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Steve Noir’s “Sleep Chamber” from SHG-Media

It’s not everyday that I see an independently produced heroine peril video that is truly out of the ordinary, but I think that’s the case with Sleep Chamber, directed by Steve Noir for SHG-Media.  Regular visitors to this site may remember Noir’s early genre effort, Dark Robin vs. Freakmaster, a video which I had a somewhat lukewarm reaction to based on the lack of peril, but it was a video with its own unique vibe that clearly aimed at pleasing viewers looking for a specific kind of action.  Rather than embracing the kind of violent, fight-oriented peril viewers might expect, Sleep Chamber goes way in the other direction, placing a laser-sharp focus on specific fetish material that might have limited appeal in terms of the number of viewers, but is probably a dream come true for fans of the video’s specific fetish content.

"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve NoirThe video begins with a creepy opening credits sequence that establishes a sinister, unsettling tone.  This is something Noir does really well with lighting, camera movement, music and editing.  We then see a female character whose origin we do not know, laying on the ground, unconscious.  The concept of an unconscious female heroine is a cornerstone of almost every Steve Noir video that I’ve seen.  And the majority of Sleep Chamber (as the title suggests) deals with the heroine (based on The Fifth Element‘s Leeloo, played by Milla Jovovich) in varying states of consciousness: waking up, passing out, struggling while half-conscious, being injected with a sleep-inducing chemical, etc.  Since I’m not particularly affected by the concept of sleep/unconsciousness in these videos, I really can’t provide a meaningful opinion of how well this material is handled here, but the fact that the camera lingers on all of this for such a long time suggests to me that fans who are inclined towards a “sleepy” fetish will probably love this video.

"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir

The heroine has her clothes removed for about four minutes, and is then tasered while laying on the ground, unconscious (with nice reactions).  Four minutes is a really long time, but again, I have to assume that there are fans of this fetish who are probably thrilled by every second of this, and if so, they will most definitely love Sleep Chamber in general, and perhaps this sequence in particular.

The heroine is laid on a table and is analyzed by the video’s only other character, a faceless female villain who is apparently conducting some kind of weird experiments on the heroine.  The villainess scans her with a strange device, which seems to cause discomfort for our heroine, and then places a surgical mask over the heroine’s face, causing her (apparently) to go into a deeper state of sleep.

"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir

Finally, the heroine emerges from her sleep-state and manages to drag herself up and off the table.  She stumbles around the room, falls down, and tries (unsuccessfully) not to lapse back into her mini-coma.  The actress sells all of this really well.  The villainess returns to pick the unconscious heroine up off the ground and then (off screen) chains the heroine up by her wrists.  The villainess returns  and torments our heroine by placing a ball-gag in her mouth and injecting her again with a sleep agent, causing our heroine to lose consciousness and dangle by her chains, unconscious, as the villainess looks on.  The heroine is then chained to a metal table with her arms over her head.  The villainess returns and places a plastic bag over the heroine’s head, apparently suffocating her, and the video ends with a title card that reads, “To Be Continued.”

"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir"Sleep Chamber" from SHG-Media and Steve Noir

Sleep Chamber delivers very, very specific content to the viewer, so if you’re not excited by the idea of sleep and the manipulation of the heroine’s various levels of consciousness, you probably won’t enjoy this video.  There’s no fighting action, and all of the torment involves putting the heroine to sleep, keeping her asleep, putting her into a deeper sleep, and so on.  Although this is not a fetish that I respond to, I really admire Steve Noir’s focus on such specific content.  Personally, since I’m in a position to view so many movies in this genre, I would like to see more producers focus on extremely specific content rather than attempt to garner wider acceptance by featuring a broader range of subject matter (i.e., shoehorning in low blows, demaskings and so forth just to acquire more sales).

