Icetastrophe (2014) review

Icetastrophe posterDirector: Jonathan Winfrey

Starring: Victor Webster, Jennifer Spence, Tiera Skovbye, Richard Harmon, Mike Dopud

COP – “We got a meteor strike: how cool is that?”

CHARLIE – “Well, people are dead, so not very.”

I’m a sucker for a cheesy pun-based title – Poltreygeist, The Gingerdead Man and the like – but Icetastrophe is a fairly rubbish one, let’s face it. That isn’t really a pun.

Regardless, what we have here is yet another low-budget made-for-Syfy film dealing with a natural disaster. And as if you can’t tell from its sloppy moniker, this time we’re dealing with ice.

Specifically, it’s ice that’s come from a meteor, which crash-lands in a small mountain town and creates a massive flash freeze for reasons which are never really explained.

Despite being a mountain town in the winter (we’re constantly reminded that Christmas is only a couple of days away), they seem massively underprepared for cold weather.

"Look! It's a plot point! It's coming this way!"
“Look! It’s a plot point! And it’s coming this way!”

A throwaway line at the start explains that they never get snow anymore because of global warming, but you’d think they’d consider it a possibility.

In fairness though, even if they were prepared, this flash freeze is unlike anything they’ve ever seen before, partly because it’s one made out of bad CGI.

Caught up in this unconvincing chilly clusterfuck are building contractor Charlie Ratchet and his nasty boss Ben Crooge. This is definitely not a reference to Bob Cratchet and Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, shut your filthy mouth I can’t believe you’d even think that.

Charlie’s son Tim (definitely not Tiny Tim) and Ben’s daughter Marley (definitely not Jacob Marley) are secretly in love, but daren’t tell their folks in case it all kicks off and the Ghost of Christmas Past turns up or something.

This means they’re off smooching when the meteor hits, separating them from the rest of the town. And even though Tim looks like a Lidl version of him from Twilight, they’re massively underprepared for coping with this situation.

"Are you a vampire? Him off Twilight was a vampire." "Well, sometimes my gums bleed when I brush my teeth. Does that count?" "Does it fuck like, mate"
“Are you a vampire? Him off Twilight was a vampire.” “Well, sometimes my gums bleed when I brush my teeth. Does that count?” “Does it fuck like, mate”

Meanwhile, boring space scientist Alex Novak (played by Jennifer Spence, who was in SGU: Stargate Universe years ago) travels to the town because she was watching the meteor as it fell and wants to see what’s happened to it.

It’s up to our two separated groups – Charlie and Alex, and Tim and Marley (along with Marley’s dickhead brother who looks about 50 and you know is going to die) – to survive the elements, figure out what’s caused this (um, the meteor) and try to reverse it.

First things first: Icetastrophe is set during Christmas and it’s fucking desperate to make sure you’re constantly aware of this. When it aired on the Syfy channel it was even renamed Christmas Icetastrophe, in case the constant references weren’t enough.

"Ho ho ho! Merry CHRIST ALMIGHTY HE'S DEAD"
“Ho ho ho! Merry CHRIST ALMIGHTY HE’S DEAD”

Ooooh, what’s that rumbling noise? “Probably Santa’s sleigh,” one dick wryly comments, even though there have been loads of rumbles already.

“I was hoping for a white Christmas,” Charlie sarcastically tells Alex at one point. “Be careful what you wish for,” she replies, up to her arse in snow.

As people in the nearby town hall try to keep warm, they start burning books: starting with a book of Christmas songs. And to keep warm they all sing Jingle Bells.

At one point someone even explodes into a bundle of frozen body chunks, so excited he is that's Santa's coming. Well, it's either that or the whole ice thing
At one point someone even explodes into a bundle of frozen body chunks, so excited he is that’s Santa’s coming. Well, it’s either that or the whole ice thing

And finally, let me give you a taste of the dialogue from the climactic scene in which (without trying to spoil too much) Charlie and Alex are about to try something dangerous to see if it’ll fix the problem:

ALEX – “Wait. No-one’s going to believe me. This is the scientific discovery of the century and no-one’s going to believe me.”

CHARLIE – “Well, if it’s any consolation I believe you. And just think: you’ve done enough good deeds for the day that you won’t be on Santa’s naughty list for the rest of your life. You should get out of here.”

ALEX – “You kidding? I’m not going to miss this.”

CHARLIE – “Well, Merry Christmas.”

Argh, we fucking get it.

"It's Santa. He's coming. We've used his name 12,000 times." "Run. Don't look back."
“It’s Santa. He’s coming. We’ve used his name 12,000 times.” “Run. Don’t look back.”

That aside, Icetastrophe delivers more or less what you’d expect, in particular loads of rubbish CGI shots of things freezing over.

This is especially true any time a person is frozen: you’ll be treated numerous times to shots of ropey-looking ice slowly travelling over their body as they look gormless and try their best not to move.

One particularly lovely surprise though is that sometimes for no reason a big icy stalactite will burst out of the ground and plough through something – usually a car or a helicopter, making it look like it’s been impaled by a bunch of frozen dicks.

This is a great metaphor for something but I'm not sure what
This is a great metaphor for something but I’m not sure what

As you’d expect from a film like this, the performances are a bit of a mixed bag. Tiera Skovbye, the young Canadian lass playing Marley, puts in a solid shift and does a good job with all the token screaming and running through snow needed in a film like this.

Victor Webster (Brennan in Mutant-X) also makes a decent attempt as Charlie, given the shite script he’s been given to work with.

The same can’t be said for Jennifer Spence (Alex), whose way of reacting to strange phenomenon going on in front of her is to look at it as if it’s shagging her cat.

"You could have at least put a sheet down, you filthy bastard"
“You could have at least put a sheet down, you filthy bastard”

Ultimately, Icetastrophe is your typical Syfy fare: as throwaway as you can imagine with a plot that’s thinner than a skeleton’s knob and the sort of ice-based special effects that somehow manage to look worse than the T-1000 freezing in Terminator 2, a film 24 years its senior.

My advice: save it until December, get some pals over and play the Icetastrophe drinking game I just made up: make some eggnog and take a gulp any time someone references Christmas.

You’ll all be so pished by the end that its ridiculous conclusion will make perfect sense.

trev_newtrev_new

HOW CAN I SEE IT?
Icetastrophe is only available on DVD in the US so most Brits will need to keep an eye on the Syfy channel over Christmas and hope it’ll come on. Alternatively, if you have access to US Netflix, you can find it for streaming on there.

SHOW ME THE TRAILER:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s