Overview: Val Kilmer lures six staggeringly brain-deficient people to an abandoned ghost sauna under the clever ruse of a dating website offering huge piles of free money to anyone who shows up for hot, no-strings-attached, 100% legal steamy hardbody sex (no homo), and instead locks them inside to die horribly a la Saw. Also, global warming is involved somehow.
Directed By: Philippe Martinez, 2009
The Case For: If you've been secretly harboring a grudge against Val Kilmer ever since the volleyball scene in Top Gun and want to see just how far he's fallen, look no further.
The Case Against:This movie is powered by the lethally high-petrol '80s power trifecta of Val Kilmer, Patrick Muldoon, and Armand "Only Guy From Judge Dredd Less Articulate Than Stallone" Assante. You might think this doesn't sound like a "case against", but that's because you haven't seen the performances they turned in yet.
Global warming. It's a deadlier and more obvious threat to all of humanity than an army of Godzillas stomping out of the Pacific Ocean, or possibly even a nefarious plot by the Obama administration to convert everyone in Florida to Islam and then steal their precious bodily fluids via Muslim transubstantiation. Whatever your political leanings on the issue (who cares), at least there's one thing that we should all be able to agree on:
we're all going to die in 2012 because the Mayans did too much math this movie is fucking terrible.
You may be wondering what this all has to do with some guy who works at a hotel luring a bunch of retards into the ultimate death-schvitz, and if you watched The Chaos Experiment you would still be wondering that, assuming you hadn't already opted to bash your own head in on the coffee table before the finale. If instead you started by reading a plot summary off of the DVD box, you would find that the premise of this movie is supposedly this: "Six people are locked in a sauna, and an eccentric professor has threatened to steam them to death unless the local newspaper publishes his global warming rant. Also, the sauna is a metaphor/experiment for how society will break down when global warming happens." This is, obviously, the worst premise you can possibly think of or even try to imagine. Bialystock and Bloom wouldn't touch that shit with a ten-foot producing pole.
This movie has been compared to Cube by various degenerates of the IMDB-review-writing populous, and we have to admit there are some obvious parallels. Both movies take place in rooms, for example, although The Chaos Experiment mostly just has the murder victims all mashed together in the one room, so it's a slight downgrade. And both movies feature a low-functioning autistic person as a major part of the production, although we suspect in Chaos Experiment that particular character is somewhere behind the camera - maybe in the vicinity of the director's chair, say. Then again, maybe the autist in question is actually Val Killme, criminal mastermind and merry-go-round enthusiast:
Yet braced as we were - or foolishly hoped we were - against the cold, hard stupid, The Chaos Experiment somehow managed to soar past our wildest expectations by failing to even live up to that piece of shit premise on every possible level. We're going to lay all of the blame squarely on visionary director Philippe Martinez, who needless to say couldn't direct the Proteus into a whale pussy on rails, and writer Robert Malkani, whose illustrious credits also include the cinema classic Dot.Kill.
Martinez, who, again, couldn't direct a Hungry Man out of its cellophane, is 110% committed to making sure the whole "sauna deathtrap" experience really comes through to us, the viewers. He achieves this mainly by way of nauseating blurring and odd focus effects, whipping cameras around like palsied film studies freshmen in a windstorm, and of course, heavy use of nuclear-vomit orange color filters not normally seen outside of CIA experimental psychological warfare tapes.
In other words, you can easily find more attractive shots being made by homeless people banking their urine backsplash off the inside of dumpster lids on your average poorly-lit city backstreet. So if you pick up a JVC camcorder and some KFC chicken grease on the way home from work tonight, you might just be able to start calling yourself a "cinematographer" too - hell, throw in a little green jello for lighting, some Funyuns for foley, and a one-eyed dog barfing up bloody fecal matter & Arby's roast beef into a storm drain clogged with leaves, and you can be Werner Fucking Herzog!
Then there's the soundtrack. Based on our normal movie fare, we've deduced that the standard operating procedure for sound work is to buy a $5 plastic microphone, put it inside an oatmeal box, and then chuck the box into a pile of garbage behind the set with a family of angry raccoons living in it. This leads to the usual bad-movie catch-22 wherein you have to decide between straining to hear the whispered dialogue, or blowing out your speakers when the PA drops the boom mike on the floor. The Chaos Experiment makes the choice easy, since you'd have to be an incurable masochist to not just mute it permanently five minutes in and enjoy the silent parade of Eric Roberts rape-faces.
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