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stuartp

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Reply with quote  #1 
REVIEW: TWISTED SISTERS by John Bannon

RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS!

LINK TO FULL REVIEW:  www.mylovelyassistant.com/reviews/view/4467


Let us know what you think about Twisted Sisters!


REVIEW: If I could rate a trick with more than 5 stars, Twisted Sister would be it. There are not enough superlative adjectives that can be used when describing this devious, awe-inspiring, breath taking card trick.

In Twisted Sister, the performer shows two packets of face-down cards; one red backed and the other blue. He explains that they each contain the four Queens. The performer indicates that each spectator will pick a pile and name a different Queen and their cards will switch places. Then, each spectator names a different Queen and when the packet is spread, the named Queen is the only face up card in each pile of four. Then when the two Queens are turned over, they have the color back from the other pile. Then, the remaining cards are flipped over and they are all Jokers. No extra cards, no rough and smooth, no magnets, not threads, no hypnosis, no misdirection, no switching, no difficult moves, no s%$#t.

There is so much magic packed into this quick and easy to perform trick that each step of the way the spectator is amazed. First when the named Queens are the only ones face up in the packet. Second when they are shown to have switched piles by having a back with an opposite color. Third, and potentially spasm inducing, when the remaining three cards, in each pile, are turned over and shown to be Jokers. 

I have never seen a spectator not be stunned by this trick. If you want to check it out yourself, watch the promotional video at http://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=48491 and watch John Bannon perform his great creation. What you see is what you get. Brought to you by Murphy’s Magic, produced by Big Blind Media and explained by Bannon. The ad copy is accurate, it is “incredibly powerful,” “ingenious” and it “will simply blow your audience away.” One comment however, the ad copy says there is no sleight of hand at all. That is true in that it can be performed without the Elmsley Count, but Bannon teaches the trick using an Elmsley Count. I have performed the trick both ways and I have no preference. They both work equally as strong.

For a great price, you get a DVD, a plastic card case, and the eight needed cards (which include the gaffed cards) which are Bicycle Mandolin backed cards (809’s). John Bannon clearly teaches every aspect of the trick in a Las Vegas hotel room, instead of a studio. It’s a bit weird, especially since the flatscreen TV is on in the background during an episode of Law & Order (or something like that) and you see the back of the hotel room door, but that that shouldn’t bother anyone too much. There are a few interview segments with Bannon talking about the trick and even two bonus tricks taught on the DVD. The DVD also contains a file with the original pre-DVD written instructions, which are clear and easy to follow. The only criticism I have (and it is minor) is that I would have preferred a predominant magician’s point of view during the instruction instead of the predominant audience point of view.

This trick can be reset under the table in about 3 seconds. This is one of the best deals out there for an awesome and ingenious trick. Like I said, if I could give it more than 5 stars I would.
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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #2 
No doubt Twisted Sisters is amazing. Do you think it is better than Duplicity?
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the review Stuart! I've come to trust the reviews that I've read over at mylovelyassistant.com 

So glad that you've joined us!

Rudy

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Barry Allen

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Reply with quote  #4 
This trick was certainly the rage when it was released initially around 25 years ago. Everyone appeared to be doing it!

However, whilst it's basically a self-worker (unless you throw in a couple of Elmsley Counts at the outset), there is indeed so much going on that it CAN actually be a myriad of utter confusion........unless you CLEARLY communicate all aspects of the actual plot to your spectators. I've honestly seen magicians totally confuse folk with this trick; due to poorly thought out patter that has left them with an "oh, that's errr nice (I think!)" look on their faces. It should elicit a much better response.

And whilst talking of faces, here's my biggest gripe with the trick. Neither John Bannon, nor Phil Goldstein (with his four card version), EVER gave credit to the originator of this trick - Corvello of Holland. Because it was indeed Corvello's trick originally - titled 'Four Faces' and released by Ken Brooke's Magic Place, London, in 1969.

