed Bill" routine.

 

REVIEW:

A short video, but still the best rendition of the Koslowski Bill Switch While the filler section on how your hands should look like is a bit boring (Ammar says it was inspired from Michelangelo’s paintings…), the moves are explained in great details, and from several angles, as per the standard L&L “Super Practice sessions”.

The bonus routine, featuring John Cornelius at the Magic Castle, is truly funny and should be studied for a variety of reasons…

 

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 50: Classic Renditions video/DVD Vol. 2 – Michael Ammar

 

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This series focuses intensely on one specific subject. This is volume 2 of the Classic Renditions series. The subject is "Rubber Band Magic".

Considered to be among the best teaching tapes anywhere, Michael employs his "Super Practice Session" - where you can practice along with him, over and over again, guided by his hands on a blue screen, while Baroque music plays.

Rubber Band magic is fantastic, because it can be (or appear to be) completely impromptu in social situations. This is the kind of material Michael always chooses to do when he's socializing and someone asks "can you show me a trick?"

Michael worked with David Copperfield on a rubber band effect for his 'Great Wall of China' special. Later, David claimed more people called in about the rubber band effect than they did about the Great Wall!

The video teaches in great detail three classic rubber band effects:

 

THE CRAZYMAN'S HANDCUFFS

A rubber band is stretch between your forefinger and thumb on each hand. You link one with the other, give a tug and the bands appear to just melt right through one another. You repeat from a few different angles, and conclude with allowing the spectator to hold one of the bands and you melt your band through right under there nose!

TRAVELING CASH

 

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A 'rubber ladder' is formed with two stretched rubber bands. A spectator wraps a folded dollar bill around the top strand, and holds on. Then, one by one, the money jumps from the top down, one strand at a time.

THE BROKEN & RESTORED RUBBER BAND

 

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A single rubber band is broken, the outstretched fully to display, then put right back together again! Michael often concluded a rubber band sequence with this one.

And there is a bonus section by John Cornelius.

 

REVIEW:

 

One of the few magic videos with a decent music…

Typical Ammar stuff: well-produced, average presentations, superior attention to details (check out the essential quote from Erdnase!). His explanation of the Crazy Man’s Handcuffs is in my opinion a lot better than Harlan’s handling, and the “practice sections” make the effects really easy to learn.

The video also includes John Cornelius’ Vanishing Nickel, previously marketed as “Fickle Nickel”.

 

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 47: Band of the Hand – Docc Hilford

 

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00002.jpgMurderous Mentalism That Will Kill Your Audience!

This bizarre booklet contains five of Docc's strongest effects, straight from his personal arsenal. These are tricks he's performed for live audiences for years.

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Band of the Hand is a murderous group of five incredibly different and original mental effects, far removed from the "I know what you're thinking" type of mental tricks. Contains:

Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper - a complete seance in your pocket!
A Study in Scarlet - Take your audience through the dark in search of a murderer with the light of a single match!
Swamp Water - Demonstrate control over pure evil contained in a jar of water which reveals things no one knows!
Nightmare Coins - Turn a dream into a tangible nightmare that you can hold!

Murder by Mail - Prove that you possess powers that can actually kill someone! WARNING: You may not want to perform this effect, it's too strong!

"The Nightmare Coins routine has found a permanent place in my closeup show." -Allen Zingg-Editor of Vibrations

 

"I can't perform Murder by Mail anymore-it's just too strong!" -Jim Magus

 

"Docc, Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper, take people to the edge of danger and bring them back safely!" -Tony Andruzzi

 

REVIEW:

Docc Hilford at his best. All the methods and psychological subtleties are thoroughly detailed, and are worth reading even if you will not perform the effects. Contents:

a high-tech psychic bell you already own;
a childish presentation of an old Punx idea with your box(es) of matches;

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a version of Wilbur Kattner’s 1945 Prolix Spirit (no credits. I ask: WHY????);
a c/s coin equivoque;
a macabre Headline Prediction.

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

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HN Magic Review 43: Folding Bunny Bill – Robert E. Neale

 

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What a great giveaway piece to leave with your clients. Just borrow a dollar bill and without any cutting or tearing, you fold the bill into a top hat. Hold it up and squeeze the top hat. Up pops the head of a little bunny. The entire origami fold is done with a single dollar bill. Interesting for them to watch you fold and something they will keep forever.

REVIEW:

Wonderful little origami, it always gets a smile. This cheap booklet was published by Magic Inc. in the ‘60s, but if you want updated handlings, the full presentation and Paul Harris’ tips you may prefer Mr. Neale’s big book, “Folding Money Fooling”. For you video guys, the effect is also described (without any patter) in “Celebration of Sides” – the easiest way to learn the trick.

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

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HN Magic Review 25: Miracles of Suggestion – Kenton Knepper

 

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Kenton is well known for his work on suggestion and the application of suggestion to magic and mentalism. In this work, Kenton reveals simple and profound examples of suggestion in real performance situations.

Friends are a little disappointed that Kenton gave up this much inside information at this price. But Kenton hopes this booklet will excite more performers into considering how the power of suggestion may be applied to their work.

To quote one performer: "This book is full of nothing less than sheer miracles. How dare you tell others, but thank you for allowing me to read this"!

There is more than mere theory. It is truly the practical application of miraclous principles. The most timid performer will find ideas and effects he can use, as will the more adventurous sort. The more you will try, the more convinced you will become.
Imagine appearing as if you have erased a thought from a spectator's mind - all by a a few Svengali hand gestures ! Or dream of forcing a person to choose a particular card, even though they get to shuffle, cut and choose a card all by their own hand. It is EASY, but devious, and yes, almost miraculous.
In this booklet you will also find Kenton's ingenious work on "Equivoque" or "Magician's Choice". You will also learn "The Subconscious Book Test" and how Kenton's finger rings bend on the table while he is doing a "bending" effect. All of this and MORE. Here is the work Kenton is famous for, and now made more direct than ever. You will also get a sampling of the incredible Luke Jermay which Banachek has said is next in a continuing line of the Kenton Knepper, Derren Brown tradition. In other words, he'll blow you away! Now for the BEST part. You get all of this and more in under thirty intense pages for a ridiculously low price for what this booklet contains. Get it ALL and do MIRACLES if you DARE for only...

