THE NUTSHELL: It is a nice effect with an intriguing method, but is grossly limited.
THE REVIEW: I received Psychokinetic Touches with unsure expectations. There are only a handful of reviews, and few are clear. I mostly put my faith in Banachek, a magician who I’ve come to trust and admire. Upon reading the booklet (you get a manual of about a dozen pages bound by those annoying plastic rings) I was impressed by the method and eager to try it out. The routine works as follows: You have two people standing at opposite ends of the room, as well as any number of spectators viewing from the side. You go over an eerie story about an uncle who used to tap your right shoulder, making you turn right, when he was on your left side all along. You “call upon” the spirit of this deceased uncle. Both spectators close their eyes, and you tap one of them on their left shoulder, on one side of the room. When they both open their eyes, you asked each of them what they felt. Each of them say that they felt a tap on their left shoulder. The audience swears that you never went over to the other side of the room. It truly is a convincing demonstration of psychokinesis.
There are several pros to this effect. My favorite is that it is does not use any gimmicks or overly-elaborate methods. The method is clean and simple and very hard to catch. My saying that there are no props included should not imply that it is impromptu. There are no stooges, which was a big relief for me. Buying it, in the back of my mind, I considered the chance that there would be someone helping you, a conclusion that would ruin the trick for me. I assure you that you accomplish this effect all by yourself. It mixes involvement of the spectators and witnesses. Two spectators are part of the effect, and the rest have the luxury of watching your every move. Spaghetti and meatballs. Their reactions build on each other and snowball into complete astonishment, as you stand watching. It is not difficult to do, although, like anything, Psychokinetic Touches requires a good deal of practice and a lot of experience with performance and mentalism. The price is very fair, which I admire. It may not be a versatile trick, but at worst, you learn a revolutionary technique for ten bucks.
Here’s the problem: You can hardly ever perform it! The mood of the effect requires a certain atmosphere that limits Psychokinetic Touches to only a few ideal occasions. You cannot or should not perform this effect in the following situations: Walk-around, school, street, restaurants, fun/upbeat parties, and family gatherings. Most parties are not good for it, because people don’t want to be put in a serious or grim mood. Any laughter makes a mockery of the trick. Family gatherings force you to change the entire patter of the trick, and because they know you so well, it will probably be spoiled anyway. This trick is designed to scare people; that’s it. You don’t go into this right after your favorite card trick. If you do it right, the spectators should not even see it as a magic trick. If you are not a performer, if you cannot have total control of your spectators the effect goes to waste.
Before you buy this, consider everything I’ve told you. Are you a beginner? If so, skip it. Are you a serious mentalist? If not, probably skip it. Can you picture yourself performing this in a lot of situations? Probably not. Psychokinetic Touches is an excellent effect with an incredible method, but I don’t recommend it to most of the people reading this. I give it a 4.
(Tomorrow’s Review: Out of This World)