Terry Morrow: '12 Disasters' works flaws to its advantage

Jacey (Magda Apanowicz) uses her new powers to fight off whatever new disaster a Mayan curse is throwing at her.

Photo by Syfy, 2012 Syfy Media, LLC

Jacey (Magda Apanowicz) uses her new powers to fight off whatever new disaster a Mayan curse is throwing at her.

You have to hand it to SyFy for knowing how to work a theme. Only the B-movie cable channel can take the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" and flip it on its ear, making it into a supernatural disaster movie.

After years of serving up campy Saturday night movies, SyFy doesn't expect to be taken seriously. You may tune to "The 12 Disasters of Christmas," about a teenager fighting off a Mayan curse, to laugh, but there's more to it than that.

In "12 Disasters" (9 p.m. Saturday), small-town teenager Jacey (Magda Apanowicz) inherits a ring from her grandmother just moments before G-ma gets skewered by a giant icicle. With the help of her father, Joseph (Ed Quinn), Jacey figures out she's our last defense against 12 plagues that fulfill the Mayan prediction the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012. There's a heat wave in December, sudden super tornadoes and blood in the water.

To stop each crisis, Jacey is aided by five golden rings, of course. I suppose it'd better than four calling birds or three french hens.

Jacey also has the community ready to lynch her. Once Jacey's neighbors see in an old book that a sacrifice must be made to stop the disasters, they decide, naturally, to turn on her. What ingrates.

Those folks are definitely on Santa's naughty list.

As silly and half-baked as "12 Disasters" can be, the film has its merits. It moves at a quick pace, sucking in viewers before they consider turning away.

The tongue-in-cheek humor is finely sliced. There's no way anyone can believe "12 Disasters" takes itself seriously. However, on an adventure level, "12 Disasters" doesn't forget it is foremost an action movie — and effortlessly fits that bill.

"12 Disasters" works flaws to its advantage.

Score: 3 out of 5

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

© 2012 Knoxville.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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