Double Spike Tower Escape
Designer: Michael Grandinetti
Builder: Bill Smith
The magician is chained at the wrists, waist, and legs to a steel frame on a 6ft tall platform above the stage. On each side of the platform is a panel of twenty-four 12″ long razor sharp steel spikes, angled backwards, and locked into a spring release. The spring release is controlled by a sand timer/hourglass. After 60 seconds, when the sand completely runs through the timer, the spike panels are released and thrust together with high force, directly towards the magician. To make the effect even more dangerous, the magician is covered with a mixture of gasoline and kerosene and the spikes on each panel are lit on fire. Once chained to the frame, a tall enclosure is placed around the magician to contain the heat, should the spikes happen to ignite the gasoline, and a fire proof blind is lowered in front of the magician. A spotlight illuminates the enclosure from behind as the audience witnesses the magician attempting to make his escape in silhouette.
As the sand flows through the hourglass, the magician gets one hand free, then the next. The audience can see his hands emerging from the enclosure. As he is working to free his waist, the sand in the timer runs out as a shower of sparks shoots from the hourglass and the spring release. The flaming spike panels are thrust into the enclosure where they are seen to visibly impact the magician. Flames bursts from the top of the enclosure. Suddenly, the blind flies up and the audience sees that the magician has vanished completely from the platform. He either reappears in the audience or as one of his own captors.
This illusion was designed by Michael Grandinetti in 1997 and built by Bill Smith’s Magic Ventures in January 1998.
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