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A River Runs Through Christmas (08/07/2007)

released: Aug 07, 2007

description: In the middle of the resort town of Christmas, Florida, a small river runs, giving way for a small trade in river boat tours as run by Charlie McPhee. The rest of the town bustles about its regular business, as teenagers Terry and Carrie harass old Cheryl Carter as she rides her bicycle, three vacationers drive into town, and Charlie McPhee Jr. toddles into the candy store. Tragedy strikes, however, when Charlie Jr. suddenly falls dead, seemingly having choked on candy. The entire town rushes to the candy store to see what is going on, and Cheryl, editor of the town newspaper, vows to solve the crime.

Meanwhile, the three vacationers, Joel, Joel, and Gabe, find themselves with several flat tires. Resigned to sticking around town, they wander upon Charlie Jr.'s funeral. There, Charlie Sr. is accusing Candyman Jackman of intentionally murdering his son. Candyman Jackman will not deny anything, only grinning and saying ominously that there will be more. Enraged, Charlie attacks the candyman, and the two struggle across the graveyard, eventually falling into the open grave. Their spat is only broken up when the other funeral goers notice that one of the out-of-towners has been shot through the chest with a candy cane. The people of Christmas rush to the scene, where Joel has fallen dead, his body riddled with candy canes. There can be no denying that Charlie Jr.'s candy-related death is actually a murder in the face of this evidence -- Sheriff Steve cuffs Candyman Jackman and takes him to the station.

Once locked in a cell, Candyman Jackman continues to be obtuse, stating to the sheriff that he knows who is behind the murders. Cheryl arrives, having identified a serial number from Alabama on one of the candy canes. In the light of this evidence, Candyman Jackman is ready to confess what he knows. He tells Cheryl and Sheriff Jackman that they need to find out who would be interested in the area of Christmas, specifically the river. Before he can get more specific, rock candy bubbles through his skin and consumes him.

Cheryl goes back to her office, where, with the help of her assistant Cal, she does some forensic research. Meanwhile, Terry and Carrie speculate on the identity of the murder at the malt shop, while Charlie does the same at the bar, and Joel and Gabe ponder the case in their car. Terry connects the pieces in the case, and is she is disclosing to Carrie the clear murder, the two are drowned as a malted fills the entire store. Meanwhile, in her office, Cheryl and Cal have deduced a connection to the out-of-towners. They zoom into a photograph of the three to reveal an Alabama license plate on their van. As soon as Cal notices this, he is attacked by gummi worms. He screams for Cheryl to run as he is overcome, and she does, racing out of the newspaper building and into the streets, witnessing dozens of horrible candy-related deaths as she does so.

Cheryl bursts into the bar, where everything is normal. As she announces the identity of the madmen who have terrorized Christmas, however, she notices Joel and Gabe standing in the bar. They laugh menacingly, and immediately take out the sheriff with bullets of Rainblo gum. Charlie and Cheryl run for the river, but are chased by Joel and Gabe, who are given speed thanks to chocolate syrup.

The pursuit follows down the river. Cheryl manages to shoot Gabe, but in the process loses her arm to a poisonous licorice whip. As Charlie's boat nears the falls, they see their only option is to jump ship and allow Joel, who is being towed by another licorice whip, to go over. They do so at the last minute, swimming to opposite sides of the river and the boat and Joel plummet over the falls. Cheryl and Charlie realize that though they are the only survivors, they have saved the town of Christmas.

cast & crew:

Directed by . . . Jason Chin
 
Anonymous Patron #1 . . . Amy Verdon
Anonymous Patron #2 . . . Mel Evans
Cal . . . Sean Kelley
Candyman Jackman . . . Michael Johnson
Carrie . . . Amy Verdon
Charlie Jr . . . Sean Kelley
Charlie McPhee . . . Sean Kelley
Cheryl Carter . . . Kristen Studard
Gabe . . . Jorin Garguilo
Joel . . . Colleen Breen
Joel . . . Michael Johnson
River Boat Customer . . . Rob White
Sheriff Steve . . . Rob White
Terry . . . Mel Evans

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