Magic Is Fun!

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This movie really creeped me out big time as a wee lad. It’s about a nightclub magician named Corky (Anthony Hopkins) whose act bombs until he adds Fats, an insult-comic ventriloquist’s dummy. Suddenly, his shtick is a big hit…but not only does Fats steal the show, he emerges as a sort of subsidiary personality in Corky’s head, and wants to be the dominant one. I’m sure that when I saw it as a kid, perhaps a wee bit younger than I should have, it was Fats that scared me…he’s certainly among the creepiest animated inanimates, right up there with Talky Tina from The Twilight Zone and the Zuni doll from Tales Of Terror… there’s just something unnerving about dolls and puppets, with their dead eyes and smarmy smiles…but now I can dig the psychological complexity and humor of the movie. I really should read the William Goldman novel one of these days…

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