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The Gypsy Curse - by Tonny van Rhee

PostPosted: Jan 28th, '08, 13:04
by Tom Lauten

The Gypsy Curse - by Tonny van Rhee

Available from: ... -4509.html and Card Sharks own website

Price: £19.99

Close up / Bizarre / Storytelling card magic

Difficulty (1-5): 2.5 You will need to familiarize yourself wit the routine and a few specific moves/handlings. Nothing too elaborate.

They say:
This is the perfect start into the Gypsy Deck series. Do you remember the "Gypsy Curse" by Peter Kane? This is one of the absolute classics of all Wild Card effects where you change a whole bunch of 9 of Spades into Kings of Diamonds! Only by the Gypsy Curse.
The routine from Tonny van Rhee goes further, the handling is even more convincing, a special moment is added when the old golden coin of the gypsy falls out of cards!
You get the whole Gypsy Curse set, containing the necessary gaffed cards, the golden coin of the gypsy and the routine by Tonny van Rhee.
I say:
Well…for those of you who don’t know this effect, here is another description…

"Seven ancient playing card replicas are shown. Six of them are black spot cards and the last a King of Diamonds.As the performer relates the following story he carries out the actions of the swindler. He tells of how the original proprietor of this game would divide the seven cards into two groups and ask the spectators to wager as to which group contains the Diamond card. An elderly Gypsy woman, having wagered and lost, placed a curse upon the man and his game. From that day on, whenever the man tried to operate his game, he finds to his dismay that all the cards are winners and the performer fans them out to show all normal backs and King of Diamond faces!"

There are other variations but you get the idea.

The cards you receive are from the “Gypsy Deck” series of cards and effects by Card Shark. These are designed and printed to look discoloured and work and are (IMO) better in terms of that than the Bicycle 1800 decks, much more subtle. The cards are longer than poker cards and that takes a bit of getting used to but this helps the look a great deal. They are more in proportion to tarot cards.

The cards are nice but I must admit the feel of the cards sliding across each other is a bit “Catchy”…. They seem to have a texture that offers a bit of grab. This doesn’t make the handling impossible but if you are used to Bikes you will feel a difference (even after fanning powder, which helps but doesn’t cure) and will need to get used to the feel…I still am not sure when the cards are behaving fully or not.

You also get a “gold” coin with the set. It is actually brass and of some substantial weight. It is about the size of a half dollar but a tad thicker. It has some sharpish edges from the stamping of it but I had a go with some fine abrasives to wear the whole thing down. That helped the feel a lot. I then aged the coin with chemicals and it does now look the part indeed.

You also get a reproduction “antique” letter that is part of the routine. This is a colour print out of what looks to be a period letter albeit with a Sheffield postmark… strange as the writing seems to be in Spanish… I think. The print out is ok but it is on plain white paper and includes a stamp within the image so ANY scrutiny will reveal it to be just what it is.

The DVD is … unique to say the least! Tonny Van Ree is clearly a good enough card man but English isn’t his forst language and it does show. There are a number of jump cuts and changes in colour tone within sequences that are rather bizarre and a bit jarring. Not a huge sin but given todays desk top video production capability one does wonder how BAD something would have to be to get some producers to lift a mouse and re edit or even reshoot a scene…oh well. Some of the routines variations are laid out in separate chapters and this is just confusing. The sequences whiz past in no time and it is up to you to work out where they fit into the overall routine. Again, this isn’t THAT difficult but they haven’t made it too easy either. “A bit of a mess” best describes the DVD…shame, could have been much better.

In conclusion:
All-in-all this is a good set, the cards look great as does the coin. The cards could be slicker in terms of handling but a minor sin. The DVD gets the point across and offers explainations, it is just a minor trial to go through it…get your pause and rewind fingers ready. Personally I think the set is a bit over priced for the quality of the DVD, printed letter and less than crystal clear instructions. Having said this, the effect is a classic and is visually wonderful and quite puzzling to see done well.

I would give this a 5 out of 10

Pros: Great routine, nice cards and coin

Cons: DVD is less than ideal, cards have a SLIGHT grab and paper envelope prop is nice but not convincing at all.

PostPosted: Jan 28th, '08, 17:06
by Craig Browning
:lol: I've done this routine off and on for twenty or more years... actually learned it first hand from Mark Wilson at the Castle one evening... he gave me my first set.

I rate it much higher in that it does have a fun pay-off for those gifted with the ability to weave a SOLID story around it... I've even thought about ringing it back into some of my pre-show stuff in that I'm doing a Gypsy themed routine in the new fall program this year (soon to be posted @ MySpace).

This is a very fun piece, don't under-rate it!

PostPosted: Jan 28th, '08, 18:24
by Tom Lauten
I agree. As I said "... the effect is a classic and is visually wonderful and quite puzzling to see done well."

I have no problem with the routine itself's great. In fact I will be reviewing a really nice alternative handling manuscript I streamlines a few bits rather well. I can't wait to perform the effect for a couple of special occasions.

My problem was with the slightly bemusing DVD, to a minor extent the card's "feel", the less than convincing "letter" and the too shiny and slightly sharp edged coin (although it brushes up very well indeed).

PostPosted: Jan 28th, '08, 20:21
by FRK
Love the look of the effect but dam the video was painful to watch, I almost fell asleep

PostPosted: Jan 28th, '08, 20:59
by Lenoir
Love the look of the effect but dam was the video was painful to watch, I almost fell asleep

Ha, yeah me too, I saw the video was about 4 mins long and I though, not so bad. But wow, it did drag on.

Handling seemed a little bit...odd. Its clearly how you wouldnt handle normal cards which is always a shame.

PostPosted: Jan 28th, '08, 21:08
by FRK
he handled the cards like he had gloves on

PostPosted: Jan 28th, '08, 23:52
by Craig Browning
I've not seen this DVD... find it rather silly that someone would go to that kind of trouble for this particular piece... What's the follow-up COLOR MONTE?

PostPosted: Jan 29th, '08, 00:24
by FRK
Ihave not seen the DVD just the demo...go look

PostPosted: Feb 5th, '08, 18:35
by bmat
DVD? COIN? LETTER? Holy crow batman. I love this effect and I got it as a packet trick by...oh shoot I'm having a brain freeze, he died not to long ago, very nice man, a cleptomaniac unfortunatly, put out a bunch of packet tricks. Anyway I picked up some pieces of eight at a renaissance faire awhile back and incorperated it into the routine. And the only reason that I added the coin as then it leads into some coin work. Overall I rate this trick really high however if I don't continually perform the effect I tend to forget it half way through. But then my memory is getting worse and worse.