The Chaos Experiment (aka The Steam Experiment) sure to be nominated for a 'Razzie'

by HRevvdon@evpl on Thursday, August 13 2009, 8:44pm. Viewed 758 times.

Occasionally I like watching a thriller and when I found out that The Chaos Experiment (2009) was filmed in Grand Rapids, Michigan - using many landmark buildings, including one in which I used to work - I needed to order it up on Netflix.  I don't believe EVPL has a copy and that is a good thing.  Also known as The Steam Experiment (the name it has been released under for international sales), it is my understanding that the film was a direct to video release and never shown in theatres in the USA.  For good reason.  It is really bad.

Who would have thought that with a cast that included Val Kilmer, Armand Assante, and Eric Roberts would have such stilted bad acting.  This film seemed more like a low-budget senior film student's project.  The premise was lame at best.

I stuck it through solely for the identifiable Grand Rapids sections.  The Grand Rapids Press and its building is part of it, but the most recognizable building is the hotel.  Until my mid-twenties it was called The Pantlind Hotel and was the grand dame hotel of the city.  When it fell on hard times Amway, located near Grand Rapids, bought the hotel.  Amway refurbished it to its original luster, built a high-rise hotel addition and renamed it the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.  It is beautiful.  I worked at the hotel when it was The Pantlind, and this is what I did there (That is not me in the picture nor is it the same year I worked there!).  The police department which is really located in the old Herpolsheimer's Department Store building was located in another building in the movie.  I know that facade as well, but cannot place it.  It is one of those things that will come to me is lurking at the edge of my memory.  On a side note - Herpolsheimer's was the department store featured in the book and movie The Polar Express.

Don't bother with the flick, but if you are in Grand Rapids please walk through the grand lobby of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and have a drink in The Lumber Baron Room - it is like stepping back into history!

Comments (1)

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gawell@evpl wrote
on Friday, August 14 2009, 3:27pm

I read that it was worse than "The Happening", which might be taking it to anothet level, kind of like worse for wear. Some of the very early movies were enhanced by being silent, perhaps this 'experiment' has given scenery chewing a alternate dimension.

Have you ever wondered what Mark Twain and Jum Morrison might have in common?

"Mark Twain and Mary Baker Eddy"

For those who bask in bad movies, Al Jolson's old refrain comes to mind, "You ain't seen nothing yet!"