REVIEW:

 

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This remarkable little booklet integrates the Wonder Words tapes for what concern the suggestion issues and provides further thoughts and applications. I don’t perform anything out of the manuscript, but several ideas and fine points can be applied to other effects.

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Even the hyped card filler (using a svengali deck) contains several insights on force procedures.

 

For those interested in the booktest described in the ad, forget it for close-up settings…

 

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 20: Weerd Enough – Kenton Knepper

 

AD:

This work contains six of Kenton's most unusual effects and methods. Previously unreleased except to a private few, these concepts will challenge you. Far from the "ordinary" this manuscript details:

How to find a card by "channeling" a spectator.
How to make a problem "vanish" for a spectator - they actually SEE this happen - while alone in the privacy of their own home. Powerful magic mixed with an appropriate visual metaphor. Perform a routine in which words and scent are the actual method.
Make vanished coins or charms reappear inside a lit candle. Learn how the legendary crop circle diagrams are used for psychological "readings". All the needed artwork is included. This alone could have been sold for more than the cost of the entire manuscript. More (of course) including further effect and presentations, more extended and diverse applications, and new gut-level essays.

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It is little wonder that many have awaited Kenton's release of this "Weerd” material. It took the ending of Docc Hilford's "Weerd Weekend" to get Kenton to divulge this secret work to others. A very select few have been in the know - as they paid Kenton to create some of this work for their own performances! Now these often startling effects and strange but
magical methods can be YOURS.

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This manuscript may be a tribute to unusual and "Weerd" magic, but do not let that confuse you. These remarkable methods are applicable to many diverse effects and routines. Even if you are not interested in "Weerd" magic, you are bound to find these ideas to be of unique, and inspiring value. Besides, some of it is just flat out FUN.

If you do close-up, there are things in here you simply must have. If you do mentalism, be prepared for some amazing ideas that you will use, and that will challenge you too. If you do "readings", Kenton's "Crop Circle Readings" has been a secret gem for many years. Now complete with the artwork, you can make your own at a fraction of what it would cost you otherwise.

With this entire lineup - and more - you are bound to find something truly useful and DIFFERENT. Of course, if all you wanted the same old boring thing, you probably wouldn't be at our website.

As one person privy to this material put it, "Read this and be in awe". WE say, "You're sure to find some items of unique interest in this one". We'd hate to be immodest, after all.

REVIEW:

Good over-hyped book, I found a gem there (the Docc Hilford’s holiday memories) that “went straight into my act”, as professional quoters would say. All-round suggestions coupled with an arguable magic kicker.

The book also contains some interesting “Dorian Gray’s” applications of an item you can purchase for a few dollars in sewing shops (and about ten times its price through other dealers…)

00002.jpgOther effects include F###### playing cards and other laminated items – sorry I removed those from my memory.

 

OVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 12: Theater of the Mind – Barrie Richardson

 

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Hermetic Press has always taken pride in producing only the very best books on mentalism: Waters's Mind, Myth & Magick, Lesley's Paramiracles and works by Phil Goldstein. For years we wanted to bring out a book by Barrie Richardson, and when we did it was an instant success, selling out three printings within a year. In a recent poll, Theater of the Mind showed up on a number of lists of the ten best magic books of all time!

1999 recipient of the Psychic Entertainers Association award for creativity, and with over fifty years of professional performance behind him, Barrie Richardson has gathered together 53 of his best mental routines, most with complete presentations, for this large volume of baffling experiences. In Theater of the Mind you will find page after page of fresh, practical material, tested and perfected before thousands of audiences; astonishing feats that use only ordinary items, and few of them; entertaining mental experiments that involve the whole audience, that pack small and play big, that exploit a devilish combination of simplicity and cleverness. What you will discover in Barrie Richardson's Theater of the Mind is a wealth of professional material at a pauper's price. 320 pages in hardcover.

REVIEW:

 

00002.jpgBig book from Stephen Minch’s Hermetic Press, you will surely find something to use. At least I did, courtesy of “Pencil Pusher”.

There are regrettably a lot of magic tricks with cards, envelopes, billets etc. which constitute the bulk of the book – do not except cutting edge techniques or revolutionary mentalism methods.

Interesting solution for the Berglas’ “Any card at any number” problem, even though I would have liked the author to lay out all the cards arrangements, instead of leaving part of the work to the reader!

OVERALL RATING: very good 43

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 9: Peek Performances – Richard Busch

 

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The ultimate treatise on securing secret information: center tears, book tests, card peeks, billets and psychological forces; even an impromptu Mother Of All Book Tests.

"Peak Performances is a must-have! The most creative and original look at billets and peeks in years!"
-Ted Karmilovich, Jr., Creator of the Mother Of All Book Tests

"If you want the real work, take the time to carefully read what's inside."
-Ford Kross, Psychic Entertainer and Hypnotist, Author of Suggestive Mentalism

"In a clear, concise and easy to read manner, Mr. Busch covers one of the most important subjects to our art...the secret gathering of information and, just as important, the revelation of this information to our audiences. No props, no convoluted plot line or long sequenced, boring tricks, just clear, direct, to the point effects that look as close to real mind reading as one can possibly get. This is a book designed to give you lesson after lesson to be read, digested and developed, year after year."
-Paul Alberstat, Canada's Leading Mentalist

00002.jpgREVIEW:

 

Heavy, weighty book from Magical Inspirations. It includes:

 

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- a wonderful quote from Eliza Dolittle: “Moves, moves, moves, I’m so sick of moves!”
- billets work, center tears, booktests, card moves (“that even Ford Kross could do” – not so sure about that…), watch effects, NW, oneahead subtleties etc.
- the real secret behind the Psychic Entertainers Association’s acronym.

Too much physical manipulation in most of the cards methods for the “discerning mentalist”, but also sprinkles of hypnotherapeutic touches peppered throughout the book.

OVERALL RATING: very good – maybe not for the beginners.

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 5: Seven Deceptions – Luke Jermay

 

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"This Material Is So Fantastic - I Bought The Rights To It!" - Kenton Knepper
I have never paid for someone else's ideas to publish, and I may never do so again. But Luke's "7 Deceptions" is in a class all its own.

