TV MOVIE "Snowmageddon"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Saturday at 9 p.m. on Syfy

WHY TO CARE Oh, those crazy Canadians! They give us the telephone. They give us hockey. They give us William Shatner. Then, they give us "Snowmageddon." Which cancels out everything else.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT At Christmastime, a mysterious box appears on the doorstep of a family in Normal, Alaska. (Yes. Too cute already.) Inside is an old trunk containing an antique snow globe with an exact replica of the small town, right down to its signature public clock, long frozen in time. And bad things -- BAD THINGS! -- start happening, mirrored from the snow globe to the real-life town. Earth fissures. Avalanches. Flying ice projectiles. And more! The clock starts moving. Tick tock. Even though its gears were removed decades back!

The package-receiving family must brainstorm a remedy, from sheriff dad (David Cubitt, "Medium") to helicopter pilot mom (Carolyn Adair) to weepy teen daughter (Magda Apanowicz, "Caprica") to figures-it-out kid (Dylan Matzke), with help from the town elder and erstwhile clock lord (Michael Hogan, "Battlestar Galactica").

MY SAY Everybody loves a Christmas disaster movie. But who loves a disaster of a Christmas movie? Vancouver-produced "Snowmageddon" is a dud in at least 12 seasonal ways.

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The cliche-ridden plotting. The sluggish pacing. The banal dialogue. The indifferent acting. The confusing settings. (Bone-dry town at Christmas in Alaska?) The cheesy "disaster" dressing. (Exploded debris fields look more like careful craftsmanship than ongoing destruction.)

The convoluted ties to Pandora's box and other mythology. The tenuous ties to the yule season. The lame attempts at catchphrases. The seriously overpromising title.

And even though my screener disc didn't include their finished versions, I'm willing to guess the special effects and background music are laggards, too.

BOTTOM LINE Canada should have stopped shipping things south after Shatner.