If you’re at all in touch with your geek side, you already know about all the great horror movies that are Christmas-themed. Chances are you’ve stumbled across “Silent Night, Deadly Night,” Black Christmas,” or “Santa’s Slay.” Everybody knows “Batman Returns” and “Die Hard” take place around December 25th. However, did you know that several disasters have occurred around the most wonderful time of the year?
Anchor Bay Entertainment and the SyFy Channel spent the past few years reminding us that even the holidays aren’t safe from catastrophic events which could bring about the end of the world. Disaster-oriented Christmas movies were becoming an annual tradition up until 2013. The two media giants banned together for three straight years to bring us a trilogy of B-movie entertainment that I think it’s high time they continue.
“Ice Quake” was the first of these Yuletide disaster films to hit SyFy Channel back in 2010. It focuses on a family’s plan to trek up the Alaskan mountains on Christmas Eve to get a tree. Their joy is interrupted when destructive earthquakes cause gigantic cracks to form in the ice. These cracks leak deadly methane gas from the Earth’s center, which could destroy the world if it spreads into a cave system nearby. A local geologist teams with the government to save the planet by stopping the crack from spreading and the methane gas from leaking.
As is usual with these types of movies, “Ice Quake” features a few recognizable actors like Brendan Fehr (“Bones”), Jodelle Ferland (“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”), Rob laBelle (“Supernatural”), Sharon Taylor (“Smallville”), and Victor Garber (“Alias”). Surprisingly, they all take their parts very seriously and put forth an effort to make the film as believable as they can.
“Snowmageddon” rained down upon humanity in 2011, proving that “Hell has Frozen Over.” A family receives a mysterious Christmas gift on the porch of their Alaskan home. They open it to discover a mystical snow globe. It doesn’t take too many shakes to realize that what happens in the globe comes to pass in the real world, causing “natural” disasters and putting their hometown in danger.
Magda Apanowicz (“Continuum,” “The Green Inferno”) joins forces with “Battlestar Galactica’s” Michael Hogan and David Cubitt (“Medium”) to insure Christmas can still be celebrated in their small town. Laura Harris (“Dead Like Me,” “The Faculty”) joins in the mission to end the calamities.
“12 Disasters” put a damper on holiday cheer as people prepared for the end of the world in 2012 as prophesied by the Mayans. It seems the End isn’t near, but already here when a menacing dark star appears in the heavens. It ushers in earthquakes and other natural disasters that take their toll on civilization. A group of survivors must race against time to save the world from impending doom.
The cast of “12 Disasters” is once again made up of familiar faces from television shows and genre films. Ed Quinn from “Eureka,” “The Caller,” and “House of the Dead 2” appears alongside Magda Apanowicz and Roark Critchlow (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Supernatural”). This marked Apanowicz’s second brush with death against the powers of the weather grinches after her time spent in the “Snowmageddon.”
The past couple of years have been silent when it comes to holiday disaster cheer. There are plenty of destructive acts of God that could be exploited by the SyFy Channel and Anchor Bay. If they aren’t interested, then maybe the Asylum can pick up the slack. Can you imagine a Sharknado that strikes different cities and towns on Christmas Eve? How about giant ice balls falling from the sky after a comet explodes in space, leaving its debris to decimate the Earth… wait for it… on Christmas Day!
“Ice Quake” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.
“Snowmageddon” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.
“12 Disasters” is available now on DVD and as a Digital Download.