Just to add that I truly believe Corvello's version to be superior. It only uses four cards; so you are not over proving anything - a part of The Twisted Sisters plot that I think may actually cause some of the confusion in the wrong hands. Ask both spectators a while after you present the trick and will they even remember that the rest of the cards were Jokers? Will they actually remember the aspect with the different coloured backs? Again, I guess that depends upon how clearly your presentation has been honed. Sometimes you can have too much going on; and within something that takes a short period of time to present, these multi-climaxes may hinder more than help. But that seems to be the way of a lot of modern day magic. Just an opinion.

However, the main reason that I prefer Corvello's version was the sublime routining by Ken Brooke - that lifted what was originally a 30 second presentation into a 3-4 minute routine of very funny entertainment around the theme of written predictions and a wager.

Excellent review though my friend. And many thanks for your time and effort sharing.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #5 
I'm not familiar with the Corvello version and how it differs from Goldstein's "B'Wave."

But I do like "B'Wave." The plot is simple, direct and easy to understand.
Then there are three convincers, each one right in a row.
It fries people.
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #6 
Barry, it is a completely DIFFERENT effect.    Twisted sister is a TRANSPOSITION of two mentally selected cards. The others are predictions. Might use similar gaffs but applied to a different end.  I've seen other people say the same thing so many times.

For me Twisted Sister works best as a stand up routine with jumbo cards (there was a jumbo version marketed at one point). Here it can be used as a mental cards across routine without having to get two people up from the audience, counting cards or using envelopes. I've used it a lot in this manner  The jumbo version had blanks rather than jokers. It is a very strong routine.

If anything in effect it may be more closely related to a Dai Vernon routine. 

Just because you've seen the trick butchered doesn't mean its a poorer effect. You can see great effects butchered regularly at any magic club [smile]

Barry, Does the Corvello routine predate "Parade of The Kings"? And even that had earlier pre-sixties origins?  

But at the end of the day, "Twisted Sister" (or its later ungaffed version "Duplicity") are not the same trick as any 4 card brainwave variation. 
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oscarf

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicfish
No doubt Twisted Sisters is amazing. Do you think it is better than Duplicity?


This is a really good question.

I have thrown over Twisted Sisters in favor of Duplicity. The problem with Duplicity, though, is that it is easy for the most inquisitive spectators to say "wait a second, none of those cards is gaffed and they didn't really change or go anywhere, so what kinds of verbal shenanigans must be going on to land us in this predicament?"

I think one would not want to close with Duplicity and leave the audience reconstructing. Better to build it into a routine, astonish the audience, and then move right along to another effect.
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #8 
Oscarf, if you initially Elmsley count each face down packet (placing last card to bottom) then something magical has happened to the cards at the conclusion and the resultant different colored backs 'proves' the cards DID change places. -Your problem solved [smile]


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oscarf

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yes, I do that, but it's still an awfully perfect effect. It's just a certain group who seem to work hard figuring it out. They don't get the whole thing, but they catch on to some of the psychology if given the time. There is another group who just accept it as miraculous. My experience anyway ...
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eusbanger

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Reply with quote  #10 
I used duplicity alot in the past, but 2 times in a row, minutes later of be amazed, the spectator says something like:
"I liked a lot, but now, I feel that you trick me with the language"

from then, I think I used it only 2 or 3 times
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #11 
I used to use Duplicity a lot in my restaurant work and NEVER had that happen. But over the years every so often you come across people who just do not 'get' something that you are doing when everyone else is amazed. Just out of interest, when this happened had you performed other effects first or was it just the one effect you performed?

