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Don't Open Till Christmas - Mondo Macabro Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
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Written by Richard Taylor   
Thursday, 17 December 2015
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BUY DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS

Directed by: Edmund Purdom
Written by:
Derek Ford, Alan Birkinshaw
Produced by:
Stephen Minasian, Dick Randall
Cinematography by:
Alan Pudney
Editing by:
Ray Selfe
Music:
Des Dolan
Cast:
Edmund Purdom, Alan Lake, Belinda Mayne, Mark Jones, Gerry Sundquist, Kelly Baker
Year:
1984
Country:
UK
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1 h 26 min

Studio: Spectacular Trading International
Distributor: Vestron Video,
Mondo Macabro
 

As an avid horror fan I love watching and discovering new movies which fit the season. This year I've re-discovered, this bit of UK Christmas horror slasher whodunit cheese. The lead performer played by B-movie alumni Brit, Edmund Purdom (credited with roles in Juan Piquer Simons cult classic Pieces and Joe D'amato’s Absurd a.k.a. Monster Hunter, a.k.a. Anthropophagus 2) who was also once director of Don't Open Till Christmas. It was said that Purdom would only act in the picture if he could also direct it. Purdom eventually quit as director and another director was hired by the name of Derek Ford, who was quickly fired prompting the hiring of Ray Selfe to finish the movie with Alan Birkinshaw (who used the pseudonym 'Al McGoohan'. It took about 2 years to complete the film and in particular parts, with the sudden editing, cuts and bizarre dragged out scenes (the house of horrors sequence), it shows. Don't Open Till Christmas manages to come off as a cheesy exploitative slasher, but the British actors bring it an air of class, which transcends it above that fine line of mediocrity -- but not by much! 

Don't Open Till Christmas spins the tale of a killer who instead of donning the Santa Costume (like in the infamous Christmas holiday slashers such as Silent Night, Deadly Night, Tales from the Crypt or Christmas Evil), this time around the Santa Clauses are the victims. A crazed psycho has a hard-on for the Santa suit and is killing every two-bit Kris Kringle wannabe, in the streets that he lays his deranged eyes on. Luckily good old lad, Chief Inspector Harris (Purdom) and his loyal chap, inspector Powell (Mark Jones) are on the case, but can't seem to figure out shit! The body count rises as Santas are picked off left and right by stabbings, broken bottle face-lifts, castrations, shootings and the like. Even the Santa chestnut street vendors aren't safe. What has the world come to!?

We get a bunch of sloppy red herrings and an attempt at a twist ending but the actual ending is pretty cool and bleak. I did like the fact that the body count was very high with lots of killings to keep the film moving along. There is a nice dose of sleaze in this, sprinkled with some nudity and a bunch of red paint attempting to be passed off as blood. Caroline Munro (Maniac) also makes a cameo.

We get a boring sub plot as one of the Santa's dispatched was the father of a young girl who was performing on stage as the jolly fat man at a Christmas party. This useless and unnecessary side plot was obviously made to drag out the film longer, as there weren't many characters to carry it, because Purdom's character is drier than sawdust and there are only so many shots of the spinning New Scotland Yard sign I can handle. Kate Briosky (Belinda Mayne) whose father was killed by the Santa offing psychopath and her boyfriend Cliff (Gerry Sundquist), who is a suspect in the case provide filler and fodder. Then we get the news reporter Giles (Alan Lake) who seems to be meddling in the police's work, but also appears to know more about the case than they do.

Not without its charms, Don't Open Till Christmas boasts enough killings, blood and sleaze to make it worth a watch, especially if you’re a horror fan and tired of spinning Black Christmas or Silent Night, Deadly Night this time of year and you’re looking for something different.

 

 

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 RATING:
 MOVIE: 1 
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Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 December 2015 )
 
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