Ice Quake (2010)

Contains (some) spoilers.

It’s Christmas Eve, ‘Santa’ and a friend are up a snowy mountain, when suddenly the ground cracks open, it farts out a load of methane, and they both die horribly. To quote Santa at other times, “Ho ho ho”.

Santa on the mountainMeanwhile, a wholesome family are planning to go and cut down a Christmas tree. They argue about why it has to be chopped down and not bought (I’d have been arguing about why it was left till Christmas Eve, myself). And when the whole house shakes from a terrifying tremor (“the second in 2 days”) they still seem more concerned about the tree than potential earthquake or volcanic catastrophe. The Dad is a geo-something-or-other expert and before he can phone into his office to ask about the rumblings, his wife warns him “It’s your day off!”. So he doesn’t.

Even after his boss (the father-in-law from Eli Stone in a military outfit) calls him into work immediately, nobody shows any concern and they arrange to find their festive spruce after his meeting instead. So the whole family goes far up into heavily snow-covered mountains, while snow falls, and unexplained ground tremors are happening. Didn’t it cross anyone’s mind that this might be.. dangerous? Or incredibly stupid?

The family run around avoiding CGI chasms (tripping over to get the usual disaster movie injuries in the process). They contact the base to be rescued, then rather than wait nearby for help, decide “we can’t stay here” and head off elsewhere. More than once. Within no time the kids are fighting over the water supply and gulping it back as if they’ve been lost for days. And a “nutjob” with a “crazy theory” about methane seems to have direct phone access to the boss at the military office. (And surely if his laughed-at theory proves correct, it would be a cliche of laughable proportions..)

“Maybe Methane Man was right,” someone says. Oh dear.

The climax of the film involves needle-in-a-haystack coincidences where people just bump into each other at the right time on the vast mountainside. Things happen involving a dog, and some explosions. And I’m sure I recognise one of the actors from Glee.

There’s a thin line between a movie you laugh at, and one you shout at. And this treads that thin line. It would be fun to see as a group (it certainly made me laugh a few times) but watching alone might not be good for the blood pressure or the vocal chords.


Ice Quake is sometimes shown on television in the UK, for example on Movies24. It can also be purchased online.

Ice Quake/2010/Quake Productions/Dir: P Ziller/Prod: J Prince

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