((Author's note: this piece was inspired by movie reaction channels which have grown even more popular during these pandemic/lockdown times. It first started as a heavily chopped piece of flash fiction written to resemble a YouTube video which I included in one of my flash fiction e-books but then I decided to expand it and this came to be, hence the subtitle. Please enjoy.))
Nathan Harris, also known as MoviePhan, cracked his knuckles and took one last glance at the bedroom mirror to see if his hair remained intact. His dark brown curls were a major part of his charm and drew a lot of attention. He couldn’t let his fans down, especially when he was live on camera.
Aged 27, Nathan was a supermarket cashier by day and a reactor/content creator by night, or when spare time allowed it. He had started his channel on a whim on a rainy weekend never expecting for it to take off, but when the likes and comments started pouring only after two uploads, he discovered just how enthusiastic other people were for living vicariously through other people’s eyes, so he continued, building a faithful community where once there was nothing.
After only six months, he had amassed over seventy-five thousand subscribers, with hundreds more joining the show every weekend. While most of his content was pre-recorded and then uploaded to YouTube, sometimes he would do livestreams and invite his mass of supporters to tag along, usually on the last Saturday of every month. It was that time again, and the spectacle was about to begin.
The chatroom was already live, filled with already familiar aliases and new emoji-spamming users eager to see what the fuss was all about. His team of moderators was on too, despite hardly ever being needed. If there was one thing Nathan couldn’t complain about was the civility of those that followed his streams, which was quite a miracle considering the toxicity permeating Internet life. He was grateful for it and even more for all the wonderful new things he had come to know ever since starting his journey. It was time to continue paying back while being as entertaining as possible.
Nathan finished setting things up, made sure the camera angles were perfect, and sat on his comfortable gaming chair with a big, genuine smile plastered on his sun-tanned face. His voice always sounded weird on the microphone, a slight metallic rasp echoing through each syllable. But that was part of the quirks as well, and people wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the channel. Are you excited for tonight? I know I am. Today, I’ll be watching and reacting to ‘Hypnotist from Outer Space’ by Samuel Brown. This movie came out in 1973, twenty years before I was born and while it’s considered a cult classic by many, I’ve never seen it nor am I familiar with Brown’s work, so don’t really know what to expect. Going by the title alone, it seems to be a sci-fi movie (obviously!), but I have no clue what the story will be all about other than that there will be hypnosis involved, of course. A lot of you recommended I watched this movie. In fact, it was the runner-up of the last three community polls, so I figured: why the hell not? So far, your judgment when it comes to these instant reactions livestreams has been spot on, so let’s do this. I have my corn snacks here, my big soda too, and don’t be surprised if my cat pops in the frame now and then. You know he loves the attention, too. I hope you have your copy of the movie ready. My reaction starts in 3, 2, 1...”
“Samuel Brown presents… a Samuel Brown film… Hypnotist from Outer Space with story by Samuel Brown… oh wow, this is some Kojima-level name insert right here! Not really complaining, though. If you’re proud of your product, you should promote it and yourself any way you can like I always say. Anyway, this opening credit sequence is quite interesting. By now, you guys know I’m not very fond of these longer intros in older movies, but I really like the clever use of light and shadow against the starry backdrop. There also seem to be a lot of spirals in-between. I guess that makes sense since the titular character is a hypnotist. I’m hearing some interesting sound effects in the background too, though I can’t quite understand what they are. If anyone in chat who has seen this movie before can tell me about them, I’d love to know. Thanks.
“Oh wow! That’s a fantastic transition to the UFO approaching the Earth! This is clearly a practical effect, most likely a miniature, but the way they framed the shot allows you to see so much detail that it looks huge. Even the surrounding colors resemble a spiral. I wonder if just looking at it is supposed to produce a mesmerizing effect... that seems the intent, and the effect is quite staggering on a first glance.
“Oops… I take that back. It was doing so well, but then Brown went for a wider pan, and somebody forgot the strings attached to the miniature. You saw them, right? Upper left corner. If you squint, you can pretend they’re not there but… Yeah, yeah, I should probably just let it slide seeing how old the movie is, but you know I can’t because it ruins the composition a bit. Well, moving on… it looks like we’re getting our first glimpse of the inside of the ship.
