The Steam Experiment

 (aka The Chaos Experiment; 2009)

by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is more or less a STV clone of Saw. Six people are tricked into a sealed steam room on the pretext that it's part of a love connection program. As the heat intensifies, we get to see how far their psychological deterioration will progress. There is also a framing story in which a mad professor says he will let the six people out of that room if a local newspaper publishes his theories on global warming.

The dramatic tension, if you want to call it that, originally seems to center around the survival of those in the steam room, but as time goes on, we learn that things are not as they originally appeared to be. Our interest switches to unraveling the story's mysteries: Who is the mad scientist? Is he more scientist, or more mad? Does he have confederates we are not told about? When does the steam room incident actually take place? Does the steam room situation really occur, or are we simply watching one of his delusions? After we debate these matters in our heads for 90 minutes, there is an ambiguous twist ending which renders all of our previous conclusions false, or at least uncertain. In the previous sentence, one might substitute the word "confusing" for "ambiguous," if one were so inclined.

The cast is quite strong for a STV cheapie. In fact, it would have been close to an A-list cast if the film had been made in the 1980s. Val Kilmer is the mad professor. Armand Assante is the detective questioning him. Eric Roberts is one of the six human lobsters. Given that all three of those men have turned in excellent performances in real movies, one would have to say that the cast is the film's strength.

Everything else is the film's weakness.

(Except the nudity.)




Sidebar: Eric Roberts is now up to 109 IMDb acting credits. He is only 53 years old, and 92 of those credits have come in the past 15 years, so he could pass 200 acting credits by age 68. How large is that number in context? Gerard Depardieu has 153 credits at age 60. He has amassed 45 of those in the past eight years, so assuming the same rate for another eight years, he will also have about 200 credits at age 68. In other words, Eric Roberts is in about as many projects as Depardieu. That's about the same as saying somebody is as good a hitter as Ted Williams.



  No reviews online


4.8 IMDB summary (of 10)


No theatrical release.



  • Eve Mauro does the wise thing and gets topless in the steam room, showing off a very well toned body.


Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


You may enjoy it if you like the three main stars, but skip it if not, because they represent 100% of the film's appeal. (Except for a brief look at Eve Mauro topless.)