Steve Banachek, Docc Hilford, myself and a few select others have made additions to Luke's incredible work. Here are a few of the effects from this ground-breaking book:

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Stop your own pulse without gimmicks. Now the SHOCKER... Stop a spectator's pulse without touching the spectator. No
stooges. Another member of the audience confirms this. You can even apparently change the pulse rate of the entire
audience! This is the REAL inside work. An instant classic from which reputations have and will continue to be made.
A spectator looks at a playing card. You cause the spectator to forget this card, and they cannot remember it. Included in this full

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explanation is how to cause people to forget their name temporarily and much more. Yes, you CAN do it!

A spectator's actual phobia is seen to go away through a magical, psychological event. The spectator takes home a special paper to remind them of this dramatic change. Is it real magic? Psychological symbolism at work? How does it happen? Your spectators will be impressed - perhaps for a lifetime.

Two different spectators see two different words on one ungimmicked piece of paper without a single switch You may also add to this, causing a third spectator to read a third word. A fascinating principle explained in full. Many new ideas will come from this one.

During a palm reading, the lines on the spectator's palm apparently move and twist on their own. A stunning combination of linguistics, psychology and neurology.

REVIEW:

If we forget all the hypes of the Wonder Wizards site and the previous “Eight Maneuver” of Mr. Jermay, the book is brilliant. The influence of Kenton Knepper is always very noticeable, and a few effects are originally inspiring, in the mental/bizarre/”weerd” categories.

The Butterfly Billet (strategically positioned in the book…) offers a strong audience-centered effect, if you spend enough time to prepare it.

My personal favorite is the pulse-stopping trick approach – I am combining this effect with the watch ideas provided in Knepper’s “Sorcerer Series” vol. 3.

00002.jpgOVERALL RATING: very good

 

HN

 

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Good

I consider these magic products worthwhile, but with some limitations: you may want to investigate further on the matter before purchasing them and insulting me afterwards.

HN Magic Review 112: Fickle Nickel – John Cornelius/ Ronnie Gann

 

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As SEEN ON Doug HENNING MAGIC SPECIAL

This one you are just not going to believe! And why not? Because most of you saw it performed on one of the Doug Henning specials, and just didn’t believe it then! Why not? Because in its simplicity, and its apparent impossibility, the effect comes closer to real magic than anything you are likely to see, or show to your audiences, for many long months to come. The simple, but absolutely mind-blowing effect is that a nickel held at arms length in one hand, with both sleeves rolled up, disappears completely from that hand, and then without a false move, reappears again. The step-by-step process, with no omissions, is as follows: the magician puts his right hand in his right pants pocket and pulls out a nickel, which he shows to the audience, as his left hand firmly holds the bare right wrist, keeping it steady so that the coin may be carefully noted by the spectators. The right hand then places the nickel in the upturned left palm, following which the left hand is held out towards the left, and the left little finger, ring finger, second finger, forefinger, and thumb, slowly close in turn over the coin. The closed left fist is then turned to show the audience the back of the left - hand.

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The left hand, still closed, then moves slowly to the left, and is rotated so the audience may again see the left fingers closed over the palm, after which the fingers are slowly opened wide, in the same sequence that they closed, and the left hand is shown to be completely empty. Next, the left hand, with the fingers spread wide apart, is slowly turned so that the audience may see the absolutely empty back of the left hand.

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Then, to make sure that the audience has had every chance to observe the hand carefully from both sides, the empty palm, and the empty back of the hand are again shown in turn to the spectators. The fingers of the left hand are then closed; the closed left palm shown carefully to the audience, and the hand is slowly opened to show that the coin has mysteriously returned to the palm. The coin is allowed to drop to the left fingertips, which grasp it, and toss it into the right hand, which returns it to the right pants pocket.

Elementary in its straightforwardness? You can’t believe it! Undetectable as to what actually happened to the coin? Yes. You know how unblinking the television camera is as it stares at the hand, bathed in brilliant studio light. Necessary to rehearse the presentation a bit? Of course. But if you want a miracle, here you have it. No one truly interested in brilliant magical concepts should be without this one. And you can do it!

REVIEW:

A good coin trick: even if the angles are quite restrictive and the coin must be very small, it is a very visual effect in the right conditions, and technically easy to perform.

Still, do NOT purchase it: the effect is described in much more details in Michael Ammar’s “Classic Renditions Vol. 2” video/DVD, along with a live performance by John Cornelius himself and 3 classic rubber bands tricks.

You don’t need to buy the gimmicked coin (by the way you may already have it!), because the ingenious method works with real coins (any currency) if they are small enough.

OVERALL RATING: Good

 

00002.jpgH.

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HN Magic Review 108: Killer Konceptions – Kenton Knepper

 

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How could anyone improve on the Original Kolossal Killer manuscript? Kenton has!

This manuscript contains what Kenton believes to be to the most impressive and entertaining versions of Kolossal Killer ever! Here you will find versions that outdo the original! These methods include ways to do Killer without using a wallet, methods that allow you to hand the spectators the wallet, gaffs so the wallet would be truly empty, and much more.

There are even ideas from the late Doug Henning that Kenton couldn't keep to himself, as well as contributions from many others.

 

REVIEW:

For once, a sequel with the same quality level of the original book. Contents include some variations of the original Kolossal Killer - notably one with business cards instead of playing cards - and a few mental card forces (one of them was already described in Docc Hilford’s Real Mind Reading video).

You will need the Original Kolossal Killer to perform the effects (except one off-topic bonus trick at the end of the book), because Killer Konceptions starts where the previous volume stopped, and the basic method is not explained.

OVERALL RATING: good

 

H.

 

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HN Magic Review 107: Kolossal Killer – Kenton Knepper

 

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Kolossal Killer has long been one of Kenton's Knepper's favorite creations!

 

Unfortunately, versions sell for over one hundred dollars. Not any more...What is Kolossal Killer?

Spectators just NAME a playing card, and you have the correct card in your wallet. YOU ARE ALWAYS CORRECT! It is the ultimate card 'out' for Close-up work. A spectator can mess with you all they want - RELAX - you can still produce a playing card from your normal wallet, as absolute proof that you knew their card all along. Kolossal Killer has become a classic piece of mentalism as well - used by such pros as Larry Becker and Jeff McBride. It's a full-blown stage effect, with nothing but the minds of the audience and your everyday billfold.

