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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Elite Cuss Cards a review (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Stephen Young
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I must say at the outset I don't usually do reviews.
So am not sure of any accepted format.

I will simply describe my own findings regarding Cuss Cards and hope to satisfy people curious about this item.

If your ideal effect is an ambitious card routine or a slick colour change; Cuss Cards may not be for you. For a start they are as far way from modern playing cards as a wax tablet is from an iPhone.

This is a piece of theatre that can provide the sole topic of conversation for a whole evenings entertainment on it's own.
It requires a from the performer exactly what that term implies, a performance.
This is no "look what I can do" trick (hopefully none of us perform anything using that premise)

What do you get:
13 Hand made/aged Cuss Cards. These are thick items. My stack of 13 Cuss Cards is thicker than a standard deck of cards.
They look somewhat like large tarot cards.

A leather pouch to hold the cards

A second smaller leather pouch containing 2 wooden dice to fit the medieval period.

An "Alter cloth" on which to perform. Perhaps the medieval predecessor of the close-up mat?
I jest.

And a small cotton pouch containing a genuine protection spell. ( for your own and your audiences welfare)

Everything just reeks of genuineness (is that a real word) Though I may age the leather pouches a little, just my personal taste.


The premise:
A game of chance. The stakes.. Your immortal soul being cursed to everlasting torment


The workings:
This is soooooooo not about doing a trick, however what needs to be done to get the right outcome is not difficult.
Don't think though, that this is "take it out of the box and show it the same day" type of effect.
The presentation needs, nay demands, care and consideration before letting this loose on people.

The instructions:
The instruction book was a joy to read. Well written and full of imagery and inspiration. Lots of different presentation options are explored and explained.
The booklet covers not just handling but also the effect it has on the audience and how to manipulate this.

Bottom Line:
As conversation inducing as any effect out there.
Handling as easy as playing Tic tac toe (noughts and crosses)
As deep as a game of chess.

For serious performers.


http://www.alchemy-moon.co.uk/cusscards.htm


Steve
Magical Dimensions
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Nice review..
Jake Murphree
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Steve,

Thank you for your review. Many of us have considered purchasing the Cuss Cards and rely on honest reviews like this. I am almost to the point of clicking the paypal button on these bad boys but I have a couple of questions.

1) You described the cards as being thicker than a normal deck of cards. What are these cards made of? Wood? I perused the alchemy moon site but didn't see anything reference the material of the cards.

2) Have you presented the cards to anyone? What have the reactions been like?

3) Can you comment on the authenticity of the cards? Do they really look, feel, smell like a genuine antique?

Once again, I appreciate your review.
Stephen Young
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@Murph813

1 The cards are each about as thick as 6 bicycle cards.
They are made of card, but have been so nicely hand aged, with something that is soaked into the cards and also sits on the surface (don't know what I'm afraid)
and are very stiff and feel like wood
I tried tapping 2 cards together and they sound like wood (like a thin veneer)

2 No I haven't presented them to anyone yet. I want to keep my powder dry so to speak, and hit them with the full performance.
I have no doubts that if they are not received as expected by people, it will be because of something the performer does wrong not the cards themselves.

3 Smell. Good question. I should have mentioned that. They smell.... well they smell. I don't know what of. The devil's armpits maybe. A medieval torture chamber.

They even arrived in a box with straw in. the attention to detail is great.

I just hope people give them the performance they deserve.

steve
RCP
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Nice review. Quality item. Smell? Yes, like you would expect a relic from the Dark Ages might. These are not for "weak sisters" or kids looking for the next thing. Price needs to go up to discourage the muggles.
Roslyn
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I'm at risk of coming across really dumb, but what is the effect? Is it even an effect, or are these props to help tell a story?

They are something that I too am considering, but I'd like to understand a little more about them first. If you could PM me about it that'd be awesome. I don't think it needs to be let out in an open forum.

Cheers,

Ros
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Jake Murphree
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Steve,

Thanks for the response. I feel strangely compelled to purchase a set right now.

I think I've decided to get the DIY set and age them myself.
MagicSanta
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The type of routine this effect is based on is very strong using different types of cards if presented right. I've seen the photos of the cards and they will really elevate the effect to a new higher level. I'm happy to see someone made a special set of cards for this.
Mind_Magic
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Quote:
On 2010-11-18 22:54, murph813 wrote:
Steve,

Thanks for the response. I feel strangely compelled to purchase a set right now.

I think I've decided to get the DIY set and age them myself.


For the moment it´s sold out.
H2Odesign
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Quote:
On 2010-11-19 20:12, MagicSanta wrote:
The type of routine this effect is based on is very strong using different types of cards if presented right. I've seen the photos of the cards and they will really elevate the effect to a new higher level. I'm happy to see someone made a special set of cards for this.

A strangely wrapped package arrived from overseas this weekend which held a shocking secret I am compelled to reveal.

This set of cards are the most extraordinary in their authenticity, and most vile in their dread inspiring appearance.
A true labour of love for the art of bizarre theater and performance magic.
Chris and Alchemy Moon have spared no expense in making these as real as possible and though, as Steve has mentioned, some may choose to age the leather bags themselves, I chose to also get the optional jute bag that pairs itself nicely with the other items provenance from perhaps the late 17th or early 18th century.

