Christmas Twister is a TV movie released in 2012 on the ion Network and later released on video as “F6 Twister.” It stars Casper Van Dien (Tarzan and the Lost City), Victoria Pratt (Heartland TV Series and Mutant X), Richard Burgi (General Hospital, Desperate Housewives) and also Haley Lu Richardson and Dmitri Schuyler-Linch as the forgettable kids of the Walker Family.
The film was written and directed by Peter Sullivan who seems to have a taste for Christmas movies having directed the classics, Christmas Together, A Christmas for Mary, A Royal Christmas Engagement, A Christmas Edition, etc. In fact, he is a fairly prolific producer and writer with 137 producing credits, 91 writing credits, and 34 director credits to his, well, credit.
On to the film…
Set in Texas, the film tells the story of Ethan (Van Dien) and Addison (Pratt) Walker who moved to Texas because of an unfortunate incident Ethan had in Chicago. Ethan, a meteorologist, wrongfully predicted an atmospheric event that resulted in the town being evacuated without a tornado ever materializing. To escape from the embarrassment, he and his wife, a news anchor, moved their 2 kids and dog to Texas to start new lives.
In the film’s exciting beginning, a twister engulfs a small-town diner and gas station. Following the destruction, the film’s opening credits begin. Although, instead of Christmas Twister it reads Christams Twister. This can’t be good.
Throughout the next half hour, we have several routine exchanges. Ethan tries to warn his wife Addison to ask her chief meteorologist, Logan (Richard Burgi) to warn people of the impending disasters – huge tornadoes masked by precipitation and out of date computer models. She says no, because of what happened last time. Despite his warnings, several more tornadoes wreak havoc on small towns, each escalating in their severity. The exposition tells us an F6 is unheard of – that would mean wind gusts of 318 MPH, and that never happens.
We learn because of Global Warning, tornado season is likely to shift because December is feeling more and more like March, hence the tornadoes spinning up around the area. In a predictable fashion, the teenage daughter ditches school and goes to the mall. The boy, Max, makes a comment it doesn’t feel like Christmas and mentions almost in air quotes “Goodbye, Ashley” to the dog as he heads out to school.
Like clockwork, chaos ensues. More tornadoes, more denials. Eventually, the TV station sends Logan out on a live shot to a local power station near the tornado’s project path, but out of the way enough to not be an issue. They are wrong. Logan gets slammed by a storage container caught in the tornado and the twister turns towards the mall and the TV station. First things first, after devouring the mall and killing one of the daughter’s friends, they survive and then the tornado seeks out its next victims at the TV station. I will leave it to you to watch the film and find out what happens to our intrepid crew trapped in the bowels of the TV station basement. Oh wait, it’s a TV movie, she is fine.
The film ends with our happy family celebrating with a cook-out at the home, where their son’s homemade nativity scene miraculously survives the tornado and the their dog, Ashley, comes home right when the burgers are done. The ending credits start to roll underneath a song about a “Hollywood Christmas,” which would normally be out of place, because the film takes place in Texas, but hey – that’s Hollywood.
What can I say about this film? The good news is, it isn’t very long. Also the cinematography, for what it is, really isn’t that bad. It has the look of a major motion picture – with one exception – the special effects. I really hope they got a good deal on the “fire, smoke and spark effects” package from Fiverr. The acting was ok, however, the subplots with the kids are absolutely forgettable. Despite being the bad guy, we end up rooting for the weatherman, Logan, and while I am sure the director was going for a laugh when he met his demise, it was really not that funny.
While I can’t recommend this for the serious cinephile, if you are looking for a good, fun viewing after say, Sharknado, that will have you laughing, or at least asking for another beer, this movie might be for you.
If you would like to see the film for yourself, it is currently available on Tubi for free at https://tubitv.com/movies/464338/christmas-twister or on Amazon Prime.