REGULAR READERS will remember Portland screenwriter H. Perry Horton ("B-Movie Madness," Mercury, April 26, 2012). Mr. Horton has written films such as 2-Headed Shark Attack for the direct-to-video studio the Asylum, which specializes in dramas like Transmorphers, Titanic II, and Nazis at the Center of the Earth. Mr. Horton's latest, 100 Degrees Below Zero, starring Jeff Fahey and John Rhys-Davies, screens this Friday at the Clinton Street Theater, with Mr. Horton in attendance. Below is Mr. Horton's completely objective review of 100 Degrees Below Zero. —Ed.
To call 100 Degrees Below Zero the decade's greatest disaster epic might sound like preposterous hyperbole, especially coming from the guy who wrote it. But screw it—it's my script, my review, and my job to fill the Clinton Street Theater this Friday night, so I'm dropping all the hyperbole I want.
Behold the film's inspired premise: Volcanic eruptions in Europe expel enormous ash clouds that block out the sun. Introduce a superstorm over the North Atlantic, and the result is a continent plunged into an ice age. Amidst this chaos, an American couple must find their college-student kids in Paris and evacuate the Northern Hemisphere before it freezes over. Sound like The Day After Tomorrow? I prefer to think of it as Alive meets European Vacation but, you know, family friendly.
I know what you're thinking: "He's right! That is an inspired premise! How does one begin to tell such a complex story?" Well, we start with a mishmash of terms stolen off the Weather Channel's website, turn these into a pseudo-plausible chain of events, stir in a lovely and lovable band of heroes, and from there, it's all about one-liners and the best CG that a couple hundred thousand bucks can buy.
This flick's got something for everyone: hailstones the size of beach balls, an imploding Chunnel, ice cyclones, zip-lining, the Eiffel Tower as a surface-to-air missile, pretty ladies, the Lawnmower Man, and the husky guy from Raiders of the Lost Ark. What more could you want?
100 Degrees Below Zero is a game-changer: It isn't just the kind of movie you'd see on Syfy, it's the kind of movie you'd see on Syfy in a theater. Five bucks gets you a seat on the ride of your life. You're welcome in advance.