Rated 10 out of 10 and Here's Why...
Review by Shane Causer
DVD by Kenton Knepper
Suggested Retail USD$35.00
Available direct from WonderWizards
In a Blink: 10 Out of 10
"Duct Tape Blindfold", a DVD by Kenton Knepper, is one of those things that is too interesting to pass up and, once learned, too devious not to perform, making this a must-have for anyone doing blindfold work or even thinking about it.
And this coming from someone who's not a big fan of blindfolds.
You see, the way I look at it, blindfolds are to mentalism what thumb tips are to magic: over-exposed in more ways than one. It seems like everybody and brother knows about the nose peek, and trick blindfolds are so commonplace NBA stars used them during a slam-dunk competition a few years ago (and then, of course, exposed them to the camera just 'cuz). So blindfolds, to me, are like thumb tips -- they are certainly still usable but they've got to be used differently than Everyone thinks they are used. With blindfolds, that has usually meant adding to the procedure with coins tapes to the eyes, wrapped in cotton, a metal blindfold put in place... you name it.
So along comes Kenton Knepper with a simpler idea but one that is wholly different, throwing the wise guys and gals right into the briar patch with nothing more than 18 inches or so of silver duct tape.
It's all simple enough: the performer needs to have his sight taken away from him, so he uses a length of duct tape from a roll. The length and the roll are examinable; there's no trickery to them. When that tape is on, you're blind as a bat... until you want to see and, from that point, your sight is just fine. No finagling with the tape, no weird facial gyrations after the tape is on... you're good to go from the moment the tape is applied. You can even go nuts and have other pieces of tape stacked on, just for good measure; you'll still have vision whenever you want.
If ever you wanted to use a blindfold in a routine, this is one you need to check out. It's great for any number of revelations, drawing dupes, roulette routines or pretty much anything you can think of. Knepper uses it on the disc as part of his "Three Card Blindfold Location" (we'll get to that in a second), a drawing duplication, and a telepathy demonstration involving numbers and dates, but any of that is just the tip of the iceberg. "Duct Tape Blindfold" is a tool, a very useful tool, that is just waiting to be used in any way seen fit.
Now, there are a couple of caveats here that have to be mentioned.
First, there's no nose peek (you can look straight down at the ground if you want to, and still be able to see what you need to, to a certain extent). In fact, the viewing angle is downright odd when compared to other blindfold ideas I've run across. If you're new to blindfold work, you won't think that much about it (other than to handle some certain cases that may arise, but Knepper covers all of that on the disc); if you've used more traditional blindfold techniques, that viewing angle may put you off and simply not be your thing. Me, I found it to be a bit liberating when compared to other methods, with a greater field of vision and clearer focus, but your mileage may vary on that one.
Second, there are some things you simple can't do with "Duct Tape Blindfold". Cannot. As in, don't even bloody try it. The ads mention the classic "blindfold drive" as a no-go, and there are others, I'm sure. Still, the things you can't do with it are miniscule compared to the things you can. Let's put it this way, other than blindfold drives and some walking situations, pretty much any classic blindfold routine can be done with this and done much easier and more deceptively.
Third, and I mention this one only from my own experience, make sure you're not allergic to the adhesive used on the duct tape you buy. I got all nice and puffy and "rashy" from one brand, while another brand didn't do anything to me other than garner some applause. You really are sticking the stuff to your face so play it safe beforehand.
Okay, so with all of that, you've got the pluses and minuses of "Duct Tape Blindfold" down. Let's move to the other piece of this, which is Knepper's "Three Card Blindfold Location".
This is a standalone effect taught on the disc which can be used with "Duct Tape Blindfold" if you wish or with any other blindfold you wish -- even ones that are legit and that you can't see through. It's a killer routine, one based around a simple gimmick that is just plainly scary when it comes to flexibility. Essentially, three cards are freely selected from a deck then are shuffled into the deck. The performer can't see, having been blindfolded before all this began. The deck is actually shuffled and actually cut... but the performer can locate the three selected cards easily and hand them to the proper spectator while still blindfolded, with the kicker of having a one card change to one of the selected cards while the first card ends up in the performer's pocket (with no palming, even). The routine Knepper teaches goes even further, with the three spectators also "shuffling" themselves around and the sightless performer now not only finding the cards but handing them to the correct spectators, courtesy of the "Duct Tape Blindfold".
Now, I know most mentalists will shy away from that routine, what with playing cards and transpositions being in play, but I gotta tell ya: as a card guy, I was thrilled with Knepper's little gimmick in use here and it's one I'll be playing with and using a lot.
But even if that routine doesn't appeal to you, "Duct Tape Blindfold" is still a devious thing. With a method that is easy and clever, and using props that have their own built-in psychology at play (come on, who doesn't know about the strength and near invincibility of the stuff?), this is one tool the blindfolded mentalist -- or blindfolded mentalist in training -- needs to have on hand.
"Duct Tape Blindfold" DVD by Kenton Knepper
In a Blink: 10 Out of 10
A unique (in more ways than one) blindfold technique that is a must-have for anyone doing work with a blindfold or seriously thinking out it. With no gimmicks or gaffs, and a viewing angle that, while it may be bothersome to some, throws the smart ones off the tracks, this technique is a beautiful thing to learn and work with.
Well, you'll need some duct tape... and that's it. Everything else is dependent on what you want to do while blindfolded. That makes this one of the neatest, most practical blindfold ideas out there.
Quality of Production: 10
The production values are great here, with multiple location shoots included and some great camera work. You'll have no worries here.
Quality of Instruction: 10
Knepper does his usual fantastic job teaching his technique (and along the way is more than a little humorous, if not downright impish). You'll pick this one up quickly and easily.
It's all in what you do with it, of course, but the tool Knepper puts forth is just devious on so many different levels. It uses a very common item that carries enough built-in psychological impressions that it all but sells itself as an impossible feat... no matter what you do.