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Hug Review

Official Review

December 27th, 2013 4:03pm
Reviewed by David Parr
This hour-long DVD centers around an original piece of impromptu “body magic.” The DVD begins with a grainy, low-res YouTube video that shows Nefesch standing in someone’s living room. He tells a rambling “true” story that has little connection to the effect he is about to perform. Then he turns his back to the camera, positions his hands behind his back, and crosses one arm over the other with his hands at his waist, as if he were embracing himself in a backwards hug. He turns to face the camera. The viewer can see his fingertips poking out from behind his back, right fingers on the left side of his body, left fingers on the right side. But then comes a surprise: he brings his hands forward, showing that his arms are now uncrossed.

That’s the basic effect. The first time I saw it, I gasped. Nefesch had done the requisite “move” so smoothly that I missed it. Then the disillusionment began, as my mind started to work out what had actually happened. And as if to help me along, the YouTube video was followed by two more demonstrations of the effect, one of which showed Nefesch performing Hug for an audience. Sadly, that meant I had to sit through his drawn-out preamble two more times. And with the element of surprise gone, the flaws in the effect started to become apparent.

Hug cannot be performed in “almost any type of situation,” such as “close-up” or “walk-around,” as Nefesch claims. This is made quite evident when, in his second demo, he asks the segment of his audience that happens to be positioned to his side to move so they’re in front of him. Fortunately, the folks in the video comply with his request. Because if Hug is viewed from either side, there is no effect.

As the video moved on to the explanation, the biggest flaw became apparent: unless you’re as skinny and flexible as Nefesch, you can forget about performing this effect. Here’s the test. Face a large mirror. Put your hands behind your back. Cross one arm over the other and then extend your hands on opposite sides of your body, wiggling your fingers. If you can’t see more than the very tips of your right fingers poking out from behind your left side, and your left fingers poking out from behind your right side, then this effect is of no use to you.

Nefesch goes on to perform and explain four variations on Hug, ranging from not very good to downright bad, and one mentalism effect that has nothing to do with Hug. All this and crappy video quality for only $45!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that the video and the effect have no value. The video is, without question, vastly overpriced. However, in the right circumstances, and for a performer who fits within the narrow range of people who are physically capable of performing it, the effect can certainly be used to accomplish a few things. It can give the audience a chance to get comfortable with the performer. It can capture the attention of a bunch of people and encourage them to actively participate in the performance. And, if the audience happens to be positioned directly in front of the performer, it can provide a nice little moment of surprise. Just don’t expect there to be any lingering sense of mystery when all is said and done.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Hug

Author: Nefesch
Publisher: Nefesch
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $45.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

HUG by Nefesch

HUG is the new "Thumbs up, Go like this" opener taken to a whole new level of visual madness.

"HUG is a DVD with a collection of 6 effects. 5 of these effects are new, fresh and astonishing body illusions that you can perform anytime anywhere. In February 2008 I decided to perform HUG for some reporters of a National Newspaper of my native country (El Salvador) The Journalists were very impressed and made a nice article about me; and as a result of my HUG performance they gave me a "title", a title I had never expected to get, this "title" was something that I had never claimed to be, but they gave me that title because that was what they thought of me after seeing my performance; they called me: "An Expert in Contortion". Nowadays, I use HUG as the opener for my Show. The DVD also includes a mentalism routine with the ploy "Hugging a person" This mentalism Routine is the one I use as a link between my opener and the rest of my mentalism show."
- Nefesch

The 5 Body illusions are totally impromptu, easy to do and they will look as if you can penetrate parts of your body through others parts of your body in a very visual way. The mentalism routine requires a fast and easy set up and it plays huge.

Effects included:

1) Arms Through Body
2) Hands Through Neck
3) Sleeveless Arm Twist
4) Arms Through leg (3 Variations Included)
5) A Jacket Levitation
6) A bonus Mentalism HUG Routine

"Destined to become a classic and a staple of many acts!"
- Cameron Francis

"Nefesch's HUG fills me with giddy delight! It's so fun and clever. A brand new interactive puzzler that's an instant classic!"
-Dan Harlan

"This is absolute killer. It's very rare that these kind of gems are offered to the community...Guaranteed to become a classic in magic."
- Peter Eggink

"Nefesch created an amazing yet practical body illusion. When you thought they invented it all... He strikes again with an original and practical concept! Amazing!"
- Guy Bavli

"Hug is one of those offbeat effects that many entertainers will start using straight away as a modern, more deceptive alternative to the much overused old version. You can involve a whole audience, or a single person with no prep, no set up and nothing required. What more could you want. It's a great piece to have in the back of your mind for when you just need to do 'something' to impress people as you can go straight in to HUG with a moment's notice and still blow people away with a visual penetration of your own body."
- Ken Dyne (Mentalist and HUG Fan)

"I can see every magician around the world performing these illusions for generations. This will make history."
- Titanas

"Hug is what I would call the perfect anytime, anywhere, effect. It is visual and stunning, and creates that magical moment of astonishment without cards or coins, just you and them. Hug will have them thinking for a very long time!"
- Justin Miller

"This will definitely freak people out"
- Dan Hause

"I was impressed with what you've developed with HUG, a visually stunning piece of any time, any place magic. And, the fact that it can involve the entire audience certainly makes it a rare effect in the world of magic. Well done!"
- Michael Grandinetti

"A natural, and logical step in an old gag that takes it and kicks up to date sharply and quickly! You WILL perform this."
- Alan Rorison

"Hug is the perfect intro to any show! A fun and ideal way to break the ice and greet your audience. A beautiful set up for the rest of the show!"
- Luca Volpe

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