B Movie Glory with Nate: The Steam Experiment 


What’s the best way to raise awareness about climate change and the melting of the polar ice caps? In The Steam Experiment, it’s to lock a bunch of people in a swanky new spa and steam room and crank up the heat until they start to panic and suffocate, of course. Well at least according to half mad scientist Val Kilmer, it is. Tired of his global warming research being rejected and scoffed at, he comes to some fairly… extreme conclusions as to what should be done, and actually goes through with his plans, the absolute madman. Setting his experiment under the pretence of a high end spa getaway for a few lucky contest winners to test out his brand new prototype ‘ultra spa’, he shuts them all in and threatens to turn that heat dial up wayyy past safety standards and boil the poor suckers alive inside, if the local paper doesn’t publish his material for all to see. Radical? Yes. Ridiculous? Definitely. It makes for one shit show of a film though, and awful one, no doubt, but pretty legendary just for being able to boast a plot line in which Val Kilmer kills people with a steam room. One of the unwitting participants in this sick charade is Eric Roberts, who seems equally terrified of being trapped in this type of mucky film as he is of being stuck in the room itself. An irritating police detective played by Armand Assante hunts Kilmer down and tries to talk him out of carrying his steamy threats through to their sweaty end, but old Val is stubborn as a mule, and keeps that heat coming on, as fast and hard as the cliches, stale cookie dialogue and eyebrow raising plot turns. He approaches the role cloaked in near catatonic depression, reaching a point where he’s not even sure what he’s doing anymore, giving the film a feeling of trailing off into an aimless, clamouring conclusion where no one knows what’s up, and Assante won’t stop laughably grilling him for answers and mugging the camera, that enthusiastic Italian mess of a man. A pressure cooker of mediocrity, a disaster that ends melting down just as hard and fast as those ice caps that cause poor Val such sociopathic anxiety. Did I use enough puns in my review?