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Review: Freaky Body Illusions by Kevin James

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Review: Freaky Body Illusions by Kevin James
An amazing and comprehensive collection of "freaky body illusions," this latest from Kevin James and Marvin's Magic offers a zany series of magic tricks that use body parts. Many are well known standards and the kit comes with quality props as well as a professional DVD that explains the techniques and use of the props. Study the moves and you can almost appear to be a flexible and malleable cartoon character.

Finger Fun

The best known stunts are those with fingers where you remove your thumb or separate your thumb or fingers into pieces. The kit comes with a noise maker that makes the sound of cracking bones, which is great fun when you appear to adjust your neck or flex your spine.

Another prop makes it appear is if you are flossing your brain. Here, a string appears to be running through your ears as you pull your hands back and forth. There's also a hilarious stunt where it appears that you pull and stretch your ear lobe until it's extended about a foot and then it snaps back.

Getting a Rise

There's a self-levitation that's similar to the "Wild Levitation" that uses a jacket for cover. However, the method requires you to be setup ahead of time (as in the DVD performance) or hide behind the jacket momentarily to get ready. With this method, you can't walk to a spot and almost immediately perform the trick as you can with other versions.

The kit comes with a box that allows you to appear to twist your head around Linda Blair style ala the "Exorcist" film. Unlike the professional version of the prop, this one is very angle sensitive and can only be viewed by spectators from the very front. Also, the illusion of twisting your head is just not as convincing as it is with the pro prop.

Lending a Hand

The core of the kit is the severed hand illusion. You can lift up and carry a box and cause a mysterious live hand to appear from within. In the second phase, you reach into the box and pull out a severed hand and it moves on its own just as if it's alive. This is the same illusion that Kevin James performed on network television in last summer's "America's Got Talent."

"Freaky Body Illusions" is lots of fun. In addition to the big effects, the severed hand and the head twisting, it also teaches lots of impromptu illusions. The effects are outrageous and will definitely appeal to kids and performers with wacky personas. One warning, while kids will immediately take to this kit, there's lots of practice involved in making the illusions work. There's a huge difference between opening the box and playing with the props and actually performing the effects convincingly.

This one is pricey at $99, but you are receiving excellent instruction and high quality props. If you've been wanting to dance with a severed hand, floss your brain or stretch and extend your earlobe, this kit is for you.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

Price: $99.00

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