If you're a Christmas movie purist, you might be interested in seeking out Ice Quake (2010), Snowmageddon (2011), The 12 Disasters of Christmas (2012), Christmas Twister (2012), and Christmas Icetastrophe (2014).
|THAT'S a great title!|
In Snowmageddon, the Miller family discovers an anonymous present on their doorstep at Christmas: it’s a snowglobe depicting their town of Normal, Alaska. Just as mysteriously, the town and its residents begin experiencing a series of catastrophic disasters. The fun here is seeing the residents scramble against the odds to survive these ‘natural’ disasters and figure out a way to stop these horrible catastrophes, bringing their own Christmas miracle. The characters trapped in this movie play it seriously--too bad it doesn't have more tongue-in-cheek humor.
Heads-up friends: Christmas Twister was originally released on the Ion Network but it feels much like the others (and was directed by Christmas TV movie veteran Peter Sullivan). Like many of these films it features a recognizable TV actor, and Christmas Twister stars Casper Van Dien.
Other horror/disaster movies that you'll find airing on the Syfy Channel during the holidays include ones that feature extreme cold weather survival stories, snow monster features, and weirder. If this appeals to you, look for movies such as Ice Spiders (2007), Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon (2008), Polar Storm (2009), Ice Twisters (2009), Rage of the Yeti (2011), Snow Beast (2011), Ice Road Terror (2011), 2012: Ice Age (2011), and Abominable Snowman (2013).
|"Look out behind you!"|
My favorite of these is Ice Spiders. It is a ridiculous but a fun-to-watch monster/comedy. One by one, members of an elite team of skiers disappear from the slopes while at the Lost Mountain Resort in Utah. Although the Olympic team was looking for isolation at Lost Mountain to focus on their training, when the giant and deadly ice spiders attack, the remote location might be the team’s demise. Where did these huge creepy crawlies come from? The military hired scientists to tinker with the DNA of various species of arachnids for their web strength in weaponry use. But wouldn’t you know it--these spiders are another military/scientific experiment run amok. It also features THREE actors from Melrose Place: Thomas Calabro, Patrick Muldoon, and Vanessa Williams.
I also enjoyed Ice Twisters. Don't judge me. In this movie, science-fiction book author Charlie Price finds himself in conflict with the Federal Science Foundation when his predictions of apocalyptic disasters begin to come true. The Federal Science Foundation has been conducting weather experiments to manipulate the atmosphere to produce rain in drought areas. Unfortunately, their manipulations have created extreme weather storms that are not only taking human lives but the storms are out of the control of the scientists. It has a whole self-righteous conspiracy theorist vibe to it. It also stars actor Mark Moses who you'll recognize from huge TV shows such as Mad Men, The Killing, Desperate Housewives, Homeland, and Manhattan. It's fun.
|Think: less T-Rex and more iguana.|
I also got a kick out of Ice Road Terror. An explosion at an arctic diamond mine opens a hole from which a dinosaur/lizard crawls. After feasting on several miners, the monstrous lizard sets his sights on truckers driving nearby on the longest ice road in the world. Actor Dylan Neal is in this movie. He's appeared in many great projects but he'll always be Pacey's older brother on Dawson's Creek to me. Another actor Michael Hogan is here too. He's had a long career as well, but I love his role as Col. Saul Tigh on the update of Battlestar Galactica.
Most of the yeti/abominable snow monster movies suffer from poor special effects. You may get a laugh (between snoozes) from Snow Beast--it stars John Schneider (!) and the monster looks like a gorilla version of Rankin/Bass' Bumble. The natural disaster story 2012: Ice Age pushes credulity with the plot that a glacier from Greenland is rapidly moving towards the United States' New England coast line. Key word is 'rapidly.' It just gets worse from there. I warned you.
This is not a complete list of TV movies in this genre but the ones I felt deserved a mention. If you like (or despise) other horror/disaster movies that air on the Syfy Channel, mention them in the comments. Have you seen any of these? Are you a fan of the genre? I can't wait to see what Syfy comes up with for this year.