Anthony Owen’s Ultimate Oil & Water DVD

The Dungeon DVD

The Anthony Owen Lecture DVD

Reviewed by Nicholas Einhorn

Anthony Owen’s Ultimate Oil & Water

It is no secret that I have been a fan of this routine since I saw Anthony Owen fool a room full of the most knowledgeable magicians in the world with it at FISM in 1997. I waited patiently for him to release it and as soon as he did so, on his Dynamic Walkaround video, I threw my money down. Subsequently I used it as part of my FISM act in Holland and achieved 2nd place in Micro Magic. I know a good trick when I see one and this is as good as they come. Aside from being a magician fooler it is totally commercial and I use it frequently in my A-list material.

So what do you get for your £20? A set of prepared cards and a very clear DVD with everything you’ll need to learn this ‘Oil & Water’ routine in about 1 hour.


Anthony explains how to make your own set of cards but as I mentioned, you can learn and perform this with the supplied set right out of the box. Anthony performs the basic routine and then explains it in as much detail as you could possibly want.

The bonus handlings are also worth a watch. I was fooled by the alternative 2nd phase and Seb Clergue’s work on the ‘clean-up’ of the original 3rd phase makes this a much more streamlined routine to perform than the one first explained on the Dynamic Walkaround video (which, by the way, is no longer available).

Anthony makes a great suggestion on how to perform this at a banquet table or on a small platform. This idea had not occurred to me and I will be trying this out.

Production values are perhaps not as high as some of the more expensive DVD’s around. (The front cover is not particularly eye-catching.) But let’s be honest, you are watching this DVD to learn how to do the trick and then you’ll probably shelf the DVD and maybe look at it once or twice more in a few years time. Credits for various handlings and techniques/displays are clearly shown in the “FUTHER INFO” section. This is nice to see and I wish more people would take the time and effort to show credits in this way.

It is a no frills DVD without distracting wasteful special effects. In fact, it was a pleasure to watch a DVD that just cuts to the chase.
To sum up, I highly recommend this package. It is practical and a real fooler. Quite frankly I don’t think I will ever see an Oil & Water routine that beats this one.


Price: £20.00 a exclusive


The Dungeon DVD

There are 10 tricks taught on this DVD many of which were published in Anthony Owen’s excellent and now obsolete Dungeon magazine.
This series of magazines published during the early 1990’s was an incredible resource overlooked by many at the time of publication.
This DVD now allows us all to look back at those glory days of the 1990’s and see a young Anthony Owen, Marc Paul and John Lenahan explaining a variety of very commercial and usable routines.

This is a re-release of the original Dungeon video with some updated handling and methodology added and discussed.
As always, credits here are plentiful, with very little fluff surrounding explanations – with the exception of a few scenes hosted by Danny Buckler which in my opinion add little to the overall package.

Highlights for me are the excellent Holey Security Guards based on an idea by Majax, Dingle, Kaufman and Krenzel. The bonus section also explores an updated handling for Anthony and Pete Firman’s Holy Sh*t gimmicks. You’ll need to buy these separately but you may find yourself reaching for your wallet this after seeing just how good it looks.

Several of the routines are misnamed on the cover which is a little odd. One of these is Marc Paul’s “Mutilated Parasols” shown on the DVD cover as “Cocktail Combustion”. It fooled me and I am sure you’ll enjoy watching it. Whether you want to go to the trouble of making the necessary gimmicks is another matter, but for the right place at the right time this is a super routine with a very well worked out handling.

Miracle Monte is a clever Monte routine that not only fools, but can be adapted for all manner of usages.

The original No Palm Card to Wallet is described and then discussed by a modern day Anthony Owen with his latest thoughts and updated handling. (The required gimmick is also included free in the DVD box).

I have seen John Lenahan perform the Bachelor’s Needle often over the past 10 years and as simple as it is had no clue as to how he did it. I have seen him get great reactions with this. Lenahan’ s explanation of the Bachelor’s Needle is clear and concise. I now have an additional phase for my ring on string routine thank you very much. (Sadly the originator of this effect is unknown.)

Other highlights include a superb Sucker Silks routine which will allow you to perform the standard routine without the dye tube. When you see it you’ll agree that all dye tubes should now be thrown immediately into your bin and recycled!

Lenahan explains one of the very best card tricks you could ever do for anyone and I am amazed that it is not recognised as a modern day classic already. Oh, it is also self working!

The Elevated Matrix sent my head reeling. I had no clue as to the method and was absolutely floored when I saw what the gimmick was. I had two in my drawer next to me and never even knew it! A guaranteed magician fooler and simplex version of the coin matrix that rivals the best routines I have had the pleasure of seeing. It is also quite simple to perform.

The DVD is quite dated as it is a re-release of an old 1990’s video, but almost all of the routines are going to make you smile, most will fool you and you’ll probably want to perform at least some of the routines explained.

In summary, this DVD offers a very creative range of effects and methods which left me realising that I don’t know as much about magic as I thought I did!


Price: £25:00 from and magic dealers


The Anthony Owen Lecture

Produced by International Magic and filmed live at the 2007 International Magic Convention this DVD sees a modern-day, confident Anthony Owen demonstrate and explain 4 items as well as a ‘performance only’ of his Ultimate Oil & Water routine. The footage is visually clear and well shot. The sound is not favourable, but everything can be heard.

As with all of Anthony’s material there is excellent crediting throughout and extremely clear explanations at every stage.
Natural Lottery is a superb and ideal opener for a cabaret performance using classic methods wrapped up in a modern approach to bring us a lottery prediction effect that is up to date and as practical as one could wish for.

Number at Card is variation of the classic plot. Just when you think you know where the effect is heading there is a great twist that will take all by surprise. I like it a lot.

Holey Sh*t is an item previously released separately by Anthony and Pete Firman. The handling and routine explained is pretty much the same as that shown and taught on the Dungeon DVD, except here the construction of the gimmicked cards is explained in detail. You will however probably want to save yourself the trouble and buy the appropriate gaffs from Superb commercial magic.
Big Survivor is a nice stage routine which is based upon the eviction style reality TV shows we are all familiar with. I can see this being a hit at key times of the year when it can be used as a topical item within your show.

Finally, Anthony’s Ultimate Oil & Water routine is demonstrated but not explained. Personally I do not think this performance does the effect the justice it deserves. It is a miracle when performed in the correct setting and is really hard to beat when conditions are right. I don’t think a performance on a large stage in front of an audience of 200 constitutes the right conditions, however I heartily recommend that you purchase the Ultimate Oil & Water DVD as it is a routine you would be foolish to ignore if you are a professional close-up performer.

In summary, yet again, a very well explained set of material ranging from close-up to cabaret and stage items.
Although only 4 tricks are taught I do feel that any one of the four are worth much more than the price you’ll pay for the DVD.


Price: £25.00 a exclusive currently have a special offer (February 2009). If you purchase all three of these DVDs together the postage is free anywhere in the world and you’ll receive their Holey Sh*t DVD – complete with the gimmicked cards – absolutely free of charge. Stocks are limited so order today to take advantage of this offer.


© Nicholas Einhorn, February 2009