“And now, we see our alien hypnotist for the first time and my God, she’s beautiful! Because you practically begged me to go blind, I didn’t look any of the actor’s names so I have no clue who she is but she has the most amazing blue eyes I’ve ever seen and although I can be mistaken, it doesn’t seem like they’ve been enhanced in any way other than the lighting all around. Speaking of that, so far it’s been nothing but impressive, especially in this interior shot! While the cinematography itself is not spectacular, the practical sets are quite believable and her silver costume is amazing, too. Is that full-on latex? Wow, it really is! I didn’t see that one coming but more power to Brown for going through with it in the seventies because although the suit is skin-tight, the camera is not really objectifying the woman wearing, but convening a sense of otherworldly power through its sheen. It’s a clever and bold directorial choice. Okay, not everything is perfect, of course. I can see some trappings of a 70s B-Movie production rearing their ugly heads especially in the background but the budget for this appears to be quite high so maybe it’s in the upper B tier and not the lower one. I wonder what’s her name. I hope we get to hear it soon, so I don’t have to call her ‘alien hypnotist’ all the time.
“Ah, look who’s decided to drop by. Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re new to this channel and these streams, this is Felix. He’s a tabby, he’s six years old, and he loves to be filmed more than anything else. He’s also quite the jumper, as you can see. I rescued Felix from a shelter around three years ago and never looked back ever since. Come here, boy! Want to watch the rest of the movie with me? Look at the pretty lady on the screen! I bet you would love to scratch that perky ass, wouldn’t you? Yeah, I get you, Felix. She really is quite the sexy kitten, isn’t she? Look, the UFO seems to be landing. Exciting, isn’t it?
“Oh wow, that forest is something else! Was it shot on location? Oh, never mind! That’s not a real forest, but a detailed matte painting. See the blur around the edges of the screen? That’s what gave it away! At first, the twinkling stars above had me fooled with how realistic they were, but I’m sure I know how they did this. They punctured some tiny holes in the painting itself and then flicked either a lamp or a lighter through them just close enough to give off the impression of glow without causing additional reflections on the camera lenses. It’s an old trick, guys! It was used on Citizen Kane, for instance, and if you haven’t seen that one yet, you should, because it’s quite good. And now that the UFO has landed, I’m guessing she’s going for a walk. Very intrigued to find out how this will play out now that she’s roaming our world.
“Okay, who’s this now? A Sheriff? Sheriff of where exactly? His costume is on par too, save for the blurred insignia. This takes place in the US, right? I mean, I think it is, but there was no location card or anything. I’m not really into guys, yet even I must admit he’s quite the handsome fellow. You know who me reminds of? A young Luke Wilson if Luke Wilson had blond hair. I guess he caught sight of the ship landing, huh? Something tells me his first close encounter of the third kind will be anything but what he expects.
“Hmm, not sure if my previous remark about non-objectification stands seeing how long Brown’s camera focused on our hypnotist’s curves right now but if we’re supposed to be seeing this scene from the eyes of the curious and rather horny officer, I guess it makes sense. And before you say I was objectifying her myself earlier, I’m aware of that, and I will not pretend otherwise. She’s just too damn sexy looking in that outfit, and I’m a man too. If you’re offended by my remarks, drop the stream, and find someone else to follow, okay? In the meantime, let’s see how this encounter plays out.
“No, Felix! Bad cat! I love you, but my head is not the perfect resting place while I’m trying to watch a movie… Ouch! That hurts, you fat fur ball! Sorry guys, it seems like he wants to star in a movie of his own, too! One second, please. I just need to… there! Now stay put because things are about to get interesting.
“That’s an amazing shot right there, guys! The way the light shifted when he approached her as if she were controlling the reflections themselves was nothing short of breathtaking. Truly riveting stuff, for sure! And now that the Sheriff has caught her attention, escalation is inevitable.
