Whiplash is the second release by Josh Janousky that we have looked at in quick succession (read our Invisibill review here) and is, in essence, a cleverly gimmicked card which enables some very nice visual effects. (And is not to be confused with the Stephen Tucker effect of the same name!)

You are supplied with the Whiplash gimmick itself (which has been made on Maiden Back stock – but if you’re even slightly worried about anyone noticing a difference between that and your Rider backs you really don’t need to be!) and a link to just over an hour and a half of online teaching. And it all comes in a nice little box.

Four routines are taught as follows:

WOW – Whipped Oil and Water – This is a really nice clean 4 card oil and water. 2 red cards and 2 black cards are very fairly mixed so that they alternate red/black/red/black but they keep separating out again. The first phase is done face down. The second phase is done face up and one-handed – incredibly visual. In the third phase you give the spectator one red and one black, then show them you have one red and one black – but in an instant the colours separate again. This is a very clean and visual routine and the Whiplash gimmick means that minimal sleight of hand is required to create a whole load of magic.

Whipped Sandwich – the spectator choose a card which is lost in the deck. The performer holds two black jacks – and in an instant the chosen card appears face down between them. A moment later the card vanishes again, re-appearing face-down in the middle of the deck. Another great hard-hitting routine – and the gimmick does almost all the hard work for you.

josh janousky - whiplash - reviewWhipped Across – four kinds travel from one hand to the other, one at a time, the last card travelling into the spectator’s hand. Again, really neat thinking about the use of the gimmick makes this surprisingly easy to do. The last phase requires a little boldness and a more knacky sleight. But as a result it ends beautifully clean.

Whipped Monte – as its name suggests this is a version of the classic three card monte effect. I have mixed feelings about this, since the real benefit of the gimmick is for the visual bit – which you only really fully utilise in the final phase when the ‘money card’ visually jumps to the table. The rest of the time, to my mind, the use of this particular gimmick makes the handling more fiddly. Some very fair displays are possible compared to some other gimmicked versions of this kind of effect. And there is a neat extra kicker where the ‘money card’ turns into some real money. But for me, it won’t dislodge my favourite version which relies on simple sleight of hand.

Teaching these four routines takes about half of the time on the download, almost the same amount of time again is devoted to an explanation of repairing/customising/making your own gimmick. The explanation is very thorough and clear, but to be honest this is quite a fiddly procedure. Although I’m not averse to a little bit of craft work, I’m unlikely to do this myself.

There’s another 5 or 10 minutes of tips and handling thoughts. Some extra ideas are explained here which could become the basis of a longer routine. And bizarrely the whole thing is finished off with several minutes of Josh doing impressions…

I’ve seen a lot of gimmicked cards over the years, and I have to say this is one of the best. It is a refinement of a number of ideas which have been seen before, but the final result incorporates some neat features. The design of the card makes it almost invisible, and in practise it functioned perfectly. I imagine that if you are using it a lot the gimmick will eventually wear out – but you’ll get a fair bit of use out of it before you need to replace it (and I would buy another rather than make one myself!).

You will need basic card handling skills to make the most of this – forcing a card, DL, etc. – but the clever routines combined with the gimmick remove almost all of the difficulties.

My regular gripe is that they only provide studio performances – you know I always prefer real performances with real people. But if I’m honest, I surprised myself by liking this.

Whiplash is available from the Merchant of Magic for £19.99 (at the time of writing).

Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.

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