Criss Angel made his return to Fremont Street last night with his first big filming for his upcoming Spike series. It would be safe to say that he’d probably like things to run a little smoother than this in the future.

Entitled Death Premonition, Angel was tied to a bed with swords suspended above him and dropped one by one. All but one were positioned to fall near him, one sword was positioned over his heart.

The filming hit an hour delay and was then beset by some technical malfunctions. A video by Las Vegas Weekly reporter / author / magician Rick Lax shows a pretty big tech error during the finale of the trick which left some in the crowd that hung around pretty miffed. PLEASE BE AWARE OF STRONG LANGUAGE.

And then there is the creative origin of the trick itself…

The day of filming, Mike Weatherford of the Las Vegas Review-Journal made note that the description of the illusion matched one used by current Riviera illusionist Jan Rouven.

His Bed of Death routine was designed for the German version of Phenomenon and is currently in Rouven’s act.

Angel’s camp says the illusion was inspired by the Clive Barker film Lord of Illusions which indeed features a hanging sword demonstration. You can catch glimpses of it in the trailer below. Angel even went as so far to film and release a blessing from Barker himself before the filming last night.

Angel tweeted pictures of the LoI scene last night while thanking Barker for the permission to bring his movie to life. Rouven’s team says that his illusion was inspired by Lord of Illusions, even if Angel’s demonstration was inspired by Lord of Illusions it still had to be developed into a theatrical magic effect which they claim Angel lifted from them.

Either way, Criss Angel has to be hoping that his next big demonstration (an effect called BLIND, according to his Twitter) goes a bit smoother than this one did.

  • Travis

    I always hate to see a magician fail, so i feel bad for Angel the smallest amount I can. But in my opinion, the fact that he posted on twitter what Clive Baker thought of this stunt before he performed it kind of proves that he knew he was ripping off Jan. I have met Jan Rouven and seen his show, He is a very nice guy and his bed of death is an amazing part of his show. The way Jan reacted in this video shows just how big of a man he is. Way to go Jan!

  • Rick Lax

    I’m with you, Travis. I’m feel bad the smallest amount I can. I mean, we’ve all messed up before. I know I have. The difference is, I don’t act like I walk on water. And one correction to the story here: Jan and Frank aren’t claiming that they were the first ones to be influenced by Lord of Illusion movie; when they created the trick they didn’t even know the movie existed.

  • JustinRYoung

    Corrected Rick. I read the quote in the Weatherford story incorrectly.

  • HAL

    I ‘BELIEVE” I posted this would be the same old trick with Angel changing it slightly. So, we already know I’m a genius. Maybe if we post “HE SUCKS” in 25 different languages, somebody will get the hint. So the knives drop one at a time, that sure makes it original. So go ahead, keep supporting this fake, phony, crook, A-hole, slimeball, and keep promoting his amazing ‘Demonstrations’. A Tupperware ‘demonstration’ is more credible. Sure he can perform live, he just needs to tape it several times till he gets it right.

  • JM

    Just like everything else Angel does, he steals (openly) from other magicians and claims he thought of it first. He thinks he knows all and takes insult if someone suggests there are ideas he hasn’t thought of. Criss will attend a magic show and afterwards openly profess “I have an idea for a new illusion!” and start to describe something he just witnessed during the show he watched. He feels he can steal and do wht he wants to whoever he wants whenever he wants.

  • Steve Chezaday

    Well … now that’s interesting. They’ve already got the prop for sale on Surplus Magic Exchange … say’s it works 85% of the time. As for Costa …


    HAL, if Clive Barker gave his blessing, then you and the other douchebags can just STFU! That ends it! I knew a scrote like you would be hovering like a buzzard to jump right on this. But not being a magician yourself, you wouldn’t know that tricks sometimes screw up. it in no way detracts from the 2-3 live shows he does a day! He’s starting on his 2nd TV series now sucker! I’m still waiting for your FIRST one! Now do kindly go sod off! LOSER!!

  • HAL

    I can accept your ridiculous comments, because I see how ignorant you are. It’s obvious how the trick works. Why would a magician use a trick that fails? DUH? Wonder if anybody got fired for this blunder. Wonder if he feels like a total ass with a disappointed crowd of people? Funny, we don’t see Copperfield, P&T or any famous magicians ‘SCREW UP”. If you recall the ‘Building Implosion’, this is Angel’s 2nd big screw up. Then he tries to get the crowd to cover it up. Yep, he sure is the greatest. Any moron can see he can’t perform live on TV. This new show will be another phony ‘Mindfake’. Give yourself a treat, go see a “REAL” magician.

  • LoyalJenn

    Criss is my idol, I’ve looked up to him since 2005, & I don’t plan? on stopping. He inspired me to go for my dreams and work my hardest to achieve them. I had a chance to meet him privately in 2009, and I must say, I have met a lot of celebrities and NONE of them were even CLOSE to being as nice and as humble as Criss Angel. He is very sweet and the furthest thing from a “douchebag”. Sometimes things go wrong – doesn’t mean he’s not a good magician. If he wasn’t good, he wouldn’t be where he is.