Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984)
DVD9 | VIDEO_TS | NTSC 16:9 | Cover + DVD Scan | 01:26:22 | 7,63 Gb
Audio: English AC3 1.0 @ 192 Kbps | Subtitles: None
Genre: Horror, Mystery | Mondo Macabro

Director: Edmund Purdom
Writers: Alan Birkinshaw (additional scenes written by) (as Al McGoohan), Derek Ford
Stars: Edmund Purdom, Alan Lake, Belinda Mayne

It's Christmas time in London - the season of good will to all men. A time for celebration, a time for family, a time for presents. This year it's also time for a masked maniac to be let loose on the streets. His intended victims are chosen at random - but they have one thing in common: they are dressed in the flowing white beard and bright red robes of Santa Claus.

The killer selects different methods to fulfill his grisly task…


Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

Produced by the late, great Dick Randall and kinda-sorta directed by and starring Edmund Purdom, 1984’s Don’t Open Till Christmas, on the surface at least, seems like little more than a quick cash in on the holiday themed slashers that were so popular in the eighties. To write it off as such, however, would be doing the film, and yourself, a grave disservice indeed.

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

The story, such as it is, takes place in eighties era London where a man dressed in a Santa Suit attending a Christmas party gets skewered through the mouth while his daughter, Kate (Belinda Mayne), looks on in horror. When, the next day, another guy in a Santa suit is slaughtered while trying to make it with a blonde he’s picked up, Scotland Yard figures there’s a serial killer on the loose with a grudge against old Saint Nick.

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

Kate teams up with her boyfriend, Cliff (Gerry Sundquist), to try and figure out who could be behind all of this while the Yard’s finest, Chief Inspector Harris (director Edmund Purdom), is assigned to dig deeper to find the truth. In the middle of all of this is a newspaper man, Giles (Alan Lake), but before you know it more Santa’s are dead, all involved wind up suspects, and Caroline Munroe shows up as herself in a sparkly red dress to provide a song and dance number.

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

Randall, who co-produced with Stephen Minasian (meaning that this film is brought to you by the producers of Pieces – for some, that will be reason enough to sign on!), has a fun cameo early on in the film, popping up on the dance floor of the opening party sequence but it’s Purdom who was really responsible for this one. Agreeing to star after working on Pieces but only if he was allowed to direct, his inexperience behind the camera quickly found him replaced by Derek Ford, the writer – evidently, Ford wasn’t any better and the whole thing winds up a ridiculous mess of a movie that never finds any sort of consistency outside of the murder set pieces, some of which are remarkably gory.

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

Regardless, the film was an obvious cash in on Black Christmas and Silent Night, Deadly Night, both made a few years prior though where those films actually work very well as serious Christmas themed slasher films, Don’t Open Till Christmas does not. That’s not to say that the film lacks entertainment value – Randall and company were savvy enough by this point in the game to fill the movie with enough tits and blood to make sure the audience was at least satiated on those more primal levels. But anything even remotely resembling suspense or scares? There’s nothing to see here, move on…

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

The film does offer up some surprisingly sleazy thrills, however – a scene in which an aging pervert in a Santa hat heads into a peepshow booth to jerk off while a pretty blonde stripper talks to him from behind the glass is a highlight, and Munroe’s completely unnecessary but entirely welcome cameo is, as puzzling as it might be, a lot of fun. The kills are great, plenty bloody and always nasty (the make-up effects by Giuseppe Ferranti are impressive), while a scene that takes place on the set of a nudie photography session offers up more skin as well.

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

There’s really not much to the story, it’s simply a string of strange set pieces strung together by the flimsiest of plots, but when there’s this much zaniness crammed into the film, you won’t mind so much. Bonus points for including a scene of castration on the toilet and for the notably strange scene in which a drunken Santa Claus is chased through a creepy old wax museum. Neither adds much to the plot, but they’re both awesome regardless.

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

It might not always make sense or show any regard for logic, but don’t let that phase you – Don’t Open Till Christmas is minor masterpiece of inept filmmaking and it’s and because of that it’s an absolute blast. It’s never scary but it’s frequently sexy, often bloody, and always entertaining and Mondo Macabro’s DVD does it up right.

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) [Mondo Macabro]

Special Features:
- Brand New Anamorphic Transfer
- 52 Minute Making Of
- Documentary About Producer Dick Randall
- Trailers
- Extensive Production Notes
- Mondo Macabro Previews

All credits goes to jplazer81