Boy am I glad THAT is over!!
I'm sure many of you have noticed that it's been roughly two weeks since my last post...well, you can thank slimeball virus creator for that! I swear, if I ever find some of these virus creators I'm going to beat them with a rubber hose!
So, because of said computer virus, I'm been out of commission for a while! ARGH! But now I'm back.
Before I get to this week's review, I want to encourage all of you to download the second issue of Paul Romhany's VANISH magazine. It's incredible and for the life of me I cannot figure out what his reasoning is for not charging for such a great work.
OK, on to this week's review, which will be a bit shorter than usual because I've got a 6 hour drive ahead of me for a gig tonight...
Butcher's Blade by Tim Wisseman - available from Hocus Pocus for $199.95.
EFFECT: You show an antique-looking, very aged wooden box. Inside is some strange aged paper and an old, rusty menacing-looking blade in a wooden holder. You plunge the blade into your finger, blood pouring out everywhere! The audience can see the blade is pushed halfway through your finger! After 'dressing' the wooden with some of the ancient cloth from the box, you are able to show your finger is healed and you can open the blade and show the blade really is a solid blade.
WHAT YOU GET: The wooden box, the wooden butchers blade housing the metal blade, cloth, written instructions and aged papers to enhance the presentation.
QUALITY OF EQUIPMENT: Tim is known as one of the top guys in the field when it comes to creating wonderfully aged looking props and this bad boy is no exception. This thing truly looks like it comes from the 1800s or 1900s. The blade looks e-v-i-l!
INSTRUCTIONS: There are full color photographs accompanying the written instructions and though it was clunky, I was able to replicate the handling after a few tries. The photos REALLY help cut down on the learning curve and I'm sure after some dedicated practice the effect will become very smooth relatively quickly.
DIFFICULTY: The handling is simple enough but it does rely on choregraphed movements, so while this is not a finger-flicking type of handling, I feel a few weeks of practice will be necessary to really get this into your muscle memory so you can do it without thinking about it. If you perform Bizarre magic, you know that presentation is KEY and in this effect, since you are plunging a blade into your finger, presentation has never been more important...especially if you decide to go with the "possessed" plot suggested by the routine description.
ANGLES: You cannot do this this surrounded. Since this type of routine is obviously intended for more intimate performances, you'll have to control spectators on your sides.
EXAMINATION OF PROPS: Sorry, due to the nature of the prop, you cannot let spectators handle the props. They can LOOK but cannot touch. You can easily cover this by talking about issues of safety - it IS a knife after all - but I don't think I'm revealing much by saying the prop is heavily gaffed.
MY THOUGHTS & RATING: I love Bizarre magic! It's what I first performed for friends when I first got into magic. The kind of craftsmanship in props like this simply was not available (unless I made it myself) very much when I was a kid.
I love the craftsmanship and thought that went into the construction of this! My rating is a rock-solid 8 out of 10, only because of some slight angle issues and the fact that during the working, there is a bit of 'talking' that can occur. It's not a big deal and if this is performed correctly, your spectators should be so 'out of it' they won't be focusing on anything but YOU..but I wanted potential buyers to be aware of it.
Like most of Tim's stuff, this is a solid investment.