Halloween Stuff: Free Zombie Classic Download

Posted by Michael on October 28th, 2014

I love traditions. Every Christmas, I watch Holiday Inn on Christmas Eve and a few other favorites in the build up to the holiday. Around Halloween, I have a few movies I watch every year and my longest tradition is to watch the original Night of the Living Dead. This year I introduced one of my kids to it and was told it was “stupid and boring.” But that couldn’t be more wrong…

George A. Romero’s black and white horror film arguably introduced the modern concepts of the flesh eating undead that have become a mainstay of both the silver and small screens. To help you get in the Halloween spirit, I submit the trailer for this classic. If you have not seen Night of the Living Dead (or just have not seen it lately), you can easily find it on YouTube or even download it from Archive.org. Thanks to a series of errors, the film is in the public domain.

His Effects Have Fooled Some of the Top Names in All of Magic…

Posted by Editor on October 28th, 2014
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Live Lecture Wednesday, October 29th
Download available within 48 hours after the live lecture

Mark is a real worker. He has made his living performing magic for a number of years. He was also a Creative Consultant for the one and only Criss Angel. You also may have seen him on the hit SyFy show Wizard Wars, where Penn praised him for his performance style. Learn his fooling effects along with some extras At The Table.

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Houdini’s Grave, Justin Willman, Evil Clowns And More [Magic Bulletin]

Posted by Michael on October 28th, 2014

We are kicking off the day’s news with New York Daily News video about the efforts to restore Houdini’s grave.

China recently announced its intentions to create new magic-themed entertainment destination near Beijing, but India is opening its Magic Planet in Thiruvanathapuram this Friday. According to DaijiWorld.com, is reporting that 25 magicians will be performing in various exhibits, in addition to street magicians, in the “edutainment complex.”

This is not aimed specifically at magicians, but Backstage.com has an interesting article arguing in favor of working at theme parks.

This also is not aimed specifically at magicians, but USA Today had an article on awesome Halloween candy from Justin Willman. Not only is he writing newspaper articles, Justin has also been busy doing cool things like speaking at the recent Grand Canyon University commencement.

Finally, from the “I Knew It! I Just Knew It!” Department comes the story of the rise of “clown terror” in France as more armed clowns commit acts of vandalism and violence. Yahoo covered it and suggests that it may be due to the scary clown in American Horror Story. Uh, hey Yahoo, haven’t you ever heard of It or Killer Klowns From Outer Space or juggalos? And yeah, iTricks realizes there are some good clowns… don’t forget we were hyping the family friendly clowns of Ringling Brothers just the other day.

Neil Patrick Harris Bringing Variety Back To Network TV

Posted by Michael on October 28th, 2014

Back during the search for Letterman’s replacement, Neil Patrick Harris mentioned that he would rather host a variety show than a daily talker. According to Vulture, NBC is going to give him the opportunity. They report that his show, which has been commissioned for ten episodes, is going to based on the hit British variety show Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (which, frankly, from what I have seen has always seemed like a distilled version of Sabado Gigante). Although NBC has not said when the show will premiere, they have confirmed that it will not be scheduled for Saturday nights.

There are many reasons for networks to look to variety shows as a replacement for relatively inexpensively produced reality shows. Variety is also cheap to produce and even gives networks the chance to work in advertising and cross-promotions of other shows. The format has been tried recently, with mixed results. America’s Got Talent, although a competition show, is basically a variety show and quite successful. Wayne Brady had a short lived variety show a few years ago and Maya Rudolph had a variety special/pilot in May of this year that has not been added to the new season’s schedule.

Hollingworth Collection

Posted by Editor on October 28th, 2014
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The Hollingworth Collection from Dan and Dave on Vimeo.

Six years ago we began a voyage to produce a project that possessed potential to transform the world of magic. Today that journey culminates with the release of the Hollingworth Collection, and needless to say, our groundbreaking expectations have been far surpassed.

“Guy is the finest card magician in Britain and amongst the top two or three in the world. Every move and moment exudes consummate sophistication and wit; effortless, natural, matchless. This compilation is a magnificent, hilarious treat and will have you grinning and shouting with glee. You not only admire him, you want desperately to be him.” – Derren Brown

Guy Hollingworth, undoubtedly one of the most sophisticated magicians of our time, first released his VHS The Reformation in 1994. This remarkable first publication gave way to releases exhibiting not only Guy’s ingenuity, but his elegant and refined style of performance. In truth, Guy’s integral contributions to magic shaped our aesthetic approach to the craft.