NO Forces NO Gaffed Wallet NO Sleight of Hand NO 52 Card Index (Not 26 cards either)

. . . Whatever they name, you are right. Simple, direct, awe-inspiring magic and mentalism - the kind you have come to expect from Kenton Knepper.

PLUS With this - Kenton's original version - you can do effects even the expensive gaffed wallet versions simply cannot do. AND you will receive complete routines, right out of Kenton's act. This couldn't be easier or more diabolical. Only a very select few have been privy to Kenton's original version of Killer - until now. THIS IS YOUR

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CHANCE. Get the complete original work with all the devious touches in this manuscript (just add your own billfold and cards). Forever more you will have a truly groundbreaking reputation maker, not 'up your sleeve', but in your own wallet.

REVIEW:

 

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I don’t know about you, but I am becoming allergic to the Wonder Wizards hypes…

The prepared wallet is not examinable, and this could be a problem for magicians. The impact can be strong, although I suggest you do not use Kolossal Killer as an effect in itself, but as an out for “thought-of cards” routines – in fact, the booklet includes the excellent effect “Truly Invisible”, already published in the accompanying notes of Wonder Words vol. 2.

The manuscript is very thin and should have included the ideas described in the sequel (Killer Konceptions), which takes the basic effect to new heights. But I guess that 2 booklets sell more than 1 book.

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 106: Visual Impossible Penetration (VIP) - Mike Powers

 

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V.I.P. stands for Visual-Impossible-Penetration. This is THE handling for the cap in the bottle. Other methods require that you use a specific type of beer bottle. With V.I.P. virtually any type of bottle can be used and the spectator holds the bottle as you drive though the side of the bottle (see picture). Also, with V.I.P. you not only get that "special something", you also get the V.I.P. took kit, which allows you to set up a bottle in about 2 minutes.

You can give the bottle away when you're done because you can set up another in 2 minutes!

 

REVIEW:

 

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“Set up a bottle in about 2 minutes” MY A##. The setup is in fact a long and draining process (if you want to leave the bottle to the spectator, and let her closely examine it), but the “prop” provided is simple and functional.

The production value of Mr. Power’s booklets is one of the worst I know (folded A4 pages, often stapled in the wrong order – Holey Terror II also had the same problem) but the trick is very workable and can have a strong impact in staged close-up situations. Of course it can’t be done “impromptu” at a friend’s home, since you have to use your own prepared bottle (non examinable before the effect).

Concerning the moves, the author mentions an alternative method using a well-known gimmick you may already own, which works much better than the technique originally described, and leaves you completely clean at the end.

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 100: Mini Rabbit From Hat - Dick Barry

 

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A miniature (one inch) top hat is shown completely empty. A spectator reaches inside to prove it is truly empty. The hat is placed open end down on your EMPTY palm. After making a magical gesture the hat is lifted, a small BUNNY RABBIT HAS MAGICALLY APPEARED. EVERYTHING CAN BE EXAMINED. THIS BAFFLES THE BEST OF THEM! The next time someone says, "CAN YOU PULL A RABBIT FROM A HAT?" ANSWER WITH THIS CLOSE-UP MIRACLE.

REVIEW:

 

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This one uses magic props (a black plastic top hat and a sponge rabbit), and should therefore be banned from my current repertoire. However, it is a cute little quickie that always gets “oooh, aaaah!!” from the ladies (no, not THAT kind of “oooh, aaaah!!”)

The props are very well made and the price is right, even though I would have preferred a slightly smaller size for easier concealment.

 

It’s just a simple, innocuous magic trick, but you know the saying: if they applaud, keep it…

 

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 99: Holey Terror II – Mike Powers

 

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Just when you thought it was safe! Holey Terror II -- The sequel. The original created a sensation when it was released a few years ago.

The effect is straightforward and powerful.
A card is chosen from a shuffled deck. A hole is punched at each corner of the signed card. Place your thumb over one of the holes and move it to another corner! The spectator feels the holes to make sure they are real (and they are!).
Now, another hole is moved to the same corner! Again the holes are felt to be real. This is WEIRD!
Finally, you visibly move the last hole over with the others, ending with all four holes in the same corner! The spectator feels the holes one last time, then removes the card from the deck.
His signature is still on the face of the card!! You can give him the card as a souvenir.

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Holy Terror II is a single deck method! Self contained and really easy to do. No pulls, magnets, etc. The card is signed. Comes complete with everything, even the hole punch and special Bicycle cards. Nothing else need ever be purchased, except more cards!

REVIEW:

 

This is a F****** card trick – enough said…

Still, it gets surprising reactions from the lay audience, and is worth your time and consideration. If you are ready to carry around your deck of playing cards and a regular hole puncher, and perform a series of knuckle busting card moves (AAAARGH!!!)

I obviously prefer Michael Close’s Pothole Trick (done with a business card), but if you really have to perform card tricks, this one is recommended.

OVERALL RATING: may be good for you

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 98: Peek Encores – Richard Busch

 

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An in-depth treatise on four revolutionary billets and their many adaptations for the mature, modern mentalist who desires state-of-theart, in-full-view methods of immediate. invisible information acquisition. No switching, no duplicates, no stealing, and no tearing! Ultra-clean, live-time, instantly accessed information ... at your fingertips.
With the help of clear text on 110 big pages (on the best 32 pound laser paper) and a whopping 175 photos, you will enjoy this format! It is very user friendly. For the voyeur in you, Peek Encores is loaded with the

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sequential, step-by-step information that will update and surpass previous handlings. It is a breakthrough billet bonanza for mentalists who can no longer afford to handle billets like a magician!

What People Are Saying:

 

"Busch's Billet may well be the best billet peek ever to see print!"

 

-Doug Dyment

" ... It works like nothing else I've ever tried in billet work. It has been improved beyond belief. All I can say is what so many others have already said ... you're a genius! You're the greatest!"
-Larry Becker

"Just finished reading Richard Busch's newest work, PEEK ENCORES which firmly establishes Mr. Busch as THE authority on the secret gathering of information via the billet peek. I enjoyed the format of PEEK ENCORES, found it well produced, and even easier to understand than its predecessor. Filled with copious photographs, its 110 pages not only make his devious creations easy to follow, but also give you a flavor of Richard the person...a delightful mensch with a love of Mentalism!!!"
-Bruce Bernstein

"Magnificent! Peek Encores is more than just a sequel to Peak Performances. Rather than continuing from where PP left off, Peek Encores explores new territory for the serious Billet worker. There are at least two ideas I put to use immediately, and several others I intend to explore more thoroughly when I have the time. The handlings are welltaught with literally hundreds of photographs and explicit instructions. Good job, Richard; you've done it again!"
-John Riggs

" ... a monument in mentalism literature."

