Angel is one of those magicians I shouldn’t like. First
of all, he’s got this hairdo and personal style that looks like he just came
from a Motley Crue concert in 1995. Second of all, he’s one of those glitzy
magicians, who’s all about image. As much of a dipshit as David Blaine is, I like
the way he is so unassuming when blowing people’s minds on the street with card
tricks. Also, Criss Angel’s show has the lame, lame title of Mindfreak. But despite
all that, I find Criss Angel endearing, and some of his illusions actually

That doesn’t mean I’m looking forward to the guy making an
actual motion picture… especially one based on a comic strip nobody cares
about. The strip in question is Mandrake the Magician, about a stage magician
who use his powers of hypnosis and illusion to fight crime and aliens and
stuff. He’s surrounded by a cast of multi-ethnic character who take a
disturbingly subservient role to him, inlucing Lothar, who gave up the chance
to be a king in Africa to be Mandrake’s side kick and Hojo, Mandrake’s Asian
chef who is also the secret head of Inter-Intel, a global crime-fighting group. And he’s Mandrake’s chef.

Anyway Mandrake has been around since the 30s, and once had
a serial of his own, an NBC pilot, a role on the cartoon Defenders of the Earth
and was even once considered for a Fellini movie. The new Mandrake film is
going to be directed by Chuck Russell (who was so cool in the 80s but has been
hacktacular since), and Angel will design and create the visual effects, as
well as act in it – as Mandrake, perhaps?

I like that they have a magician designing the magic. One of
the many reasons why The Prestige will be a movie nobody gives a shit about in
five years is that there’s no magic in it – it’s all these CGI effects. Same
thing for The Illusionist. Watching a magician onstage in a movie and having
CGI aid him is a terrible cheat.

Mandrake the Magician will film later this year, just in
time to flop in 2008. He can join his King Feature Syndicate friend The Phantom
at the bottom of the discount DVD bin in 2009.