If you’ve always wanted to perform “Crazy Man’s Handcuffs,” the classic rubber band trick where two bands pass through each other, or already perform the trick and want to learn some impressive variations and convincing subtleties, check out Nabil Murday’s excellent “Link!” This could well be the ultimate authority on a fantastic trick.
Strike Up the Bands
“Crazy Man’s Handcuffs” is a visual effect where two rubber bands that are held in the hands appear to pass through each other. It’s a fantastic trick for strolling magicians as the trick can be performed surrounded, it’s visual and requires no setup or reset and you only need to carry two ungimmicked rubber bands. I regularly perform this effect as part of a rubber band routine in my strolling sets and I learned a lot from this DVD.
In classic “Crazy Man’s Handcuffs, you show two regular and unprepared rubber bands, each held between the thumbs and first fingers of each hand. The rubber bands are linked. After rubbing the bands together, they somehow pass through each other. Many magicians know the secret behind this effect and perform it, but the DVD offers variations and subtleties.
Murday explains a method by Dave Womach that makes the band appear to penetrate a second band one strand at time-breaking the usual effect into two distinct steps. He teaches strong subtleties that make it appear as if the bands are still together when they’re not and shows how to enhance the penetration by using sound.
Murday also shows how to perform the penetration as a spectator holds one of the bands in his hands - Michael Ammar’s handling. Dean Dill teaches a "no pull" method for disassembling the bands. As the name implies, in Dill’s method, there’s none of the usual pulling that’s associated with the effect.
Come Together, Right Now
Something that never occurred to me before is the fact that if a magician can pull the linked rubber bands apart, why can’t he make the bands penetrate each other to link? To address this, Murday begins with a lecture sequence by Loren Michaels who teaches his "Band-It" move. Here, two bands start on the thumbs and first fingers of each hand and then magically link together. From here, you can then perform standard “Crazy Man’s Handcuffs.”
Not content with the given method, Murday offers six variations on “Band-It” and includes one that can be executed as a spectator holds the band. There’s bound to be a technique that you’ll like and want to use. I’m working on one of these variations to potentially add to the second phase of my rubber band routine. Interestingly, there was a problem with the DVD that I reviewed as the explanation of the fourth version was truncated.
While the variations on “Crazy Man’s Handcuffs” are well worth the price of this DVD, Murday provides a method that allows you to link two rubber bands in air. The gimmicked method also allows you to link finger rings, and Murday offers conventional technique on linking finger rings and finger rings to a rubber band. The gimmick that you have to make and incorporate into your clothing is rather involved and you do have to consider angles, but the effect is quite convincing. It fried me.
And for good measure, while they don’t fall under the “Link” theme, Murday teaches a “Broken and Restored Rubber Band” and a variation on the “Jumping Rubberband.” Throughout, Murday offers excellent explanations and demonstrates the move from an over the shoulder viewpoint so the concepts are easy to understand and learn.
If you have any interest in “Crazy Man’s Handcuffs,” you’re likely to find lots to like on Nabil Murday’s “Link!” This DVD is loaded with lots of useful variations and rubber band techniques and that’s no stretch.
-Wayne N. Kawamoto
MSRP: (US) $30
Dealers can purchase from Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.