Ice Quake

| January 2, 2012

Has anyone ever gone into a Syfy original movie expecting to be anything other than (and read this on every possible level) a disaster? Syfy’s latest attempt to dethrone Citizen Kane as the greatest movie of all time is Ice Quake, a film about a family trapped on an Alaskan mountain, while a vein of liquid methane causes earthquakes and eruptions at seemingly random times. Stakes not high enough for ya? Well, if the vein of liquid methane reaches the base of the mountain and is released in mass quantities into the atmosphere, it can destroy most of the life on the planet.
Syfy originals appeal to a very specific audience, and this is sure to not disappoint this base of camp-hungry heroes. One disappointing thing though is that all of the Syfy originals tend to have some actor or actress who used to be much more famous about 20 years ago, and now the audience gets to laugh at how far they’ve fallen. Ice Quake doesn’t really have that factor. No old pop singers or sitcom stars for this masterpiece. About as close to a celebrity as this film gets is that Holly Lamaro, kind of looks like Kate from Lost.
Ms. Lamaro plays Emily, our hero’s (Michael; Brendan Fehr) wife. Michael works for the military base in town monitoring seismic activity on the mountain. This information isn’t important however, since Michael’s training does very little to help him survive when he’s on the mountain. Instead, it’s his son, Shane (Ryan Grantham), the aspiring explorer who even thinks to bring any survival gear on their hike. Except for food. Because packing food would lower the tension, right?
As bad as the special effects and “action” sequences are here, Ice Quake also suffers from the same fatal flaw that plagues all Syfy original movies. The screenwriters spend huge amounts of time here explaining the science behind what makes an ice quake possible. These sections not only make no sense, they only serve to reinforce what everyone in the audience knows and no one making the movie can understand: that science is boring. We are already watching a movie called Ice Quake. Our disbelief has been sufficiently suspended well before pushing play. Your job is done. Why do you insist on explaining every little science-ish thing that happens? The obvious answer being that without these long, boring passages, the movie would be about 30 minutes shorter. Apparently the writers can’t be bothered to do petty little things like character development, so the only way they can come up with to fill their 90 minute running time is with this insulting pseudo-science.
The best thing about this is that it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be. No more, no less. If you eagerly wait for the latest excremental Syfy original release, then this is sure to entertain and amaze. Or at least offer a good laugh. So, gather your bravest friends around the TV and let yourself fall into the ice quake.
Special features include the film’s trailer and a making of featurette.

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
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