If we have a bad experience with an effect it can color our view of it. Sometimes tweaking how we present it can make a difference. If that doesn't work it gets relegated to the drawer [smile]'
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oscarf

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Reply with quote  #12 
Yes, this is the question. Is there something in the presentation that allows this negative reaction, e.g., poor Equivoque skills, pacing, patter ... or is there an inherent vulnerability in the routine, including a "too perfect" quality that hints at the method? Not that there is ever an exact answer to that type of question. I'm sure we've all seen performers who can sell anything to a crowd, as well as those who are the opposite.

For me, the fast company that I often perform for seems to tend in the direction of re-thinking what exactly happened verbally if I give them a chance to or if I close with Duplicity. That _never_ happens with, say, my performance of Bill Malone's version of Michael Skinner's Three Card Monte, another "too perfect" effect. They're just plain floored by that one.

I am not resistant to the possibility that it is me that is the problem! [biggrin] 

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Whodini

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Reply with quote  #13 
Twisted Sister became my "worker" in restaurant magic for married couples.

I cannot recall if I created a routine surrounding married couples' ability to read each other's minds, or if I saw Twisted Sister performed as such (original instructions?).

It was a spectator favorite.

And the jumbo version is also a good platform/parlor worker.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #14 
I've liked it ever since it was first released, very clear and colorful routine. 
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stuartp

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicfish
No doubt Twisted Sisters is amazing. Do you think it is better than Duplicity?


Sorry for the delayed response.  I personally think Twisted Sisters is "better" than Duplicity.  That does not mean that Duplicity is not great in its own right.  It is.  They are of course very similar in ultimate effect and what the spectator perceives.  They each have their advantages.  The primary advantage with Duplicity is that you can end clean and all cards can be 100% inspected.  

I love them both.

Responding to some other posts on this string; I have not had any issues with spectators being confused with the effect as some have discussed.  I think it takes some mental practice to get the patter down and to lead the spectators through the effect. Once that is tight, it is killer (for both tricks).

Stu
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Mr. Danny

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Reply with quote  #16 
Well, This is related to Twisted Sisters! I got a dvd from big blind media with John's version of the 3 card montie. Uses 5 cards with the backs labeled. Never fails to get a tip! Twice now I have gotten a $20 tip after performing it! I used a tiny bit of roughing fluid to make sure I couldn't mess up. After performing, I let them look at the cards if they want, no one has ever spotted the roughing.
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EndersGame

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Reply with quote  #17 
This is somewhat of an older thread, but now that it's been a couple of years, I'm curious whether anyone has changed their opinion on the relative merits of Duplicity versus Twisted Sisters.

Twisted Sisters is now 25 years old (it was first released by John Bannon around 1993), while in comparison Duplicity has only been out for 10 years (it was first released by John Bannon around 2008).  Twisted Sisters actually has some parallels with Max Maven's classic B'Wave, although they are different types of effects in that Twisted Sisters is more of a magical/transposition effect, whereas B'Wave is more of a mentalism/prediction effect.

But how does Duplicity compare?  Like Twisted Sisters, Duplicity benefits from an initial Elmsley count.  But unlike Twisted Sisters, there are some important differences:

(a) Duplicity doesn't require two spectators;
(b) Duplicity's plot is a little less complex/confusing;
(c) Duplicity lets you finish clean with everything examinable;
(d) Duplicity uses blank faced cards instead of jokers, which arguably strengthens the final reveal; 
(e) Duplicity requires you to master some basic equivoque (somewhat familiar if you've ever done B'Wave), but it is quite delicate, since the spectator needs to make three choices throughout, and it needs to be made clear that they are all free choices. 

Does that make it better or worse?  I'm especially interested to hear from people who have given both a fair run.  With the benefit of time/experience, which is the effect you find yourself using more today, which gets the best reactions and why?

[pic3691636] [pic3691637]


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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #18 
I haven't used Twisted Sister since purchasing Duplicity. To me, Duplicity is far superior to Twisted Sisters, and frankly I was never a huge fan of the trick in the first place. Seemed to me to dilute the premise of B'Wave. I also like the fact that Duplicity requires no specialty gaffs.

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