 

-Liz and Leondo

 

00002.jpgREVIEW:

This self-produced, spiral bound book only contains 4 peeks: a great version of Al Mann/Millard Longman’s Acidus Novus, and 3 variations of moves previously described in Peek Performances (Zen, Zorro and

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Reader’s Billets). All the moves are explained in great details, with plenty of photographs.

The first peek, called “Busch’s Billet”, is the cleanest I know (I don’t own Alain Bellon’s Obsidian Oblique, to be honest) and was worth the price of the book to me: it is truly done at the fingertips, and allows the participant to write on half of the billet.

The other 3 moves look like fillers: they should have been inserted (in the worst case scenario) in Peek Performances. Seems like an unnecessary way to beef up the book and justify its price.

OVERALL RATING: Good (enough now)

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 92: The Stockholder – Gregory Wilson

 

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Take an old but effective principle, mix in the creative genius of some of the top names in close up and you get Gregory Wilson's THE STOCKHOLDER!
You receive a nicely made small leather wallet which you can use to carry credit cards around in, which on one side has a place for your business cards. The business card side of the wallet is gimmicked to work on the 'Out To Lunch' principle and enables you to create all manner of fun and amazing effects.
The 72 page A5 centre stapled book of routines supplied is very

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comprehensive. Photo illustrated, it gives the exact handling of the prop plus many routines from people such as Michael Close, Paul Harris, Daryl, Simon Lovell, Michael Webber, Dan Harlan, Jay Sankey, Gregory Wilson and more. The book is also written in a wonderfully funny and entertaining way! You're going to LOVE this!

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REVIEW:

The wallet has in-built speakers and a giant yellow label with “MAGIC PROP” written on it. On the other hand, the booklet is full choking of gags and offbeat presentations for the Out To Lunch principle. Surprisingly entertaining, it’s definitely worth reading if you enjoy this method.

Buy it, throw away the wallet and continue using your clip or rubber bands.

 

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 89: The Cantrip Codex: a Guide for the Advanced Enigmatist - Tony Doc Shiels

 

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N/A (out of print)

 

REVIEW:

 

00002.jpg1989 hardbound production from one of the grandfathers of Bizarre Magick.

The book, published by the late Tony Andruzzi, focuses on original presentational aspects instead of actual methods. It includes a couple of séances, essays on his performance philosophy, effects with a Polaroid camera, tarot cards, weird artifacts etc . My favorite was a “backward in time” effect with human hairs and bones…

After reading this book, many wished they could meet his daughter.

 

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OVERALL RATING: good (and even better for the assiduous bizarrists)

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 87: Fortune and Fate – Anthony Lindan

 

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A “Con-Fabulous” mental effect using your own business cards. Commercial and entertaining mentalism routine using a game show (i.e., quiz show) format, making for lots of great audience participation! Works equally well for table workers, or as a feature routine in a parlor act. Anthony Lindan gives us 10 solid minutes of strong psychic entertainment that can be easily worked out of your pocket. I’ve used it successfully in several trade shows, as the customization aspect of this piece is really great! (I used the company representative’s business cards.) Using only the back of your business cards, you predict a participant’s personal dream price package (no matter what prize or prizes the dream up).

Included with the quality instruction booklet is a special gimmick. It helps you do that extra secret “dirty work” thanks makes this routine so unusually strong. Everything in the routine ends clean and can be examined. There are no gimmicks to steal out or ditch. Re-sets in seconds for as many performances as you like.

REVIEW:

 

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Nothing more than a mental magic trick with your business cards, but the appealing plot and the (seemingly) impromptu nature of the effect makes it worth a look. The modus operandi combines several classic methods you already know, and Dan Garrett illustrates all the fine points of the routine.

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The gimmick I received however is very poorly gimmicked (far from the “surgical precision” promised in the manuscript) – I urge you to check it before purchasing.

OVERALL RATING: ok

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 84: Linking Life Savers / Linking Polo Mints – Colin Gilbert

 

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Colin Gilbert's Linking Lifesavers is one of the best close-up effects to come along in a long time. It's great magic with the most innocent looking items imaginable!

From a roll of Lifesavers, a spectator selects any two. These are genuine Lifesavers. They can even take the two from their own roll.

 

The Lifesavers are signed and, with no cover of any kind, they are visibly linked together!!

 

While they are linked, the signatures are verified and the Lifesavers tossed back and forth form hand to hand to prove that they are unbroken.

 

Then, the Lifesavers are unlinked and both handed back as souvenirs.

Absolutely amazing! The gimmick is just great. No already-linked Lifesavers, glue, threads, etc. The reset is instantaneous and you can repeat it immediately.

00002.jpgSelf-working and powerful.

 

REVIEW:

 

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Well-produced soft-himber gimmick, which looks (and smells, if you carry it in a Lifesavers pack) just like the real thing. The idea of signing food seems a bit incongruent, but the effect found its place in my linking rubber bands routine.

Unfortunately, it is rather delicate (the original Polo Mint version is slightly larger and stronger): you may need to purchase it twice, one for practicing and the other for performance purposes.

You can get both versions by contacting Colin Gilbert himself – his address was published on the November (December?) 1998 issue of the Linking Ring. The original version came with an expensive and useless instructional video – fortunately no longer available.

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 69: Paper Balls over the Head video/DVD – Tony Clark

 

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Tony Clark had the privilege of being one of Slydini's last students. One of the most valuable routines he learned was the Paper Balls Over the Head - not only because of it's incredible impact and audience reaction, but also because Tony learned Slydini's most powerful technique in misdirection to perform it. Tony used this technique and created a rendition of Slydini's routine. The live performance on this video was shot at one of Tony's 2,200 performances at the Horizon Casino Resort in Lake Tahoe. In that time, Tony honed this paper ball routine into a powerful and comical piece of entertainment that you and your audience will thoroughly enjoy. Tony gives you a step by step, one on one lesson teaching you the details of this fabulous routine.

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PLUS! A bonus section with Tony's Kids Version!

