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Harlan The Bizarre Magic Show - DVD
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The Bizarre Magic Show performed on this volume is not for every audience as its themes are dark, somewhat disturbing, and sometimes even bloody. However, in the right venue and for the right audience, these pieces can be some of the most memorable magic you'll every perform for any audience. And, though the central theme is material that's really only suitable for adults and teen audiences, there's a wide variety of plots and methods in play that will interest magicians of all types.After a somber introduction, Dan begins the show with "Book of Blood," an ingenious use of an ancient principle that really sets the mood for what the audience is about to experience. Harlan then performs "Needle Thru Arm" with props that you'll later learn how to make yourself. The performance, however, is definitely not for the squeamish! "Psychotic Surgery" concludes the first trio of effects and while this demonstration is not what it sounds like (that comes later in the show...!), it is an astounding version of the Torn and Restored Card that will leave your spectator with an amazing souvenir.

Harlan gets even darker in the middle set as he begins with "Deviled Egg," a demonstration that purports to cleanse a spectator of werewolf's blood with ample, gooey evidence at the effect's conclusion to support the claim. Then, Dan weaves a story of a card game between God and the devil with the prize the soul of an audience member. To close out this portion of the show, Harlan turns to another classic as he apparently swallows and then threads five sharp razor blades in a piece he calls "Sharp Taste."

As he begins the final segment of the show, Dan weaves a story of birth, death and rebirth in "Baby Balloon" in which an inflated balloon is burst and then, is not only restored but re-inflated! "Psychic Surgery" is a bloody and compelling demonstration of the techniques of purported psychic surgeons in remote lands who are able to remove malignant parts of the human body without using conventional instruments. Harlan's hands are clearly seen entering the abdomen of an audience volunteer as he removes various pieces of viscera - a gory and potent reminder of how easily we can be fooled.

The show concludes with Dan reciting the classic poem by Mary Howitt, "The Spider and the Fly," and illustrating the age-old story that cautions us against succumbing to the charms of flattery with a solid ring and a length of rope. This very theatrical piece leaves the audience with a lasting memory and a sense that what they've just seen in this show is much more profound than just someone demonstrating things from their bag of tricks.

Enjoy the show, then prepare to learn the secrets of a master as every nuance is revealed. Soon, you too will Pack Small, and Play Big!

Running Time Approximately: 1hr 32min

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Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on November 15th, 2012
This installment of the "Packs Flat, Plays Big" series is mediocre at best as for entertainment, but some of the elements I like. I love how he takes the Magic Coloring Book and uses the principle to make it into a storytelling effect, "Book of Blood". The effect which made me wince was "Sharp Taste". Yes, I agree with Dan in that you have to be an idiot to perform his version of the razorblades! Do not, under any circumstances, try this!

"Psychic Surgery" and "Deviled Egg" use methods utilized by scam artists in the past, and in this show they are quite baffling.

"The Spider and the Fly" was a bit to long-winded for me, but I appreciate it for what it is, a nice storytelling piece of magic.

It's not the best release of this series, but I think it could be a springboard for you to come up with your own bizarre show.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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Interesting Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on August 22nd, 2012
There is some neat stuff on there. Some really weird, interesting stuff. Great material for Halloween time.I especially enjoyed his Spider and the Fly routine. That one went right into my act, works well with kid's shows too.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
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Not his best Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on March 27th, 2014
I enjoyed this DVD. It is definitely worth it for the first effect on the DVD. But this is not my favorite Dan Harlan video... I love Dan and if he reads this review I hope he doesn't hold it against me... :) I think Dan is very innovative.... I just felt that this one was a bit lacking...
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Great... Just not for everyone Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 11th, 2018
Dan Harlan has delivered again. Showing how to put a full 40 minute show into as single small case was a brilliant idea.

I do not wish to suggest that there is a problem here, because Dan has delivered a quality product full of good ideas and a very entertaining show, but he himself is very open about how this DVD and this show is not for everyone.

For example, he teaches the razor blade trick and I lost count of how many warnings he gives. He goes so far as to say this should not be performed by anyone under the age of 18.

However, if you are into off beat and bizarre magic, this DVD is for you. The old standby's are there, Razor Blades, and Needle through arm, but also some newer stuff too. The section on how to fit the show into a single case is worth the price right there and that is before you get to the magic.

Two thumbs up for Dan Harlan.
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