Now, I’m no fool.  I know that without sales, these videos couldn’t exist, and we’d all be left recording episodes of Smallville just hoping for three minutes of a female character being put into peril or dominating a bad guy or being rendered unconscious or choked or de-booted or punched in the stomach or whatever.  So I don’t begrudge any producer who attempts to please a wide variety of fans by broadening the scope of a video.  In fact, that’s exactly what most, if not all, successful producers in this genre do.  But at the same time, it’s refreshing to see a video that completely ignores all content that isn’t directly related to an intentionally narrow range of fetish material.  Sleep Chamber has to be a dream come true for a certain kind of viewer for that reason.  It’s a really strange and unusual video.  And that’s why I like it. 🙂

Purchase Sleep Chamber at SHG-Media
Also visit Steve Noir’s deviantART page and web site

3 Responses

  1. Warren Griffin says:

    Rye, all very good and interesting points. Another thing in the mix here, I guess, is price. I haven’t looked at this systematically, but it seems like some of the producers who throw a lot of variety in each video also choose to sell at a fairly low price, presumably because they make up for it in volume by appealing to a broad range of fans. I’ve actually had this sort of conversation with myself before, when considering a video that looks like it has something I would like but it’s buried within a bunch of other stuff I don’t care about. My first reaction might be to skip the purchase, because my hunch is that only a few minutes of the video would really interest me. But then I look at the price again, and sometimes it’s low enough that I think, well, actually I’d willing to pay that amount even for just a few minutes of something I like if it’s really well done, so why not? Anyway, you’re certainly right about the plethora of sub-fetishes, and the variety of producers is good for fans too!

  2. Rye says:

    Interesting discussion you started 😉

    I think a key point you have mentioned is creating a brand… Some of us are more of a mixed bag than others but most do have a single main theme you know will come out in every video you buy.
    Most good peril producers have a very identifiable style and Steve Noir is no exception. I have used the same stuido as him multiple times but some how he knows how to make it look 10 times bigger than I can. His movies have a sense of realism that mine don’t and this realism definitely has an audience. He puts time and care into making cool sets which shouldn’t be overlooked as well. I would be willing to be we could give Steve a broom closet and he would figure out a way to make it look like a warehouse.

    As for experimenting…
    I can’t speak for everyone but I think it’s generally best to take a new vision or idea (If it’s different enough from what you normall do) and create a new entity/website/store front. This is a very common practice 😉 Doing so allows your current fan base to keep enjoying what you are already doing and a new fan base to develope. Of course there is usually overlap but the peril genera has a ton of sub-fetishes and some customers simply won’t even entertain a movie if one tiny thing isn’t how they like it. The flip side to this is it makes it possible for so many of us to produce 🙂

  3. Warren Griffin says:

    Well, this is a very lonely review with nary a comment after several days. So … I’ll make one. I’m less interested in the video, I must confess, but I think the review itself raises a worthy discussion point. If you consider a spectrum of video content, with a TON of just one thing at one extreme and a little bit of everything and the kitchen sink at the other extreme, it seems to me that most vendors have staked out a spot along that spectrum for whatever their reasons are, and they tend to stay put in that spot. But I think it’d be interesting to see vendors experiment a little. If you’re used to staying really broad, maybe toss in a slightly more focused “theme issue” every now and then, perhaps based on some fan input about what some good themes might be. You wouldn’t have to go all the way to the other super-narrow end of the spectrum as Steve Noir has done here (and I’m not criticizing his choice), but just something with a little more focus than your norm. Some fetish elements simply take more than a hot second to appropriately set up and execute, so if you just toss them in quickly with 10 or more other equally-featured elements, it may be that you’re not really able to do all of them justice, and some hardcore fans of particular elements may overlook your work entirely. It’s hard to argue with the business case for staying broad, but I wonder if just occasional forays into more focused territory might not actually get more dedicated fans of particular elements to take notice of your work, and then once they see the quality, maybe they’ll be more inclined to keep checking out your stuff even though most of it is broader.

    Just wondering …