The 2012 film, Christmas Twister, is about an outbreak of tornadoes that hit Fort Worth two days before Christmas. We’re told that, normally, there aren’t any tornadoes in December but that’s been changing due to …. wait for it …. climate change! Now, with tornado after tornado hitting Granbury, Fort Worth, Lake Worth, Stephenville, Dublin, and a lot of towns in Texas, Casper Van Dein is on a mission to save his family and make sure that everyone knows that the threat of tornadoes is real!
Because, you know, if there’s anything that Texas is famous for, it’s for blowing off the threat of tornadoes….
There’s an actual scene in Christmas Twister in which Victoria Pratt, playing a TV newswoman who is married to Van Dien, tries to convince her station manager to allow her to interrupt regular programming to announce that there might be a tornado on the way. That station manager says that interrupting programming could cause a panic and, since there’s already been three tornadoes that day, people are probably tired of hearing about them. As a result, no one leaves the mall when the tornadoes hit.
Of course, anyone who lives in North Texas knows that there’s little that our local stations enjoy more than interrupting regular programming to talk about the weather. Seriously, our meteorologists live for the chance to get on TV, talk about the storm systems that they’re watching, and tell everyone that, “You don’t need to be out in this, folks.” Our local stations would happily interrupt the President himself if a wall cloud appeared anywhere near I-35.
Biden: “I was wearing an onion on my belt, as was the style at the time….”
Dallas anchorman Steve Eagar: “Folks, we’re interrupting the State of the Union address to keep you informed about a storm system that we’ve been watching….”
It doesn’t even have to be a tornado for our newspeople to interrupt regularly scheduled programming. It can just be hail. It could just a hint of snow. You know that King of the Hill episode where it barely snows and Hank announces, “Texas isn’t ready for this!” Well, that’s pretty close to reality….
And, to be honest, I imagine that’s the way it is in the rest of country as well. The only that changes is the type of weather even that everyone worries about. The idea of Texas newspeople not reporting on a tornado threat would be like a Fort Worth weatherman refusing to talk about a hurricane or maybe a New York meteorologist deciding that it would be best not to report on a blizzard. Imagine a California station manager saying, “People don’t want to hear about the earthquake.” It just wouldn’t happen.
The other thing that I noticed about Christmas Twister is that, for a film that was supposedly taking place in North Texas, there sure were a lot of mountains around. As far as DFW is concerned, we don’t have mountains. I guess if you really went out and searched, you might find a very small hill somewhere but I can guarantee you it would be a manmade hill. This region is called the flatlands for a reason. North Texas is flat. That’s actually one of our trademarks. The land seems to stretch on forever.
However, in Christmas Twister, this is what the area outside of Forth Worth looks like:
This is what Granbury looks like right before the tornado hits:
This is what Granbury looks immediately after the tornado hits:
Yes, the film is not entirely accurate. But, on the plus side, Casper Van Dien manfully drives across the city, saving his children from the tornado and encouraging folks to stay inside. Plus, the film features a perfect shot that shows that the filmmakers did understand at least one thing about Texas:
Yep, the flag of Texas and the flag of some other country. Not even a tornado could take it down!