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Topic: Dragged To Death.....well, almost!
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Michael (Jan 29, 2012 01:28AM)
Back several years ago, Steve Santini created a stunt called "Dragged to Death" and debeuted it in his home town Owen Sound, Canada (yes, I know there are some people who claim Steve wasn't the first one to do this stunt but I am not here to argue that). Since then, many Escape Artists have copied this stunt with slight variations, but here is a version of it that went horribly wrong:


The truly humorous thing here is the "cuffs" he is using. Come on, really??? A set of "in and out" oval link shackles? How did he screw this up? This is why no one in this field will ever get to do a stunt like this again. Stupid people doing stupid things and getting hurt, hurts everyone in the field. He says he is coming back......for the good of the Escape Artist community, someone please take his "magic shackles" away from him!

I am just dumbfounded by this and thought I would share.

Cheers, Mike D~C/
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Jan 29, 2012 09:04AM)
This poor bustard really messed himself up. I hope he makes it back, at least to servicable life. Maybe escape artistry is not really his thing. We may never know exactly what caused him to screw up, but concensus at the time was that he was counting on the tension in the chain to yank the cuffs away, but believed the tension would also take the cuffs off his wrists. Those cuffs tighten at certian angles rather than release.

What I am not sure I agree with is the idea that it hurts everyone in the field. When I did a similar stunt about 6 years ago, I had a bed of spikes waiting for me to land on if I failed. I had to sign a waiver holding the venue blameless if I took the fall. The manager believed I could fail. If he has since seen this video, he probably is very glad I succeeded. Though I used "police handcuffs", rather than the device moodini used, and a pillow case to block the audience view of my work. Key point that Moodini should learn from. The audience thought I made the escape in three seconds. Truth, I was free before the count began. I would not have started the count until I knew I would be free.

So, If people believe that we can fail, I think that sells tickets, and makes our escape more believable. I would love to hear some of the pros comment on that statement. Even write up an article for the Chainletter about it.

You can see another video of Moodini (same stunt filmed from the audience) at http://www.tiesociety.info (Shameless free plug for the International Escapologist Society)
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jan 29, 2012 10:00AM)
If the audience perceives the possibility of failure (or the inevitability of it), it gives us credibility, and them a thrill. They put themselves in our shoes...we are their proxy in danger, and they relish our success. When we succeed, THEY succeed.

This is why doing an escape show cannot be all escapes. You establish with the first routine, what will happen for the rest of the show. The endings are predictable, so why bother watching?

Mix it up, and it's more interesting for everybody.

Moodini healed. If I recall correctly, he said he'd been doing that routine for years. It's a good lesson about using the right equipment, having the right script (including safety essentials), and not taking anything for granted...ever.

I find that if I think I know what I'm doing, I'm about to get hurt. So I don't allow myself to think that. It makes every stunt or escape into a practice session, with great attention to details.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Jan 29, 2012 10:04AM)
Moodini's stunt was covered on the Comedy Central show, Tosh.0. Daniel Tosh poked fun at Moodini and then they recreated the stunt with a hilarious outcome. It definitely was a poor decision in the original stunt and he was ill prepared.

I agree with Michael that stunts gone wrong like this CAN hurt our industry. It causes insurance to go higher, venues to be nervous, etc. What I believe escape artists need to do is try to separate themselves from magic shows, variety shows, etc and instead be lumped in or viewed as extreme sports. In some cases, it literally is easier with the venue, insurance riders, etc to be coming in as a thrill show, than to come in as a stage show, magic show, etc that happens to do something big, dangerous, etc. I can expand upon this more if some are interested, but here is one example. He have a high fall stunt show and again, in some cases and in some states, it is easier to jump from a 50' tower to a stunt airbag than it is to do an aerial escape or even the water torture cell. In our experience, it's all based on two things...perception and past experiences of the venue, host, entertainment director and promoter.

All these things can be overcome, but they can be challenges.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jan 29, 2012 01:54PM)
His quote "I've been entertaining a long time and it's like anything else, you take it for granted".

Really? You're about ready to get major road-rash and you take it for granted,
Message: Posted by: Darkart (Jan 30, 2012 11:36AM)
So lucky his arm was not ripped off, This reminds me of the Jonathan Goodwin clip, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0Ch-lklpMU
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jan 30, 2012 12:18PM)
You should really have the perspective of Jonathan's other work. He's brilliant!
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Michael (Jan 31, 2012 02:50AM)
I am not a Jonathan Goodwin fan.......the video Darkart posted is precisely why. There is no real point to the escape, they openly hand him a shim, the cuffs are put on his way and not double locked, AND he didn't even make any progress before he failed to escape! Is this supposed to be a Carl Ballantine type of Escape Artist routine where all of his tricks fail??? If so, then someone should tell him that Carl Ballantine was hilarious when he did this routine......Jonathan is not funny or humorous in the least. Also, there is no showmanship what so ever during the entire performance. No wonder his show on The Discovery Channel was canncelled.....I am actually amazed it was put out at all. You guys can hate on me all you want about my opinion of this clown, but the facts speak for themselves.....his show was (to my knowledge) cancelled faster than any other show in the history of The Discovery Channel and I have it on good authority that HE is the reason there will be no more Escape Artist reality shows on that network ever again.

Sorry Harley, I just don't see his brilliance.....we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Good imput everyone!

Cheers, Mike D~C/
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jan 31, 2012 06:24AM)
Mr Goodwin is like a sponge,,,eyes and ears open,,,sucks everything up and uses what he chooses.....in other words beware of anyone ripping off your own ideas.

Regards the idiot above,,he should have tied the rope around his neck,,,that would have been a hanging on the go and look at the work we could have got on his back (Sorry head!) Goes to show theres always a prick in a bunch of roses !!