A stock visual effect that is usually used to indicate someone is being hypnotized (or trying to hypnotize someone). It does get used for all sorts of hallucinations and visualized breakdowns but it's primarily associated with hypnosis for some reason.
The common version tends to include:
- A floating head
- The head itself is spinning or moving
- A (usually) multicolored swirl as the background
- A humming '50s sci-fi sound effect or increased echo if the head is speaking.
- The Joker in the 1989 Batman film, just after his "Smilex" "commercial".
- The Trope Maker is probably the Dream Sequence from Vertigo, where Jimmy Stewart's head floats over crazy geometric animation.
- Used in Zoolander, when Mugatu tries to brainwash the title character into assassinating the Prime Minister of Malaysia. "OBEY MY DOG!"
- This is a recurring theme in Canadian EDM producer Rezz's stage visuals, album artwork and music videos.
- Doctor Who:
- Played for Drama (it was the 60s) in the Hartnell-era story "The War Machines", in which WOTAN's manipulation of people's minds is depicted using a very faintly super-imposed spiral, usually over a closeup of the victim's struggling face. The Radiophonic Workshop musique concrete score makes it quite disturbing.
- The Second Doctor, (first) Third Doctor and (first) Fourth Doctor title sequences both display a closeup of the Doctor's face in front of a whirling, spiralling psychedelic vortex of light.
- Max Headroom. Honorable Mention must go to the Max Headroom Pirating Incident.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: In "One of Us" during The Happy Show Show, Gramma Taters is almost always shown as this, as she hypnotizes whoever watches it into a mindless zombie who's always happy.