Title: The Zombie and the Joker
Author: Matt Mello
Publicist: Penguin Magic
Retail Price: $10.00
Reading Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
• Downloadable PDF
The Zombie and the Joker is an interesting effect in so much as it’s a unique presentation of a psudo-hypnosis style effect. The spectator is placed into a hypnotic trance upon which they will be asked to try and move a card from the back of a card box while holding it. To their dismay they will not be able to do so!
If you’ve ever considered adding more hypnosis type effects or routines to your act, but weren’t sure where to start then I think the Zombie and the Joker would be an excellent launching point. The effect provides you some great fool proof material to work on your spectator control with while ensuring the desired effect isn’t messed with (too much). Plus if you continue to study the material by some of the names Matt mentions in the PDF you’ll go onto finding more powerful hypnosis material to continue your studies with. As a side bonus, for me at least I enjoyed Matt’s personal rendition of the classic rising and falling arms hypnotic test.
The PDF is pretty strait forward in so much as it doesn’t waste a lot of your time with history lessons and long winded thank yous. You get a presentation script that goes over patter and movements, followed by some insightful advice and tips from Matt on presentation. The PDF includes two pictures, which if you’re following things close enough may not be necessary but it never hurts to have a visual reference when learning new material. While this presentation does employ some hypnotic work the novice worker will be pleased to know that there is also a gaff that helps make this effect almost self working. If you don’t already have what you need to make the gaff work, a quick trip to Wal-Mart, Target, or the like and about $10 bucks should get you ready to go in no time at all.
The beauty of this effect is that it can either be done one on one, or for small intimate groups, or of course be played out on the stage for a bigger appeal. Honestly I think the power of this effect lays in the audience’s ability to observe a single person interacting with you as a part of a larger hypnotic routine but that’s just my opinion. Take it for what you will, because frankly this thing will devastate one on one as well. Since there’s a good amount of presentation that backs up this trick I wouldn’t consider it table hopping material, but for your peace of mind, the reset is fairly instantaneous.
As with most mental based tricks presentation will be everything. If you just present it as a quick and dirty card trick you’ll get an amusing puzzle that the audience will marvel at. BUT! If you take the time to develop this as an engaging piece of mental wonder then I think the potential for a powerful performance is much better.
Overall I liked the trick. It’s easy enough to learn, and it opens doors to pursue other things that could make it work stronger within your act. As a standalone piece naked without any other mental or hypnotic material to dress it up with I think it plays well enough, but honestly for maximum impact it belongs embedded in a larger themed act. –A side note to fellow bizarre workers, if the advice at the end of the PDF is taken, and this applied to a bizarre setting the results are devastating.
When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Readability and Overall Quality.
Product Quality: 8
I think the product is great, and for the price you really get more than you pay for.
Teaching Quality: 9
The PDF lays the script out well enough, and even includes a couple of pictures for reference. The only thing it lacks, since it’s such a performance based effect, is a few links to privately listed performance videos.
A quick read. Anyone should have the basics behind performing this effect fairly quickly.
Over All Quality: 9
This may not be an effect I myself will get a lot of use out of, outside of the bizarre angle which I loved, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad trick. I think this has the potential to be some powerful magic in the hands of someone who knows what they have, and how to work it. Would I recommend this product? Hell yes I would!