“Ah, so that’s how she does it! I admit I was expecting something more, but it’s incredibly obvious it couldn’t be any other way. Her eyes are definitely the first thing that draws a person in, so going all out on that is logical. I love the way Brown lingered on her gaze for so long without a single cut! It was almost as if her eyes were piercing reality, capturing the viewers as well. I have a 55-inch TV and it was already quite impactful, so watching this on the big screen at the time must have been something else.
“Man, look at the body language and the posture of the Sheriff right now! First, he was all cocky, Macho-man style that could do no wrong, but now he’s a whimpering mess. And of course, he’s her slave, now! Her power is so overwhelming now he has no choice but to follow her lead and do exactly as she commands. While ‘young Luke Wilson’s acting is not the best’, it’s easy to look the other way when the attention goes back to being centered on her and her alone. The choice of angles in this scene is breathtaking! It’s almost as if the camera is making love to her, and now willingly succumbing to her charms, too. This is borderline erotic, guys! I was not expecting this at all.
“Wait… what? I get the power exchange dynamic when she orders him to kneel, but this is just bizarre. Why are there foot worship scenes now, and why are they taking so long? It’s been almost ten minutes already, a tenth of the total running time of the movie. Seriously? Guys, what is this? You didn’t trick me into watching a soft porn movie in disguise, right? I sure hope not! Ewww, I’m not really into feet at all, so this is making me extremely uncomfortable right now. Skip, please?
“Oh, thank God it’s over! Man, talk about a total tonal shift! I didn’t except hard sci-fi from a movie entitled ‘Hypnotist from Outer Space’, but fetish shenanigans such as this were the last thing on my mind, too. They killed the pacing of the movie, too. I don’t know how we’re going to get back on track now. Most likely, we won’t. I don’t like that. I don’t like that one bit.
“I hate to do this, but I think I’ve had too much soda already, so I’m stopping the movie for a quick bathroom break. This is not turning out the way I was hoping for, but I hope you’re entertained. Talk among yourselves until I get back, okay? Thanks.
John27: This has been a blast. I can’t wait until he sees what happens next!
Ggwin: It’s going to be explosive, I’m sure.
MoviePhanGreatestFan: Yeah, I’ve seen this movie ten times already and the ending sequence never gets old. I especially love it when the hypnotist…
RexJ (MOD): Guys, no spoilers please! We don’t want to ruin his fun.
John27: Some things will be ruined, alright!
No1buttMe: Ah, ah! You can say that again.
“Okay, I’m back, and I’m never buying this apple soda again! Let’s continue, okay? Hypnotist from Outer Space do your worst!
“We’re on the move now, and it seems the Sheriff makes for quite the chauffeur servant. These are pretty standard shots, there’s none of the magic from before present. Was this shot just to pad the movie or shot by another person altogether? The editing is sloppy too, but at least we’re heading into a town. Surely, this is where the plot unfolds some more, right?
“Nope! She just made another slave, and another, and another… Jesus, lady, you’re hot as hell but slow down! That dreamlike camera is back, her eyes look even lovelier and more magnetic this time around, and it seems the spiraling motif has also returned. No complaints there! I still don’t understand the motivations of this alien hypnotist, though. Is she just having fun turning everyone she comes across into her devoted subject, or is there another layer to this story I’m missing? No, don’t tell me anything! Now that I’ve come all the way here, I guess I have no choice but to find out on my own. However, if I’m being completely honest, this is starting to bore me, and I don’t like being bored when I’m doing these for you, so how about I focus on something else for a chance?
“Yeah, let’s do that. I haven’t talked about the music yet like I always do, but despite the movie’s issues, I must give a special shout out to the score. It’s understated in most scenes but, when it’s time to shine, it does so with aplomb. The hypnotist’s theme really highlights her irresistible traits with the underlying repetitive melody pulling you deeper into... hmm... deeper into... Sorry, lost my train of thought there for a moment. Where was I? Ah, yes… love the contrast between the strings and the analog synths. It really makes for an atmospheric tour de force when she’s taking control of everyone’s minds. Excellent job by the composer there. This is great.