Without him, we wouldn’t be who we are today.

“I’ve known Guy Hollingworth for over 20 years and he’s one of the greatest proponents of sleight of hand I’ve ever met. This exclusive set is a must have.” – Bill Kalush

With the aid of the Hollingworth Collection, a compendium of original and updated material spanning The London Collection, Routines, and The Reformation, we are confident that Guy will influence you, much like he did us, for the better.

“Guy’s magic is ingenious, baffling and as refined as his wardrobe. My highest recommendation.” – R. Paul Wilson

Each set boasts eight hours of in depth footage and an exclusive pack of commemorative playing cards. The seasoned students of Guy will appreciate his use of STUD playing cards, not for their design but for how thin they were.

Working closely with the USPCC, we’ve created a deck like no other. Each pack feels extremely thin in the hands while still upholding our strict standard of quality. In addition to how the cards handle, the backs parallel early twentieth century art deco, shimmering gold in the light of the sun. If they weren’t in the hands of Hollingworth, they’d be in Jay Gatsby’s. Owning a set is the only way to treasure such an extraordinary deck in such an exquisite form.

Whether it be your first experience or yet another encounter, we are pleased to invite you to join our journey with Guy as our guide.

Signed and limited to 1,000 copies.

Available exclusively at, http://shop.dananddave.com/hollingworth-collection.html

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The History (And Opportunity) Of Halloween

Posted by Michael on October 27th, 2014

Michael Lauck is a columnist for iTricks. His work appears on Mondays.

Halloween is a great time of year for magicians.

Obviously, the history and supernatural aspect of Halloween form a connection to magic. More importantly, Halloween is huge business and a great opportunity for magicians.

The history of Halloween is fairly common knowledge. For the pre-Christian Celtic peoples, Samhain (pronounced sah-ween) was their most important holiday. It was the beginning of their year and also the harvest time, so Samhain was the biggest of their feasts. When the Catholic Church tried to “civilize” the Celts, it was a common strategy to adapt Catholic feasts and holidays to the pre-existing holidays. The festival of All Saint’s was assigned to Samhain. Despite the efforts to bury the previous culture, certain beliefs continued and were just merged into the Catholic holidays. For All Saints’ Day, this meant that the people continued to believe that the spirits of the dead could roam the earth on the previous night, October 31.

Over the years this belief continued and eventually led to the English tradition of soul cakes. These were treats made to reward those willing to pray for the souls of ones family. Some think that this was the tradition that would evolve into trick or treating. It is also thought by some that the tricks of Halloween came after England officially left the Catholic Church and formed the Church of England. The Protestants would torment those still observing the Catholic vigil on the night before All Saints. Some also think that trick or treating is descended from the Guy Fawkes’ Day tradition of begging for pennies. It may be that these were inspirations for trick or treating, but trolling the neighborhood for candy basically seems to have developed as a bribe.

Halloween as we know it began to appear about one hundred years ago. Around the turn of the century, possibly spurred on by a wave of Irish immigrants, Halloween began to become a popular excuse for parties. Early on, these were often harvest celebrations more than they were supernatural scare-fests but the tradition of pulling tricks and pranks on Halloween was a popular part of the early celebrations. In fact, it was often the main celebration for many and Halloween began to be more of a celebration of juvenile delinquency than anything else! As late as 1950 the Senate Judiciary Committee considered officially trying to change Halloween into a national celebration of youth service to curb the wave of vandalism associated with the holiday. Many communities found that encouraging kids to travel door to door looking for candy and treats was a great way to misdirect all of that youthful energy. This strategy really began to grow in the years after World War II and by the late 1950s Halloween had basically become the holiday we know today.

More after the jump
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The Mad Monster Party?

Posted by Michael on October 27th, 2014

Halloween is this week and you are going to have to excuse me, but I have held this in ALL MONTH. This week I will be sharing some of my favorite Halloween and horror related videos. I think you will find that they are all a little different, some campy, some rare and some just plain crazy. We are starting right now with the theatrical trailer for the classic stop-motion animation film Mad Monster Party? Before there was Monsters Inc, Hotel Transylvania or about any Tim Burton film you can name there was the grand daddy of them all: Mad Monster Party?

Released in 1967, this crazy kids flick stars the voices of Boris Karloff, Phyllis Diller and Allen Swift (voice acting legend). It was directed by Jules Bass, who also directed Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town and Frosty The Snowman as well as producing Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and The Thundercats.