Monday, July 12, 2010

Project 365 (205/365): The Bullet Catch

.:205/365: The Bullet Catch:.

This version by Penn and Teller has got to be the most head-scratching routine I’ve ever come across. According to Banachek, he was the one who created this routine, and Penn and Teller purchased the rights from him.

The Bullet Catch is an amazing effect, truth be told, but also one of the most dangerous things ever, because something can always go wrong. I don’t care if Penn and Teller use fake guns or whatever other methods, if one of them one day decided to use a real gun and off their partner, there go all those safety precautions they took to ensure it wouldn’t be a problem.

Many magicians have performed a variation or two of this routine, but Penn and Teller’s version stands out because they go through extraordinary lengths to emphasize that switching the bullets was not going to be an option. Having said that, Banachek did emphasize that his method, barring real intent to murder, was not the least bit dangerous. In the world of bullet catches, this is arguably the safest yet most amazing version of the routine ever, and I’d love to tell you how it’s done, except I haven’t the foggiest idea how they do it, which, to me, really cements Penn and Teller as my personal favourites of all time, because no amount of decoding on my part has ever allowed me to figure out how it works. You could use stooges for mind-reading, elaborate props for illusions, but this particular one seems to negate any of those possibilities altogether.

Many have indeed performed this in the past, but several magicians have met untimely deaths for one reason or another. Tomorrow, we will talk about the most infamous casualty of the bullet catch illusion.

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