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STAKED Review

Official Review

August 1st, 2006 12:52pm
Rating:
Reviewed by Gordon Meyer
As soon as you play the Staked DVD you're treated to two screens of text written in pseudo-legal language insisting that you, and you alone, are responsible for any injuries that occur as a result of performing this trick. Including any damages that someone else might incur because they watched your performance. (Presumably this does not apply to the video demonstrations that the manufacturer places on their own website.) You're also asked to accept that you'll be further bound by whatever conditions the manufacturer tacks onto the agreement in the future. You must agree to these and other grammatically challenged statements or the video will not play! No kidding, there's no option for returning the product if you don't accept this questionably enforceable agreement, so it's either agree or use the DVD as a coaster.

Unfortunately, nonsense isn't the only sin that is evident in Staked and its promotion. Also present is the sin of omission. Performing this effect requires an awkward but necessary "get ready" move that is explained on the DVD, but never seen in the performance videos. Once accomplished this move prevents you from moving from the spot where you're standing, so by necessity it immediately precedes the trick. Nonetheless, every performance clip begins with the performer already set and immobilized. Additionally, the clips don't show the trick ending as described on the packaging--removing the shoe and showing the foot unharmed--which requires a clean-up move described on the DVD as needing quite a bit of distraction because it is "pretty obvious" and tricky to accomplish unnoticed.

While the production quality of this DVD is better than Subterfuge's first product, it suffers from being filmed outdoors at a grafitti-covered park bench. Try not to be distracted by watching passers-by or by listening to the incessantly barking dog. Why do I focus on these details? Well, it's difficult not to notice them when the 17 minute video goes to great lengths to explain how to poke a hole in your athletic shoe but glosses over or completely omits other important aspects of the method and effect.

For example, the blood-stained sock described on the package is only briefly mentioned, and never shown. Likewise, there's no discussion of where to find appropriately-sized stakes or other types of shoes that work with the gimmick. But you won't have to guess about what kind of pants to wear. Only a certain style will work--those that the performer is wearing in the demonstration video. In addition you get a tip about how ripping the seams on said pants will make the trick even easier.

Also, never mind all that stuff on the packaging about pounding the stake in yourself, you'll need an assistant (not a randomly selected spectator) to help. You can perform Staked yourself, but not as described on the packaging. If even the DVD case fools you, it must be magic!

Actually, Staked doesn't deserve to be called a magic trick. At best it is a sideshow-style stunt. It's visually shocking but methodologically obvious (it works exactly the way any spectator will assume it works), and the DVD provides nothing in terms of presentation or scripting, and hardly any thoughts about staging. It's clearly for the magician who confuses shock with mystery.

Staked gets one-half star because the gimmick is well-made and can also be used as a serviceable bottle opener.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for STAKED

Author: Subterfuge Magic
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $75.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

BRUTALLY POUND A SOLID STEEL STAKE THROUGH YOUR FOOT!

WARNING: MUST BE OVER 18 TO PURCHASE CAN CAUSE INJURY IF NOT USED PROPERLY

Effect

The sharp end of a normal stake is pressed against the center of your shoe-covered foot. Using an ordinary hammer or rock, you pound the stake inch by inch into the center of your foot. Each loud whack of the hammer visibly drives the steel shank deeper into your foot...until it is completely impaled. The solid steel stake is now actually imbedded into the surface beneath your foot!

Your staked foot is visible from ALL angles. And then, while a spectator holds the stake steady, you slowly, gut-wrenchingly, slide your impaled foot half way up the solid steel shaft...and stop.

Your impaled foot is now seen to be completely penetrated from above and below by the steel shaft. Again, this riveting spectacle is visible from all angles.

You, or a spectator remove, the solid steel stake from your foot. You unlace your shoe and slowly pull out your foot, revealing that it is completely unharmed...except perhaps for a small blood-stained hole in your sock.
  • Stake yourself with any UNGIMMICKED screwdriver, pen, spike, nail, wood stake, knife, sharpened wooden dowel etc.
  • Perform Staked completely SURROUNDED... close up or on stage.
  • Perform Staked Inside or outside...ANYWHERE in any lighting.
  • Perform Staked with or without blood.
  • Staked does not come with a modified shoe... You must provide your own.
Complete with Staked component and instructional DVD.

WARNING: CAN RESULT IN INJURY IF NOT PERFORMED PROPERLY. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR ANYONE UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE.


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