Instinct Review

Oct 11, 2008
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For those of you that do not know, this is a Russian-roulette with 4 cups and a nail created by Mathew Mello. http://www.thementalplayground.com/instinct.html

Simply put... this is very easy, very fun, and very brilliant. It's the kind of effect you wont ever think of, but you'll be furious that you didn't.

Quality 8/10

Not great quality, but it gets the job done just fine. I'd call it average, not near on par with theory 11, but still well made.

Method 10/10

Probably the most practical thing you will ever do. It is so easy you could literally do it right after watching the video. You don't even need any background in magic to do this.

Effect 9/10

For me, this trick is a perfect 10. However, it will not fit every audience so I'm giving it a 9. Watch the video, and that's really what it looks like. You should be able to tell if this fits you or not.

Teaching 10/10

Mathew covers everything. As a bonus, he also throws in "Impulse" which is an effect using a similar principal, but with US currency. The bills can be marked differently, and when face down you will be able to tell the difference with 100% accuracy.

This is a very safe method of the Russian-roulette routine, and I can say that I was very nervous about risking my hand, but not with Instinct. Impulse, the bonus, is 100% impromptu and can be done with borrowed bills. Instinct is "sort of" impromptu. I don't know how many of you carry a nail through a piece of cardboard at all times, but there are alternatives, such as... anything that will fit under a cup. The cups can also be borrowed, but you are going to need to check them to see if they'll "work" (all of the cups I had sitting around at home worked, most do). It is also true that both you AND the spectator NEVER MARK THE CUP IN ANY WAY. And do not worry, it isn't something like being able to see through the cup, it's a very simple, yet deceptive method. Oh, and there are NO gimmicks.

In the end, you're going to need to know if this is an effect that you would actually perform. If it is, buy it. It is safe, simple, and tricky. I did this using a nail the day after I bought it. And I normally practice tricks for months before sharing them, but this really is that easy.

Overall: 9/10

The only thing stopping this from being a 10 is that it isn't necessarily for everyone. Then again, not many things are. This is probably as close to perfect that you will get, especially with a Russian-roulette.
 
Aug 31, 2007
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Drop...I'm glad you like the effect. This is something I've used for about 6 years now. I still do it to this day. It's so simple and fair looking. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Matthew Mello
p.s. I'm gonna have a few more mentalism DVD's coming out soon. So, if you like the stuff I've released so far I hope you check it out.
 
Nov 8, 2007
1,248
3
Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in on this effect.

I love it. I've been using it for a couple months now in my show and it goes over huge every time. People cringe and hold their breath with anticipation. Great drama. And the method is brilliant. Just a nail through a piece of cardboard and four styrofoam cups. That's it. And the method to achieve the effect is practically self-working and very safe, which lets you really concentrate on your performance and making sure you play it safe. Brilliant method. Far and away the best method I've come across for this effect. It's a staple in my stand-up show. Again, I love it.

Great job, Matthew.
 
Aug 31, 2007
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Lacey,Washington
Ha I remember I use to chat with Matthew on AIM all the time before he got "big" with bullet.
I performed this a year ago on stage for my scolarship performance.

Reactions were huge.
I love Instinct. It is safe and reliable and the only thing you need to make is a simple coaster out of cardboard for the nail. I setup literally a half an hour before the show.
 
Aug 31, 2007
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It wasn't about getting "big" with Bullet, I just rarely go on aim anymore. I'm always on facebook, and I always check and get back to any emails.

Either way, I'm glad you're enjoying Instinct.

And thanks to everyone else for the positive feedback. Look out for more things soon.


Matt Mello
 
Jan 16, 2008
379
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People say that you can do INSTINCT with any small object that fits under a cup...why doesn't anyone use anything other than a nail on a stand? I mean, for me, almost ANYTHING would be more casual and practical than carrying a nail on a stand everywhere you go. Why not just break off the tip of a cutter, or a paperclip, or a pencil stabbed into an eraser, or whatnot?
 
Nov 8, 2007
1,248
3
People say that you can do INSTINCT with any small object that fits under a cup...why doesn't anyone use anything other than a nail on a stand? I mean, for me, almost ANYTHING would be more casual and practical than carrying a nail on a stand everywhere you go. Why not just break off the tip of a cutter, or a paperclip, or a pencil stabbed into an eraser, or whatnot?

Can't say why, but there is a reason.

Also, I don't think anyone who does this effect "carries a nail on a stand everywhere they go."

If you did want to for some odd reason though, it would be quite simple as all you need is a circular piece of card board and a nail to push through it. This isn't really a walk-around style effect though.
 
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