Criss Angel: Mindfreak - The Best of Seasons One & Two [DVD]

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The A&E magic series Criss Angel Mindfreak opens with the pilot episode "Burned Alive", setting the series' formula of at least one spectacular illusion per week. The saturnine, flowing-haired Angel, whose demeanor borders on the Messianic, introduces himself to the viewers by setting himself afire--as a birthday present for his mother! The season's remaining fifteen episodes offer even more new spins on old stage-magic standards: In the "Levitation" episode, he grabs innocent bystanders off the street and sends them aloft; recreating a classic Houdini routine, he attempts an escape from a huge wine vat; at the giant Tesla Coils in Baraboo, Wisconsin, he zaps himself full of electricity; and while appearing at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, he astonishes one and all by literally walking down the hotel's sheer 55-story side! Other episodes conjure up the classic "bed of nails" routine using an SUV (honest!), a sequence wherein Angel appears to render himself blind, a buried-alive turn, and a session of "muscular" mindreading. In addition, the host escorts the viewers behind the hallowed doors of LA's fabled Magic Castle, and matches wits and skills with fellow magicians Lance Burton and The Amazing Jonathan. The season ends with--surprise, surprise!--a bone-chilling Halloween special. ~ Hal Erickson

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