 

REVIEW:

A classic comedy act: 5 minutes of impromptu magical entertainment, with nothing more than tissue paper. All the fine points are thoroughly explained, and the Slydini’s influence really shows through. Since Mr. Clark performed the routine more than 2200 times, one could wonder why the video showcases the same performance twice...

Anyway, a detailed lesson in timing and misdirection.

 

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 68: Mobile Mentalism - Mark Strivings

 

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One of the first books (and the largest) ever written dealing exclusively with the topic of walk-around mentalism. Sixteen effects and routines, all designed for the demanding world of the strolling performer.

Included are several routines by Mark Strivings as well as some of the top performers in the world of mentalism. Effects are included from such luminaries as Docc Hilford, Richard Webster, Terry Nosek, Ed

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Fowler, John Riggs, Anthony Lindan, Gene Urban and Robert Waller.

Taken together, this is a formidable collection of mentalism. You will use this material! Also included is an audio tape specifically for instruction of an effect called 'Sort-Of Numerology' by Mark Strivings. An impromptu mindreading effect that will knock your audiences out.

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In all over 60 pages of hard hitting mentalism!

 

This is a book you will refer to over and over again. If you do close-up or strolling work of any kind you need this book.

 

REVIEW:

The highlight IMHO is the accompanying audiotape, entirely devoted to the effect “Sort of Numerology”: it includes 2 honest phone performances and a number of details not included in the booklet. A gimmickless mentalism effect well worth the price of the package.

The manuscript also describes the basic PW technique (sadly expanded in “Miracles from the Hip”) and an interesting “Out to Lunch” presentation from Anthony Lindan. The rest is easy mental magic.

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 66: Boomerang Rubber Band – Chris Kenner / Dan Garrett

 

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A most unusual effect. Performer stretches a rubber band around his outstretched thumb and little finger. He then shoots the rubber band across the room about 15 feet. It hits the floor and begins a reverse spin and returns to the performer rolling on its edge!! Charlie Miller created much talk with this effect many years ago in Genii Magazine. Now here is this legendary juggling feat that will amaze everyone.

REVIEW: 62

 

Very visual quickie – the manuscript says that Dai Vernon was badly fooled by it.

This impromptu effect is also described in the Dan Harlan’s Magic with Rubber Bands video trilogy, but the printed instructions are more detailed. Be aware, it takes a LONG time to acquire the knack (I found it more difficult than snapping a knot with a shoelace!)

Just a quick stunt, but it does get a reaction.

 

OVERALL RATING: ok

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 64: PK pen - Banachek

 

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A Bic brand pen is balanced on the edge of the table and the performer may then walk across the room. After exerting tremendous mental powers directed at the pen, the pen slowly wiggles then moves and finally falls onto the floor! You pick it up, begin to return it to your pocket but instead use it as you would any ordinary pen.

An uncanny display of your mental powers done with an "ordinary" everyday Bic ink pen.

 

Each pen prepared by hand

 

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Includes one gimmicked and one ungimmicked pen

 

REVIEW:

 

The pen really works as described, and you could be in the other room when it happens.

 

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However, the effect is weakened by a few factors:
- the pen is not a “common” BIC – you hardly see this type of pen around. Perhaps a common Paper Mate (or even better, a “clear” Bic) would have been more appropriate;

- the regular pen provided is different that the gimmicked one (fine/medium point.... some spectators are sneakier than mentalists)! This is a surprising inconsistency, coming from such a “subtle” thinker;
- the pen does not write – you can’t use it for previous effects. That’s really a pity, I would have paid a lot more for a few inkblots.

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 63: Celebration of Sides video/DVD– Robert Neale

 

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"Robert Neale is one of my favorite people to hang out with. Plus, I use one of his creations every day in my show. Years ago my pal Michael Weber introduced me to Robert, and I've been fascinated by him ever since. Here’s your chance to have Michael perform this same introduction; I bet you’ll be as enthralled as I continue to be." - Mac King

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"Bob Neale, one of the most creative thinkers on this planet, takes us into an Alice In Wonderland world where impossible things happen and then he teaches us how to do these inexplicable demonstrations...Bravo!" -Barrie Richardson

Celebration of Sides will expose you to many unusual facets of the unique Robert Neale. You'll meet Neale the Topologist, the Artist, the Philosopher and the Trickster as he leads you on a personal tour of his

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world–a nonsense world that just might distort your perception and alter your view of reality.

Mr. Neale is joined by Michael Weber as they discuss miraculous plots with items like impossible boxes, walls that have invisible holes and multidirectional arrows (objects easily found in any alternative dimension.) Note that there are no cards and no coins, just fresh impossibilities that will confound, enlighten, and delight both you and your audiences.

Included are: Arrow of Good Fortune, (K)not Magic, Whatsabox!, Inside The Beltway, Trapdoor, Borromean Rings, Brick Wall and a special bonus of Robert Neale’s famous Bunny Bill.

Approximate Running Time: 113 Minutes

 

REVIEW:

 

Original video from Bob Neale, with the “enthusiastic” participation of Michael Weber.

You will need to build and bring along your props in Borromean Rings, Whatsabox and Arrow of Good Fortune. The Trapdoor Card and the Bunny Bill are both excellent and impromptu effects (see relevant reviews), but were already published years ago - by Karl Fulves and Jay Marshall respectively.

Inside the Beltway and Knot Magic are lightweight tricks with a borrowed belt and a piece of string (“tying a knot without letting go the end”).

In Brickwall instead, Neale has taken to new heights (pun intended) an old Gardner/Curry idea – a fascinating redistribution of spaces that could be done impromptu with your pre-marked business card.

OVERALL RATING: good

 

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HN Magic Review 61: PK touches – Banachek

 

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2 spectators participate in a haunting story during which they feel touches on their shoulders while the magician is nowhere near them! What You Get: 10 page spiral-bound booklet with step-by-step instructions and detailed illustrations

REVIEW:

Probably Banachek wanted to take the credits for the effect, without giving away the whole store. It shows throughout: cheaply produced booklet, full of typos, remarkably weak presentation (a corny “dead uncle” patter).

The effect can be a killer in the right situations, especially if combined with an alternative method (I use a version of Socrate’s Chi Power); but I can’t see anybody performing this effect straight from the book without a LOT of extra work.

