Ice Quake – otherwise known as lets traipse up and down a mountain is a TV disaster movie that limps along from shaky camera to shaky camera and failed to capture my attention despite a high-profile name and some competent acting.
A mountain is busy farting with a methane problem and is releasing sub-zero gases via Earthquakes. Think an ice volcano with a belly ache and you’re there.
The Disasters Faced
Earthquakes, avalanches, storms, lots of polystyrene and wobbly camera angles and the horror of frozen people wearing blue makeup to show they’re dead.
Ice Quake for a TV movie really isn’t that bad. Maybe that’s part of the problem. The film bubbles along from one mini problem to another although most quakes look identical. The film wisely stays to just a single mountain and has most of its action take place in nondescript locations in the snow. For that, the film is then able to tightly weave you from problem to problem until it comes to the final section where it moves to a small town for its finale. The acting in general is of a good standard and despite some dodgy science having an actor such as Victor Garber (Titanic) really helps. What I will say is that he is the most ineffectual leader in a crisis ever committed to film. Now we just need to make the typical whiny teen girl to shut up a bit and the film would have been more enjoyable!
The special effects aren’t so bad as they have been for a TV movie. The avalanche scene actually looks quite good and while the earthquake effect is used far too many times, it doesn’t look bad at all. What always looks strange is the movies insistence of colouring all frozen people completely blue and the face. Explosions still suffer on TV movies with yellow-ness however.
Why It’s Worth Watching
Ice Quake is well paced even if there’s no massive set pieces. The characters are generally likable except the vile teenage girl. Every scene she is in she moans, groans and decides to be injured. Even her voice makes you want to shake her until she hushes. Normally you do get the spoilt teen in every movie but this girl pulls it off to a T. I wanted to slap her. Otherwise, it is generally a feel good family TV movie too with hardly any deaths and no blood at all so if it’s a good one to start off on for the youngsters – although the strangest moment in the film may put you off showing it to real young’uns!
One of the very few novel parts to the film is going onboard a couples snowsled down a slope in one of the earthquakes and the camera follows you into the chasm and down the cracks! Complete with screaming. Good fun if I do say so myself!
I’ll go with Yeti the dog – he’s adorable. Following that Nicholas Carella does a fine job as smiley Ram – quite how he got that name no one will know.
The opening of the movie (and first couple of deaths) has a man for no reason at all doing geological research dressed in full Santa gear. Cue Santa to then get blown up in an ice geyser. It’s not as great as it sounds I’m afraid but it’s certainly a startling opening. Also our family manage to side-step a volcano.
Ice Quake worryingly straddles the competent but boring side of the genre with the slightly cheesy dialogue and not enough silliness side. As a result it is mildly entertaining but neither dire enough to tackle the worst (or best) nor is it scope big enough to warrant it a huge thumbs up. For genre fans only.