PERPLEX by Criss Smith

Written by John Teo

Perplex is a card move by the underground card magician Criss Smith.

You receive a well produced DVD with the creator performing and explaining the moves as well as 4 effects.

Essentially,Perplex is a visual card change.  The top card of a deck is turned face up and held at an angle on the top of the deck.  Its full face can be seen.  It is not the card the performer is looking for.  With a wave of his other hand over this card, it visually changes into the correct card.  This card is turned face down on top of the deck and can immediately be dealt out to any member of the audience for examination.  The change is very visual and appears to be magical.

Criss also teaches a version two of Perplex.  This is a non-visual card change.  It is used to secretly exchange one card for another.  It starts off the same as in the first version.  Instead of the hand waving over the turned over card, the other hand with the deck and the card is turned palm downwards, and the protruding card is taken out and placed face down on the table.  It changes into another card. 

As a bonus, Criss teaches his Octopus Force.  A deck is shuffled using the Hindu Shuffle.  A spectator calls “stop”.  The card stopped at is flipped over face upwards – this is deemed as the chosen card.  The other half of the deck is replaced on top and the force card is seen face upwards jutting out in the middle of the deck.  This force requires some work to get it looking right.

Criss then offers 4 effects.  They are:

Desirous

A deck is shuffled and a spectator calls “stop”.  The card stopped at is shown and replaced back in the middle of the deck.  The top card is turned over to show a different card.  With a wave of the hand, it visibly changes into the chosen card.  It is like a visual ambitious card.

The method taught requires a duplicate card.  This seems a little weak to use a duplicate especially for a DVD such as this one that teaches sleight-of-hand.  Criss does mention the possible use of the “Butterfly Pass” instead of depending on a duplicate card, but he is not obliged to teach this marketed technique.

Chameleon

A card is selected and signed across its face.  It is turned face downwards and inserted back into the deck.  Immediately, the deck is spread face downwards and the signed card is seen to magically turn face upwards.  This signed selection is turned over to show that its back has now changed to a completely different back design.

Will To Gleason

Two red jacks are set aside.  A card is freely chosen and returned back into the deck.  The 2 Jacks are inserted into the deck face upwards.  The deck is spread and one card is now seen between the 2 red Jacks.  The sandwiched card turns out to be the selected card.

Deliverance

This is like a varation of the efffect “Will To Gleason”.  4 Aces are put to one side.  A card is chosen and is inserted face downwards into a face up deck.  The 4 Aces are shown face up.  Magically, one card turns face downwards.  It can be deduced from the rest of the face up Aces that the suit of this Ace is the same suit as that of the chosen card.  The face down Ace is turned over to reveal it is indeed the chosen card.  The only face down card in the middle of the face up deck is turned over and found to be the Ace of the same suit.

The DVD is well produced and has an excellent menu to help you maneuver to the various sections in the DVD easily.

The 2 versions of the Perplex move are excellent moves to learn and to add to your card magic arsenal.  Version 1 is a visual transformation of a card while version 2 provides a very good invisible switch of a card.  

“Will To Gleason” and “Deliverance” are wonderful effects you can use with a borrowed deck, while “Desirous” and “Chameleon” are very good effects using a duplicate and a different card respectively.  (9/10 star rating)