OVERALL RATING: good

 

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HN Magic Review 60: Wonder Penetration – Doug Edwards

 

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This is a fantastic pen through anything effect. This pen looks like a normal Papermate biro, and can be examined by the spectator both before and after the effect, with no switches to perform. The spectator can actually see the pen go through the note! Amazing! Only one pen is used and other effects (such as coin transformations) can also be done.

REVIEW:

I loved this one, a very cheap ordinary-looking Paper Mate that is FULLY examinable after the effect (no, not right before the effect – beware of those misleading ads). A few magicians even took it to pieces to find nothing.

Check it before buying, because some of the pens are poorly gimmicked.

 

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 38: Magic with rubber bands videos/DVD vol. 1, 2, 3 – Dan Harlan

 

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Dan Harlan, an innovator in rubberband magic, has organized this video into sections featuring complimentary methods to form fully developed routines. The instructions make these effects nearly effortless to learn! It's easier when you actually see the tricks done and explained by a professional magician!

Vol. 1 includes: Rubber Cuffs (yes, THAT rubber band trick where one rubber band seems to pass right through another), Back Two-Gether, Soft Spot, Twice As Crazy, Crazy Link, Crazy Twist Vanish, Card

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Cuffs, Climbing Ring, Snap Two, Post Modern String Art, Appearing Band, Band Parenthood, 2 to 1 Join, Recurring Nightmare, 1 to 2 Split, Multiple Appearance, Tongue Tied, Hindu Bands. 18 effects in all!

Vol. 2 includes: Pseudo Wrist Penetration, Thumb Twist, Finger Twist, Deck Twist, Delayed Snap and Penetration, Hypnotic Link, Missing Link, Breakaway, Breaking Up the Band, Spread Suspension, Resonance, Knot Restored, Pans, Stranded

Vol 3 includes: Rubber Morph, Willy Worm, Penetrating Matches, Snap Back, Spaghetti Up Nose, Jump Switch, Boomerang Band, Star, Starweaver, Latter Ladder, Timezones, Cash Delay, Acrobaticlip, Jumping Rubber Band, Twist-On, Delayed Jump, One-Armed Band-Up, Doublejointed (Penetration), Jumper Stumper, Emergency Pull, Mass Vanish to Ball

REVIEW:

There’s a whole bunch of weak puzzles in these tapes, but with some practice you will surely be able to come up with 5 minutes of solid close-up magic. The best single rubber band item in the magic circuit is still, IMHO, Michael Ammar’s Classic Renditions Vol. 2 (just compare his Crazyman’s Handcuffs with Harlan’s version).

A special mention for a penetration effect with 2 borrowed matches (and no rubber bands) that uses a different method, and could therefore reinforce similar rubber band effects.

For those interested in creating full rubber bands routines, Mr. Harlan’s tapes are certainly worth a look.

 

OVERALL RATING: ok

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 37: Psychokinetic Silverware video/DVD – Banachek/Gerry Mc Cambridge

 

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If you really could bend metal with your mind, Psycho-kinetic Silverware is exactly how it would look. You’ll see cold, hard steel melt like butter–bending, twisting, breaking and moving seemingly on its own, even in a spectator’s hand!

Banachek’s metal bending is so amazing and so realistic that he has often been accused of being and doing “the real thing.” In fact, after studying Banachek’s metal bending the McDonnell Laboratory for Psychic Research proudly announced to the scientific community that they had discovered someone with genuine psychic abilities! The National Inquirer and other media have also heralded Banachek’s psychokinetic talents.

On this videotape, Gerry and Banachek finally reveal the real secrets to these amazing routines in PK Silverware. Not only will you get to see how everything looks in performance, you’ll also learn the real inside work, the fine points and psychology of metal bending. These are secrets which have have been very tightly guarded...until now.

REVIEW:

 

Interesting video (so far the best approach on spoon bending), courtesy of the numerous psychological subtleties involved.

Unfortunately, cheap cutlery is not an option: don’t expect to perform the full routines (6 effects, divided in 3 sets) with any borrowed fork. Also, the last 2 effects (the most impressive) require some advance preparation.

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HN

 

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HN Magic Review 36: Easy to Master Money Miracles videos/DVD vol. 1, 2 and 3 – Michael Ammar

 

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A rich collection of powerful money magic - both new and classic. World Champion magician Michael Ammar has assembled the very best of the practical yet astonishing routines using coins and currency ever shown on video. This is any-time, any-place magic which you can use to astonish spectators anywhere!

Volume One

41 - Cent Miracle (Michael Ammar)
Continuous Production (Jack Chanin)
Credit Card Quickie (Tony Antoniou)
Hornswoggled (George Stark & Jay Malbrough)
Snappy (Aldo Colombini)
Michael's Matrix (Michael Ammar)
Star Warp (Howard Schwarzman)
Bent Penny Transposition (Michael Ammar)
Incredible Coins Across (Michael Ammar)
Hanging Coins (David Roth)
Bonus Effect - Cash Back (Peter Pit)

Volume Two

Shadow Coins (Roth & Ammar)
BeSwitched (George Hample)
Coin Flurry & Jumbo Production
Sensory Control (Bob Elliott)

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Copper Silver Transpo
The $2 Bill Tear (Bert Jacques & Gene Keeney)
Sonic Squeeze (Michael Ammar)
The 4 Coin Roll Down (Manuel)
Expansion of Texture (Dai Vernon & L'Homme Masque)
Bonus Effect - Self - Folding Bill (Stephan Schutzer)

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Volume Three

Coins Thru Silk (Michael Ammar)
Dining On Dollars (Rick Johnsson)
Flying Eagles (Eddie Fechter)
$5 and $1 (Tom Ogden)
Coin From Pen Cap (David Williamson)
Chocolate Coin (Paul Harris)
E-Z Money (Patrick Page & Fred Kaps)
The 10,000 Grains of Salt
Bonus Effect - Bill To Nut (Michael Ammar & Louis Falanga)
Plus - The Bill To Impossible Location (Michael Ammar & Louis Falanga)

REVIEW:

 

Mr. Ammar has kept a pretty clean record on these 15 years – this trilogy is no exception.

Sure, you’ll find a lot of fillers and vacuous manipulative stunts (several tricks, such as Matrix, Flying Eagles, Coins thru silk and c/s transpositions are illustrated twice) but you’ll get away with a few workable close-up effects with coins and bills.

