Short-lived (and very cruel) game show, where contestants competed to answer questions while strapped inside a torture chamber and enduring intense heat and cold.






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 The Chamber (2 episodes, 2002)


"The Chamber" was on the very short list of game shows where contestants endured intense torture and cruelty to win large cash prizes. Two contestants competed on this short-lived offering from Fox. Host Schwartz posed a question with multiple answers; the player that can give one more correct answer after their opponent offers a wrong guess, or gives the last correct remaining answer scores one point. Two correct answers sends the "lucky" sap ... er, winner off to the Chamber. There, the contestant is strapped in and hooked to heart rate and blood pressure monitors. A series of seven levels are played, each lasting one minute. The Chamber fluctuates constantly between Hot (surrounded by flames) and Cold (ice-cold water squirted at the contestant) modes; the Chamber also rotates, sometimes at varying speeds; other distractions (such as wind gusts and tacks showered on the contestant) are added as the game progresses. While all of this is going on, host Schwartz poses general-knowledge... Written by Brian Rathjen <>

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non fiction | See All (1) »


Temperatures 20 degrees hotter than Death Valley... Winds as strong as a category 2 hurricane... Can anyone survive what's inside.... See more »


Family | Game-Show





Release Date:

13 January 2002 (USA)  »

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Referenced in Robin Williams Live on Broadway (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Semi-impressive game show whose welcome will wear out fast.
24 January 2002 | by (Providence, Rhode Island) – See all my reviews

"THE CHAMBER" is much like "WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE" and "THE WEAKEST LINK". They were fun when they first premiered, but a year or two later, the audiences have moved onto the next exciting thing to hit their television sets..."THE CHAMBER".

Rich Schwartz is the host of "THE CHAMBER", a 'game show' where two contestants (a male and a female) battle it out in a 'head-to-head' questionnaire. An example of the type of questions asked would be, "Name a U.S. state beginning with the letter N'. Each contestant responds until one cannot come up with an answer - the opponent being given the chance to win the point by giving a final correct answer. The first contestant to reach a total of 'two' points buys his or her pass to compete in 'the Chamber'.

The Chamber itself consists of a huge steel chair (think of Arnold Schwarzenegger in "TOTAL RECALL") where the contestant is strapped in, hooked up to heart, pulse and blood pressure monitors to prepare themselves to be exposed to extreme temperatures that will be randomly selected by a computer - either hot or cold. Once the contestant is strapped into the chair, the chair then slides back into the 'Chamber' which is a huge box with metal shutters and glass panels. If the contestant is to battle hot temperatures, flames will shoot out from the sides. If the contestant is to battle cold temperatures, water is sprayed onto them which turns into ice and frost, followed by blasts of cold air. On top of that, the chair rotates upside down where the contestant is compelled to answer questions in a certain time period.

The game period is extended over 'seven' phases. Each phase, the chamber gets either colder or hotter, thereby inflicting further pressure upon the contestant to think harder because the questions become more difficult. If the contestant consecutively gives two incorrect answers, the game is over. However, if the contestant is successful in answering the questions correctly within the certain time period, they move onto the next phase. Each correct question gives the contestant $1,000.00. If the contestant is eliminated within the 'seven' phases of the questioning, their cash pot is halved and that is the prize money they get to leave with. However, there is a further stage following the 'seven' phases should a contestant be so successful. So far, no one has even gotten past the fourth stage so it remains to be seen how brutal the final stage will be.

Some foibles within the game would include the headset that the contestant must wear in order to hear the questions and to interact with Rick Schwartz. The headset is unbelievably attached with nothing more than scotch tape. In extreme heat, the contestant usually sweats which takes away the adhesiveness contained in the scotch tape. The same is applied when the temperatures are freezing. When the contestant is repeatedly blasted by cold water, the scotch tape comes off. Another noticeable foible lies within the questioning. One of the questions featured in a previous episode was, "Name one of the top 10 female magazines in the U.S.". The female contestant obviously has the upper-hand in this style of questioning and as it proved in that particular episode, the male contestant couldn't even think of at least one answer. To make this game more 'fair and competitive', questions

to be asked should be un-sexually biased.

Other than that, "THE CHAMBER" is not such a bad game show. It has the same appeal like "GLADIATORS" once had, but unfortunately the average person of today doesn't even remember that show. I'll give this show maybe two years max.

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