This morning, my close friend the Paralyzed Playa told me that I had missed an amazing piece of film in last Saturday’s Syfy World Premier (!) of Ice Twisters.
As he explained the plot, I became more and more incredulous: Scientists working on a high tech cloud seeding experiment screw things up immensely when they create super tornados that shoot ice shards and freeze everything around them the instant they touch down. The same scientists must then scramble as the storms sweep across Oregon threatening to destroy downtown Portland.
What could be more frightening than a sharding tornado? What fate more grisly than being sharded to death?
As my friend went on to describe how the storms had been super-imposed on stock footage of the Portland skyline, and how, according to the films Doppler-radar sequences, the sharding tornados had most likely destroyed North Portland, the Woodburn Outlet Mall, and Salem, it became clear that I had to learn more about the film. Not such an easy task.
On-line video of the masterpiece is non-existent. All of Syfy’s promos for the film have been taken down. There is precious little information aside from these few clues:
A movie poster:
And a blog-post from an actresses who worked as “One of six leads in the TV movie Ice Twisters.” She explains her role thusly:
I was Ashley, one of a duo of college students on a class journalism project. My dream was to be a reporter! My current step in that direction was to ace this project. However, due to some unexpected circumstances, that might not happen. I'm 'by the book', think inside the box, and easily irritated by things I can't control, including my classmate Eric (Kaj-Erik Eriksen) who was about the exact opposite of me.
Six leads? Huh. Yet strangely, none of the other actors have blogged about their work on the film.
I enlisted some help in the search from our own film expert Erik Henriksen (whose name is only slightly less cool than Kaj-Erik Eriksens’). He was only able to come up with the following image—presumably a still shot from the film:
Run or be sharded, fatty!
As my search for information about the film became more and more frustrating, I came across this Livejournal page which lists Ice Twisters' production company as CineTel Films, and offers CineTel's own remarkable synopsis:
As global warming accelerates, drought ravages the usually rainy Pacific Northwest. Using liquid nitrogen, Project Rain Dance is meant to solve the problem and induce rain. But the experiment goes horribly wrong and creates tornadoes that shoot razor sharp shards of ice from the funnel clouds! Everything the scientists try to stop the phenomena is ineffective, and it's up to an author to suggest a solution that the scientists haven't thought of. Will his suggestion work in time to stop the disasters?
An author? The scientists turn to an author? Get ready to feel the shards, Portland.
A dig through the CineTel website revealed almost nothing about the film… Aside from the nagging suspicion that after its world premier on Syfy someone wanted this film to disappear. It seems everything about Ice Twisters has been wiped clean.
However, further inspection of the CineTel site brought to light the interesting fact that the company is also behind the extraordinarily freakish Tommy and the Cool Mule. Knowing that, and viewing trailers for CineTel’s other storm epics like Ba’al ("Let's just nuke the son-of-a-bitch."), makes me want to see Ice Twisters even more.
I have a call into CineTel to try to get to the bottom of Ice Twisters' disappearance. The receptionist sounded more than a little guarded and perplexed about my call. I’ll let you know what I find out. In the meantime, if you saw the film over the weekend, please please please post in the comments below. I’m dying to know what you thought!