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 35: Psychokinetic Time (PK Time) – Banachek (Steve Shaw)

 

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Do you remember the stunning David Blaine’s magic effect performed on TV? In effect, he borrowed a watch from a man sitting in his car and 71

checked the correct time. He placed the watch back in the man’s hands and then asked him to think of a number to move the time. The man said "24" and after a few seconds of mental hocus-pocus, the man opened his hands and saw the watch indeed MOVE AHEAD 24 MINUTES! The reaction was incredible!

Now, you can learn the original method and forcing techniques used for this amazing effect in Banacheck’s 26- page manuscript Psycho-kinetic Time. After being long out of print, Banachek has re-released this monumental effect. Psychokinetic Time comes complete with nine clear photos and descriptive text that details the ultimate impromptu method for altering the time on a spectator’s watch while held in their own hand! Other effects and concepts with watches are also discussed using the secret principles. No "gadgets" or difficult handling. This is for the serious magician, mentalist or conjuring enthusiast - but can be mastered by anyone!

REVIEW:

Cons (unconvincingly addressed by the author):
- The effect should not be repeated for the same crowd;
- You cannot use any borrowed watch;
- The angles are indeed an issue;
- The REAL success rate is far from being 100%.

Pros:
- Great reactions when it hits;
- Really impromptu, no set-up
- propless (apart from the borrowed watch, obviously).

A detailed script is included in the Wonder Words series.

 

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 30: Jump! – John Kennedy

 

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A pen rests inside of a cup. You concentrate, stare at the cup, and something strange happens - the pen jumps out of the cup!

 

With Jump you can make a pen, pencil, spoon, or straw jump out of a cup or glass. You can even make popcorn pop right out of its bowl!

 

And no one will know how it works because they can examine everything afterwards.

Jump is a state-of-the-art electronic device that operates with a standard 9-volt battery (included). One battery will cause over a hundred jumps! The device stays hidden away from the action leaving no clue to the telekinetic mystery.

REVIEW:

Good gimmick, but also very delicate: mine tangled a dozen times so far. The effect is great (a few spectators really jump!), but it is not meant for really impromptu situations, and for sure not with a borrowed item. You need to set it up in advance at your performing location, with everything in place.

The timing mechanism is invariable – a mentalism presentation would probably have benefited from a longer delay.

 

OVERALL RATING: good

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 21: An Enchanted Evening – Kenton Knepper

 

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Here’s what Kenton himself says about this "enchanted" work:

"I am really excited about this diverse manuscript for a lot of reasons. It’s 60 full size pages. It has magic, mentalism, readings, essays and more in it. I have put in some of my favorite new material for both stage and close-up. I really LOVE this material as I do it often!"

Here are some highlights:

Spoon Bending Parties -- a detailed examination which many mentalists have asked me to share with them alone, or keep to myself. Bending Coins with no moves, and Manifesting Coins as desired by a spectator.
Packet Trick Readings -- this is a riot! Magicians love it.
Mentalists hate it. You should use it. How can it be this easy and startling too?
Flower Psychological Force as a Reading, with Outs as Personality Tests and more.
Flowers From Fingertips. Really. A no palming, no holder spring flower production that has fooled many well-versed performers. It’s EASY. An amazing invention.
A wide and eclectic blend of magic, mentalism, essays on enchantment, psychology, linguistics and more that I use almost daily in my work. The Full Linguistically Twisted Kenton Tarot Trick for BSM -- ALL the details!
Beautiful, poetic, miraculous, memorable magic and mentalism that is truly different.
Loads more I can’t even begin to discus

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As one friend put it, "It’s as eclectic and as interesting as you -- it’s pure Kenton, but everyone will benefit from it greatly whoever they are". I sure hope so. That was my full intention. The whole thing is a bit beyond words. Read it and you’ll know what I mean.

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If you cannot find something worthwhile for you to USE in this one, I’ll stop putting stuff out. I’m serious. This is the material that has made others, as well as myself, seem truly miraculous to our audiences. I know you can do valuable things with this stuff too.

We say if you like Kenton, you’ll love this!

 

REVIEW:

Interesting book. Contents include: a great addition to your invisible coins routine from Bryce Kuhlman, Ray Koenig’s Bent Cent (also sold separately), a rose force application, some wadding card stuff, spoon bending parties patters (you do not want to do that, hopefully!), nice quotes from R.W. Emerson &C, and the usual glorified blah blah

OVERALL RATING: good

 

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HN Magic Review 1: Dynamic Mysteries – Richard Osterlind

 

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Richard Osterlind unlocks the secrets of his high-impact stunners! A top professional, a man who earns a six figure income performing magic and mentalism, Richard's turbo charged material takes him across the world performing for stellar fees which most magicians dream about. As the inventor of mind-boggling mysteries, his creations have a rock solid reputation as the best of the best! Dynamic Mysteries is material straight

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from Richard's repertoire, astonishing audiences and producing powerful and practical effects! In this book, you'll learn 17 of his mind boggling dynamic effects!

This 99-page book teaches you in great detail of Richard's close-up and stage miracles. A great gift idea for magicians, this book is perfect for

 

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the Close-Up, Stand-Up, Stage, Table-To-Table, Trade Show, Restaurant, Radio and Television, and Corporate magicians alike.

 

REVIEW:

 

What if a spectator chooses the word “Modesty” in an Osterlind’s booktest routine?

Anyway, I bought the book for the effect “Miracle Thought Projection”, and I am pleased with it – good enough for me. You will unfortunately need real cards, but it is a nice addition if you already enjoy the mental card projections of Docc Hilford (Real Mind Reading video), Derren Brown (Pure Effect and The Devil’s Picturebook), Kenton Knepper and David Greene (Killer Konceptions) etc.

The book includes shameless plugs to Jeff Busby’s products, along with methods and thoughts for Ring Flight, ESP card tricks, his own Apex Stainless Steel Blindfold, John Cornelius’ gimmicked calculator, the clip line prediction etc.

There are however too many compromises for me - compare a direct mind reading effect with numbers such as Strivings’ excellent "Sort of Numerology" (in his book “Mobile Mentalism”) with the Osterlind plot: gimmicked calculator, pieces of paper, misreading, one ahead etc etc.

OVERALL RATING: Good

 

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