And though the story work and staging do not appear as if they will take an inordinate amount of time to master, the setting and conditions seem the most important aspects of the performance.

Great work to all involved, this is a set I will not banish to a dark damp corner of my "cellar," except to protect the innocent from eternal ***ation!!!
Fuascailt
Larry
Stephen Young
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Looking at mine; I think they spent a lot of time in a dark, damp corner of some cellar.

And I think they'd be right at home there.


steve
Paradise
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Steve, would you say that this would be a good effect to incorporate into a seance routine?
Stephen Young
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Good question.

I have only conducted one Sceance, and it was before I got my Cuss cards.

The atmosphere and creepiness of these is definitely in sceance territory.
You would need some way to tie them in to whatever else you are doing; some sort of back story. The back story that comes with them could be adapted to fit a sceance I think.

They are as logical in a sceance as tarot cards, or runes or a haunted photograph etc.

And so much more spooky.

I hope that helps.

Steve
Paradise
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Thanks for the reply Steve, it was very helpful
Paul Prater
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I came home last night to find a package waiting for me. I was excited to open the straw packed envelope and pull out a hand printed box. There was a wonderfully mysterious smell. I opened the lid to be amazed at what I saw. Just breathtaking.

I think Steve did an excellent job in reviewing the cuss cards, but I want to add my own two cents. I have a love of the medieval period and bizarre magic. Aside from that, the work just looked great. Upon looking at these in person and handling the cards, I was not disappointed.

The cards and the alter cloth are very authentically aged. They all appear to be hand printed using the block printing process. The leather pouches are hand stitched. The dice are handmade. When thigs are made like they were in the old days, they look like things from the old days. This level of attention to detail is what gives you the terrific quality you see with this set.

As Steve said, this isn't something you will take out of the box and present the same day. Personally for me, the backstory will need to be personalized (but then shouldn't it always be) and I want to practice the performance until I feel confident with it. I will also age the leather bags and the dice.

People have asked about the effect. Basically you are asking a spectator to help relieve you of a curse at the same time, risking cursing themselves or everyone in the room. While this is a one sentence description, it is so sparse that it cheapens what you are getting. See the reason why it is sometimes hard to explain the effect is that Alchemy Moon gives you so many suggestions and ideas for presentation, that it is hard to sum it up in just one sentence.

I feel very confident that within a few days of working with these cards you will be able to come up with multiple variations for performace. While they are an effect, a dramatic presentation, you also receive an incredible set of props that I think you would be proud to own. I know that I certainly am proud, and I will treasure these.
JonWhite
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A spell has been cast
by Steve's great review
An irresistible force
to join the Cussing Cards queue!
ALEXANDRE
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More Elite Cussing Cards soon!

The King's Edition should be out any day now, too!

We're working hard to catch up!

Also keep your eye out for A Death in the Family. It will not disappoint!

Thank you guys very much for the interest! Our artist and designer is very pleased everyone seems to be enjoying his hard work!
alemanzano
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And then I walked toward that package. It was late at night when I got home just to find something was waiting for me to discover its secrets. Although it was raining a lot outside, the silence that fell was somehow unconfortable. It was as if something terribly wrong was about to happen.

As I began to unwrap those ancient itens, a scent of old started to fill the ambient, and I felt a sudden cold wind entering the room, freezing not only the place, but chilling my entire body. Those cards carried something even more powerful than I imagined.

I opened the old, rotten cloth and placed it on my table, watching closely to those strange drawings. Maybe some sort of a long forgotten ritual, or a form of controlling fate... I got all of the cards and distributed in a chaotic, yet meaningful way on the newly created altar, but not over the drawings yet. I took the lamp closer, so I could better read those ancient words and try to figure out their meaning but the weak light served only to form a darker shadow behind my desk.

It disturbed me as I felt darkness taking form and a threatening presence raise in front of me. A dark figure was staring me from behind the altar, I knew that, even not being able to see his face. The only things I could figure out was that he was wearing a fine suit, an elegant hat and a stylish cane, although his energy was even more ancient than his clothes. His voice asked me, in a deep and cold tone: "Will you play with me?" as two dice were lauched from outside the light and into the table. The game had begun...
ALEXANDRE
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Hope you didn't fiddle too much with the spell bag....
alemanzano
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The spell bag was almost crushed in my hand, in despair, but I lived to tell the story... It is a powerful person, whoever made that!

But what a piece of art this Cuss Cards Elite Set! The cards look so authentic, not only with the aging process, but with the printing method as well. The colors and the art are astounding. Not only the cards, but the dice, the leather pouches, even the spell bag, everything looks as if they came directly from medieval times. Every single item in the set adds so much to the psychological drama.

Anyway, Steve and Paul did a terrific job reviewing Cuss Cards, so I can only agree with what was said. This is not a trick, it is an experience, something you share with your audience.

Congratulations, Alchemy Moon, for this amazing creation.

Ale
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