Go behind the scenes with todays most exciting master of surreality in CRISS ANGEL: MINDFREAK. A cross between Harry Houdini, Cirque Du Soleil and Fear Factor, each mind-boggling episode of CRISS ANGEL: MINDFREAK captures the creative genius at work, preparing and training for his often death-defying feats. From levitating ordinary American citizens, to literally dangling by his skin from a helicopter one thousand feet above the Valley of Fire in Las Vegas, Criss Angel brings his extraordinary talents to the streets of Ameria--live, unstaged and without the use of any camera tricks. On DVD for the first time, experience all 15 episodes from the critically acclaimed debut season of CRISS ANGEL: MINDFREAK, starring the worlds only 3-time Magician of the Year, and featuring celebrity guests like Jonathan Davis of Korn, Mandy Moore, and Penn & Teller. Get Your Mindfreak On! DVD Features: Commentary with Criss Angel on Episodes "Burned Alive" and "Body Suspension"; Interactive Illusions Through Your Television Screen; "Inside the Mind of Criss Angel" Interview; Criss Angels Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Illusions; Photo Gallery; Biography; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection
Like a post-millennial Harry Houdini--crossed with Aerosmith's Joe Perry--Criss Angel is the illusionist as rock star. He's got the hair, the eyeliner, even the medallions. As it turns out, he's also a musician, who wrote and performed the theme song (with Korn's Jonathan Davis). A&E's Mindfreak
, a 15-episode series, follows three TV specials and a Broadway spectacular. For those who may be wondering, Angel defines a "mindfreak" as "a modern day mystifier who utilizes skills beyond the category of magic."
The basic format of the 30-minute program, which was renewed for a second season, is documentary meets music video meets magic show. In the pilot, Angel (née Christopher Sarantakos) gets things off to a "crackling" start when he sets himself on fire ("Burned Alive"). It is, to say the least, a rather unconventional way to pay tribute to his mother on the occasion of her 70th birthday. As the mindfreak himself puts it, "I'll be the living birthday candle." In other episodes, he defies gravity ("Levitation"), lifts a cab ("Superhuman"), and blows himself up ("C4 Crate"). Angel is also a practitioner of street magic and performs a variety of sleights of hand (card tricks, etc.) prior to the more hazardous feats.
From the start, Angel makes it clear that he requires assistance with those feats and is often joined by an array of consultants, technicians, and such, including brothers J.D. and Costa. Then there are his guests, like Lance Burton ("Wine Barrel Escape"), Rob Zombie ("Buried Alive"), and Mandy Moore ("Blind")--even his cat, Minx, and girlfriend, JoAnn, put in occasional appearances. As with Jackass, Mindfreak is meant to entertain rather than to instruct. Accordingly, it comes with the following disclaimer: "These demonstrations are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone, anywhere, at any time." --Kathleen C. Fennessy