|“Not a City was Standing, Not Even a House”|
Last weekend I subjected myself to the Syfy (ugh!) channel’s Saturday night original movie, The 12 Disasters of Christmas. It was bad. Not that I wasn’t expecting that; bad is what the channel’s original movies are notorious for being. Also, they tend to be aggressively stupid. While watching the movie, my father and I looked through the upcoming list of movies on the channel, including such standouts as Piranhaconda and Sand Sharks, then joked that they must come up with these movies by using random word jumbles. This was confirmed by the Syfy Channel’s 20th Anniversary Special which aired on Monday, during which one of the people interviewed (I think it was schlock master Roger Corman, who produced the infamous Sharktopus for the channel) when he said that these movies were made by starting with as ridiculous a title as they could come up with first. The special was an acceptable two hours of television. For the most part it was there to promote the channel’s current and upcoming lineup of programming, but it did briefly address the show’s past. Some time was taken to discuss by personal favorite, Farscape, and Stargate: SG-1 which was always a guilty pleasure of mine (every planet looks like the Canadian wilderness.) They even spent a good few minutes trying to justify the silly name change to the “Syfy” channel. Though, they never addressed the real reason it was done; “Sci Fi” was too generic a name to trademark. Odd, considering how eager they were to mix industry talk into the interviews. At one point, while discussing the show Eureka (known in Canada as A Town Called Eureka) somebody remarked that the show had been a little more “blue sky” than they’d been aiming to make. I was puzzled, especially because I remembered the show’s logo features a blue sky. I had no idea what that meant, but assumed it was some television jargon meaningful only to producers and marketers.
Wait, I was talking about the 12 Disasters of Christmas … uhm … oh yeah! So the movie was stupid. Like, aggressively stupid. Apparently in the city of small town, USA (which, like Stargate, looked like Canada) a bunch of disasters start striking on December 21, 2012. That’s right, the Mayan Prophecy was coming true! Before the end of the world, though, 12 disasters would strike the town (like the 12 days of Christmas) during which it was up to the heroine to gather five golden rings (get it?!) strewn about the town by the Mayans (including hiding one deep down in a mine that would’ve been dug no more than 200 years ago.) Clues to the impending disaster were hidden in the lyrics of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas (a song that’s only about 240 years old, even though the Mayans basically ended as a society around 1700.)
The disasters were disappointing. Hell, at the start of the movie at least two of them had already occurred. The five golden rings provided by the Mayans to prevent the end of the world are of course inspired by the song, and some vague allusion is made to twelve mountains in the area actually being volcanoes refers to the “12 drummers drumming.” But otherwise little attempt is made to tie the disasters to the song. Why? Because the writer was probably too lazy to try such a thing. But the writer wasn’t too lazy to be pretentious. You see the protagonist is a girl named Jacey, who is helped by her parents Mary and Joseph. Oh, goodness, we have a Jesus Christ (J.C., Jacey, get it?!) reference. You know what? You’re making a crappy movie titled the 12 Disasters of Christmas that ties into the 2012 Mayan Prophecy nonsense … don’t overstep the limits of this idiocy!