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Topic: Draven Reviews: Dead of Night by Andy Nyman
Message: Posted by: William Draven (Apr 18, 2012 02:25AM)

Effect: Dead of Night
Artist: Andy Nyman
Producers: Alakazam Magic UK
Link: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S5748
Retail Price: $34.50 USD
Learning Difficulty: On the Easy side of Moderate.
Run Time: 22 min +/-
Notes: Apparently this product isnít being offered on the Alakazam site any longer. Or if it is my product searches were not able to find it.
ē Gaff Deck

Three spectators make three separate card selections, and each time the reveal is more impossible than the last.

With Andyís new release up and coming from Theory11 I figured Iíd go ahead and blow the dust off this review Iíve had sitting in my files for a while now. Dead of Night is Andyís personal three phase card routine that is supposedly a ďreputation makerĒ. This effect is being billed as ďThe most amazing 3 phase card routine you will ever perform. Simple and direct this is a genuine reputation makerĒ by Penguins website under product info, but I say this effect is a load of bullocks. Thatís the British equivalent of saying this effect isnít worth the price you pay for it. At nearly $35 bucks for a dvd, and deck of cards itís obvious the bulk of that is being spent on the gaffed deck you get with the video.

Now donít get me wrong, Iím a fan of Nymanís work. Heís a wonderful performer, a talented actor, a funny comedian, and on top of all that couple of his other products, such as Diceman, and Killer Elite Pro, have been workers of mine now for a couple years. So when I saw something named ďDead of NightĒ come out by him with a cool looking skeletal Deathís hand holding a deck of cards against a midnight back drop this little Bizarrist got excited! Sadly, the art work is about all you get worked up over. I really donít like it when you get a product that doesnít even come close to delivering something close to what the name suggests, especially when the ad copy is as vague as ďThe most amazing 3 phase card routine you will ever perform. Simple and direct this is a genuine reputation maker.Ē Honestly the producers must know itís a steaming pile of dog defecation when they resort to dirty publishing tricks like vague descriptions, and dark creepy names to ramp up the cool factor so they can take your money and run away laughing before you realize what has happened. Nyman does discuss the origins of why he chose to name the product as he did and it comes from an old horror movie that bore the same name. Apparently the movie had three stories to it so since his trick had three phases he felt that alone was enough to justify using the movieís title to name his trick and since itís originally a horror movie in comes running the horror themed deck. Thatís like Penn & Teller billing their bloody saw the lady in half trick as a ďchildrenís trickĒ because they wear a Barney the Dinosaur costume while doing it.

So with all that said letís actually talk a little about what this effect is. This is a poor manís version of Vernonís ďThe Trick That Canít Be Explained.Ē, but not as versatile in my opinion. You select three different spectators, and they in turn make three separate card selections. Employing different methods of spelling out things you come to their selected card every time. A point in Andyís favor is that he has a lot of layers of subtlety built into the presentation, and the deck gaff that really help sells to the spectator that itís a regular deck; all-be-it one that can never be examined by the audience.

Learning the effect doesnít take too much time. This routine requires no sleight of hand, no memorization, and no skill mechanically. The success or failure of the trick will solely lie in the power of your presentation. The gaff deck practically does all the work for you, though I would advise following Andyís advice and taking certain steps to further set up your deck like his. The additional preparations wonít take long, and will make more sense to you once you get this effect (should you want to). The effect is practical enough to perform. You could do it close up, but I think this plays better from a stage. The only thing about the deck I didnít like is the theme the cards have. The cards are styled after Bicycle brand cards, but have a cheesy grim reaper theme to the back art. The effect is sufferable on its own but it could have done without the dark tones, and the Dead Of Night Poker 666 label on the card box.

At the end of the day what you have here is a commercially produced effect that was one of Nymanís first tricks he invented. I think this effect does for Nyman what many effects do for Sankey; it works for him.

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, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 3
This is overpriced for a gaff deck and DVD. The subtleties in the presentation are not enough to redeem the productís misleading name and theme.

Teaching Quality: 7
The product is completely covered and additional instruction given to how Andy has his personal deck set up. Bonus points for the accent.

Video & Sound Quality: 4
The sound and video arenít the best. I think this may have been filmed before the wide spread popularity of HD cameras. The video is grainy, and the sound appears to be from the camera itself so itís not as clear as it could be if they were wearing a mic.

Overall Quality: 4
At the bare bones basics what you have is a simple strait forward three phase trick done with spelling out stuff with cards and no amount of window dressing is going to change that.
Message: Posted by: MatCult (Apr 18, 2012 08:04AM)
[quote]I say this effect is a load of bullocks. Thatís the British equivalent of saying this effect isnít worth the price you pay for it.[/quote]

Actually the English (NB, not British) term is "bO******s". Getting it wrong makes you look like a proper berk (that's 'British' for "c**t") and undermines the rest of your review.
Message: Posted by: brehaut (Apr 18, 2012 08:50AM)
Some gaff decks are examinable---is this one?
Message: Posted by: William Draven (Apr 18, 2012 08:51AM)
I can't very well edit it now that you've replied to it. But Ty for the spelling correction. I'll update the spell checker.
Message: Posted by: mysticz (Apr 18, 2012 12:39PM)
I must disagree with this review.

I have used Dead of Night in my standup act for a number of years and it has never failed to produce anything less than an incredible audience reaction. The three-phase routine builds in intensity as the segments appear to become more and more impossible. The audience response to the final revelation is all that can be desired.

It is true that the presentation of this effect must be well thought out and practiced (as in any worthy performance piece). The reward for this preparation is a nearly perfect card effect that is as interesting as it is mystifying.

The provided pack is close enough to a standard Bicycle deck in appearance, and its gimmicked nature is never suspected -- when the effect is performed correctly, it looks perfectly fair and innocent.

I would wholeheartedly recommend Dead of Night to the standup performer who wants an unusual card effect that will entertain and thoroughly mystify an audience.

Joe Z.
Message: Posted by: FrenchDrop (Apr 18, 2012 12:58PM)
On 2012-04-18 09:51, William Draven wrote:
I can't very well edit it now that you've replied to it. But Ty for the spelling correction. I'll update the spell checker.
"Bullocks" is a word, and you spelled it correctly. It's just not the word you wanted.
Message: Posted by: William Draven (Apr 18, 2012 01:38PM)
Yeah I realize that now. Bullock I believe is slang for cow or something like that. My spell check failed me. No excuses. The spelling correction has already been made in all other posts that I've made. Regrettably the Cafť denies me the ability to edit something after someone replies to it.
Message: Posted by: anastounder (Jun 8, 2013 06:57AM)
Say what you will. I have used it for years with outstanding results. Yes the price is high but so are the returns. If anyone knows where I can get another, I and would love to replace my old looking deck. Also, had I known that they were going to stop producing them, I would have ordered more than one so that as one wore out, I would still have another.
Message: Posted by: stevekn (Sep 25, 2013 03:49PM)
Strange as I've too had brilliant reactions with this. Good job we're all different.

If you're looking for a better quality deck then I got one made up by Card Shark on Phoenix stock. The deck handles much better than the one you get with the effect.