“Oh, come on! Not this shit again! Not only you’re ruining the movie but also my commentary! Okay, I don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers, but I really don’t get why are there people that think feet are attractive! They’re not! They’re stinky, and they’re smelly. They would never catch me licking anyone’s toes… Jesus! How long is this going to last this time? Hard edit please!
“You’re leaving? Off you go then. Ladies and gentlemen, that is Felix signing off for the night. I hope you had fun with him around and if you want to help with his food for next month, this is as good as any time for you to do it. You don’t have to, of course, but I always appreciate it, thanks. Apologies if my reaction isn’t being what you were hoping for, but I’m never going to pretend to be someone I’m not to get some more viewers. What you see is what you get, always. Anyway, no more feet. New set, let’s go!
“So, that’s the plan, huh? As lovely as this alien beauty is, she’s also quite frivolous and trying to hypnotize every man and woman in the world using the satellite broadcast just because she can, doesn’t sit well with me. It’s poor character motivation, no development at all. I’m sorry, guys, this movie is really losing me. Still twenty-five minutes to go, though. Can the third act be redeemed in any way, or is this about to become the greatest turn I’ve seen on this channel? Only one way to find out, I guess.
“Fuck! I thought the feet stuff was overkill, but this is even worse. You really tricked me, didn’t you? Seriously, how could you? This is not a movie anymore but pure hypno-porn bow! How was this released to the public back in the day and why the fuck is everyone masturbating now like there’s no tomorrow? For fuck’s sake, this is… I’m speechless, okay? I’m at a complete loss of words to describe the nastiness I’m watching. I don’t know if I can keep going with this… fuck!
“Oh no, no, NO! There’s just no way. I can’t, guys! I tried; I really did, but this has crossed every line imaginable now. I’m going to stop the movie, kill the stream and disband everyone. I just…
“Hmm, her eyes... the spirals... the music... I... why am I feeling so dizzy right now? Guys, what is happening? What it is happening to me? Make it stop! Please, make it stop! I… I… hmm… oh God, her gaze is taking over the whole screen now, this is some 3-D impossible scenario… it just… I… Yes, I understand. I know what I have to do right now.
“I can’t stop. I just can’t. I’m hearing her inside my head and her voice is just too… too… how? How is this shit even real? I… hmm… fuck, this feels so good. Can’t stop. Won’t stop until she’s pleased. I need… I need… damn it, why can’t I resist?
“Yes, my alien Goddess… yes, your will is supreme. I will kneel like everyone else. Anything for you. Any… thing… let go right now? Yes, I hear and obey.”
Ggwin: Here it comes, guys. 3, 2…
No1buttMe: Ah, he didn’t even make it to 1. This shit is hilarious!
“Oh fuck, what did I do? This is embarrassing as shit! Fuck, fuck, fuck! There goes my channel, I guess. There’s no way I’m making it past tonight after this stream. And now, the credits are rolling! Was that it? That’s how it ends?!! Wow talk about weird! Did this really happen?”
John27: Congrats on losing your Samuel Brown virginity, Phan, but the best is yet to come.
RexJ (MOD): He’s right, you know?
Alias13516: WE WANT MORE! WE WANT MORE! WE WANT MORE!
“If you’re still there, this was my reaction to ‘Hypnotist from Outer Space’ by Samuel Brown. It was quite the unexpected and dirty ride. Never a movie has produced this kind of effect on me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m pulling the plug for real because I need to clean myself real good and... What the hell? What do you mean there’s a sequel? Hypnotist from Outer Space 2: The Slavening? Nah, there’s no way I’m watching that! You think I’m stupid or something? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice… So, what if the alien hypnotist has a sister? After this complete debacle, I’m not about to make the same mist... Oh damn, that poster! Their eyes… I... I... fine, you win! Just give me ten minutes to recover and then we’ll continue the stream...”
((I hope you had fun with this little tale. I always do when writing. Want to have more fun with me? Support my site - https:://www.sbspellbound.net - through my patreon page - https://www.patreon.com/sbspellbound - and it can be yours, because you’ve yet to see everything I can create. Feedback is always welcome at my e-mail address, too: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance.))