John Bannon is the king of packet tricks and Buzzkill is a really fun little fooler with plenty of built in laughs. In essence you have four cards printed with cartoon flies, and four blank ‘fly papers’ – and the fly papers separate from the flypaper and end up getting squashed!

What do you get?

You receive a link to a 19 minute download of the instructions and all the necessary, custom printed cards. There are fun graphics on the cards and on the explanation! As you would expect, everything is clearly explained at an easy pace. The one exception to this is the Elmsley Count – which is not taught. However, if you’ve done any packet tricks in the past you probably know it. And if you haven’t, you should! (We would recommend getting hold of the Elmsley Count Project which is comprehensive in its teaching and also includes loads of great effects).

Variations on a theme

In additional to the version you see in the trailer, two variations are taught.

The first is a ‘fractal’ version. I know John likes to end clean – but I’m not sure the extra hoops to jump through here are really worth the ‘benefit’. You also end up with a discrepant number of cards at the end. Although it is unlikely anyone would notice this and it could be passed off as another ‘mystery’ I’m just not at all sure it is worth it.

My preference would be to do the standard routine, and while the spectator looks at the squashed flies (which is where the attention is), quietly pocket the others. You could have some matching blank cards in your pocket if you really wanted to end clean – but you wouldn’t be able to do that with the supplied cards – so you’d have to buy another set!

john bannon buzz kill review - fun graphicsThe second variation is a handling which goes back to Roy Walton’s Oil & Queens. Interestingly, this is the effect that inspired the effect which inspired this in the first place! I quite like this handling – and it has the extra benefit that you can do it without a table. You’ll need to choose the one that works for you.

Final Thoughts

Buzzkill is a really fun effect which is unusual in that it would appeal to both adults and children alike. So I can see it as a really good trick to have up your sleeve in a walkaround situation where both children and adults may be present. The slight downside is that the re-set isn’t instant – so you’d probably need a minute to yourself to get the cards back in order.

I slightly prefer the graphics and back designs on the cards that John uses in his explanation to the ones that are supplied – but that is a tiny niggle – since there’s nothing wrong with the cards supplied.

It is easy to do and the magic is direct and clear. It’s only a quickie – but I think you’ll enjoy performing Buzzkill and, more importantly, get some good reactions from it.

Buzzkill is available from BBM for £17.99 (at the time of writing).

(Many thanks to BBM who kindly provided the review copy).

PS – I really like James Went’s performance (which isn’t on the download) and I include here for your viewing pleasure:

John Bannon – Buzzkill – review
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