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Film / Instead of Abracadabra

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Instead of Abracadabra is a 2008 short film (22 minutes) from Sweden, directed by Patrik Eklund.

A 25-year-old man who might be generously described as a loser lives at home with his parents. Thomas has dreams of being a stage magician, but he is terrible at it. As the movie begins he is wearing an eyepatch after having poked himself in the eye with a spring-loaded flowers trick. He then nearly kills his mother Gunilla while performing the "Indian basket trick", that being the trick where someone gets in a box and the magician stabs the box with swords.

His father Bengt is fed up with Thomas's dreams of being a magician and is strongly pressuring him to get a real job. Meanwhile, Thomas has developed a crush on Monika, a very pretty single mother who moved in next door. Thomas decides to prove himself to both Bengt and Monika by performing at his father's 60th birthday party.

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Tropes:

  • Also sprach Zarathustra: Makes for a painfully over-the-top intro to the act that Thomas performs at his dad's party.
  • Brick Joke: Thomas is wearing an eyepatch because he poked himself in the eye with the spring-loaded flowers. At the end, after his show at the party was a success, he shows Monika the flowers—and they poke her in the eye.
  • Catchphrase: Thomas has invented his own Catch Phrase, "Chimay!", because he doesn't want to say "Abracadabra."
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Thomas is frantically masturbating to thoughts of doing the "saw a woman in half" routine with Monika, when his mother calls to him from outside the door and ruins the mood.
  • Facecam: Used for Thomas as he's mowing the lawn on a riding mower—and doing it badly, as he runs over and destroys the bird feeder.
  • Face Palm: Bengt does this when he realizes that Thomas is going to try the stab-a-box-with-swords trick again.
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  • Flashback: How we learn why Thomas is wearing an eyepatch. He tried his spring-loaded flowers, and then looked at the wand, only for the flowers to jab him in the eye.
  • Hospital Gurney Scene: Gunilla is being wheeled down a corridor by frantic doctors after Thomas apparently stabbed her during his trick. She's fine.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Bengt hurriedly downs his cocktail after realizing that Thomas did not kill his volunteer; rather, it was his stuntman buddy making the Indian basket trick more impressive.
  • Smash Cut: From Thomas pushing the second sword through the box, to Gunilla being wheeled through a hospital on a gurney, Thomas and Bengt running behind.
  • Stage Magician: Although he hasn't gotten past the children's party stage.
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