DVD Review

“Magic – A Terrifying Love Story”

By Marcus Pan

MagicMagic was a rare receipt from Dark Sky, purveyors of filthy cult-B sci-fi and splatterpunk action thrash. Not here…with Magic we have a re-release of an old gem that already has a following. As a matter of fact, there’s a line of people waiting for me to finish this review in hopes of getting their hands on it when I’m done. So I should get on…especially considering that Dark Sky is kicking this puppy out officially on February 26, 2006 and I promised my friends there I’d have this done by then.

Let’s throw some names at you…Anthony Hopkins in one of his earliest roles appears here as Corky, a fledgling stage magician looking for his niche and schtick. Some of you might remember Anthony Hopkins in such roles as the deranged Hannibal Lecter in the famous Silence of the Lambs (and its companions Red Dragon and Hannibal) for which he won an Academy Award in 1992. Hopkins is also a holder of a Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement as of this year. Another actor in Magic also you might know – Burgess Meredith (Batman) is Corky’s talent agent Ben Greene, trying to help guide the kid away from a downward spiral of madness and shattered personality. Ann Margaret (Viva Las Vegas, Grumpy Old Men) appears here as well as Corky’s new soul mate who has yet to realize his perturbations.

Corky finds his niche in the form of Fats – his sidekick ventriloquist dummy who becomes the alter ego to his magical cohorts on stage, giving him an edge over the competition. When he’s about to break into the TV big time, Corky panics as somewhere in the back of his mind he really does realize he’s a little on the deranged side – Fats, you see, has become more than a ventriloquist dummy. When his magician mentor died, it was Fats who became Corky’s only companion on his painfully awkward and shy journey in life.

The TV station demands a physical per his new contract and that forces Corky to run off into the Catskills. There he stays at the estate of an old high school crush – Peggy, stuck in a failing relationship with high school sweetheart Duke (Ed Lauter). Corky, with help from Fats, finds enough courage to enter a dubious courtship with her. The end result is the complete mental breakdown of what’s left of Corky’s personality as it shatters completely into the two complete halves of Fats and Corky himself following a devastating meeting when his agent, Ben, tracks him to his Catskills retreat.

Hopkins puts on a phenomenal performance here as he slips headlong into madness trying to avoid a physical that will prove to him that he is…indeed…mad. After Ben’s meeting, which shows it thoroughly, the nasty little Fats exerts his authority over the much more timid personality of the original Corky, leading him down a dark and twisted path of death and suicide. Magic is a dark film with an early look at the work of everyone’s best known psycho-actor – a brilliant performance that proves Hopkins deserves the Cecil award.

Contact Information:
Dark Sky Films
Post: MPI Media Group, 16101 S 108th Ave., Orland Park, IL, 60467, USA

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