Yesterday I watched something that was just my speed for Halloween week — creepy, but not outright scary. It was Criss Angel Mindfreak: Best of Seasons 1 and 2.
I’ve never watched this series, now in its fourth season on the A&E channel, but I did see the premiere episode of the short-lived and controversial reality show Phenomenon, on which Criss served as a judge. At that point in time I thought illusionist Angel took himself a little too seriously — but then again, I think you kind of have to if you work in that field.
Anyway, the good news is that I did enjoy Mindfreak. In the nine episodes the DVD contains (four from Season One and five from Season Two), tricks and stunts are interspersed with interviews of Criss, his family members, his agents and the show’s production team. The parts where Criss was talking directly to the camera, as well as nonsensical "intermission break"-like clips, were probably the worst things about this over three-hour-long compilation. But I was really interested in the thoughts of Angel’s mom and brothers, and the reactions of people watching Criss’s illusions were pure entertainment.
While eight of the nine major stunts were easily digestible and left you wondering "how did he do that?", I had to skip over "Body Suspension" because it was just too nasty for me to watch (it involves fish hooks through skin — I’ll leave it at that).
Although Mr. Mindfreak doesn’t like to use the word "magic," that doesn’t mean I can’t: if you typically enjoy magic shows, illusions or all-around trickery, I would recommend the Criss Angel Mindfreak "best of" DVD. It was cool to get a glimpse into his life and the preparations that go into each major demonstration he attempts to pull off. But I side with his poor mother, who looks like she’s going to either pass out or explode from worry every time he comes up with something new. I mean, seriously, did he actually think his mom wanted him to turn himself into a "human candle" for her birthday?!?