Magic (1978)

Now the ventriloquist’s dummy could have been made for the specific purpose of starring in horror films – I’m aware that it was in fact invented to entertain, but that’s the kind of thing that makes me count my lucky stars that my Mammy’s idea of entertainment for my birthday parties didn’t involve a a guy with a hand up what looks like a carved, wooden paedophile telling me jokes.

Small mercies eh?

Magic is the story of Corky, a particularly charmless magician that decides to double the creepiness that his profession already radiates and add a ventriloquists dummy to the mix. And why not make the dummy look as if he was spawned from the mind of Geppetto after many years of crystal meth abuse and a complete psychological breakdown – Oh and give him a lecherous personality and a voice that makes me want to wash my soul in holy water after I hear it.

Ok then ? All set!

Corky, is on the verge of hitting the big time after his agent secures talks with the television networks, but when he realises that he’ll have to undergo a medical as part of his contract, he takes off with ‘Fats’, to a lakeside cabin owned by his childhood crush Peggy. The only problem is that Corky has developed an unhealthy attachment to Fats and has no idea where the dummy ends and he begins. Oh Fats doesn’t like sharing Corky with anyone – especially not Peggy.

Directed by Sir Richard of Attenborough and starring the great Anthony Hopkins, Magic is one of the most underappreciated and truly brilliant films (not just in the horror genre) that I have ever seen. Based on the book by William Goldman ( writer of The Princess Bride). The tense, twitchy performance given by Hopkins easily surpasses his role as Hanibal Lector, and this, coupled with the grotesquely carved, murderous extension of Corky’s personality, makes for a gripping watch, and certainly has you questioning whether Fats is just a figment of a mans unstable mind.

All in all, an intelligent and creepy classic, that has been overshadowed by less substantial, comedic horrors.

Yes Child’s Play, that was indeed a dig at you.

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