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Cranial Contortions Review

Official Review

August 27th, 2003 10:42am
Rating:
Reviewed by Brad Henderson
I've spent the greater part of this past weekend trying to fathom words which can adequately express just how AWFUL Vincent Ravina's Cranial Contortions truly is. But I can't. So allow me this: Stay away!

Just why is it so bad? Let me count the ways. Imagine an I Love Lucy episode (I think it was I Love Lucy, but if it wasn't I hope somebody corrects me) where one of the characters covers themselves with a sheet, and the bad guy shoves a knife into the covered head. In the end, the joke is tipped when a round disk is exposed to have taken the place of the victim's head.

Now imagine you just paid $20 bucks for that secret.

Now you don't have to.

(For the record, the Lucy method is BETTER than what you get here. And notice I tipped something on TV for all to see. Vincent's method is slightly different, and those differences do not amount to improvements.)

Vincent has you place a cardboard box on the floor, place a chair into the box, have your assistant cover you with a cloth, and then stab you with a knife. Well, if you look at the crudely rendered illustrations, coupled with the instruction to procure a box "large enough to sit in," I don't think even the most gullible of spectators would be convinced with the forthcoming illusion. There needs to be enough space in the box to conceal your entire body (as per the illustrations). Even if they didn't suspect the actual method, I think the idea of switching your body for that of a dummy would preclude any sense of amazement.

Of course, if you don't have an assistant, you can crawl in the box, cover everything with a sheet, and push the gimmick up as if it were your head (which you can turn left and right to mimic head movements - ah, that's Vernonesque naturalness if I've ever seen it.)

Would anybody be fooled by this?

Well, I think I figured out how. Vincent either has very young siblings, nephews, or grandkids. These children are either of very poor eyesight or slightly retarded. For that demographic, I'm sure this material kills.

Oh and the production value, fuggitaboutit. Xeroxed pages, single stapled, one sided printing, and illustrations possibly drawn by our aforementioned "special" kids.

Everything in this manuscript is vile.

I'm going to go take a shower now.

Product info for Cranial Contortions

Author: Ravina, Vincenzo
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $10.00
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

Vincenzo Ravina has taken a classic principle of close-up magic and applied it to larger illusion effects that you can perform surrounded either on stage or on the street. These 6-page notes will teach you how to:

* Put knives through your head!
* Twist your head 360-degrees around and pull it off!
* Vanish while your head is in full view!

Available from your favorite magic dealer.


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