Don't Open Till Christmas (1984)





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Movie Info

In this run-of-the-mill horror film, it is the Christmas season, and derelicts who need money for food and/or booze get jobs playing Saint Nick in the city's department stores. An insane killer has taken a strong dislike to these Santas and either violently does them in or disfigures them in very ugly ways. A Scotland Yard detective (Edmund Purdom, also the director) has been assigned to capture the serial killer, but when he is unable to get results fast enough, he is replaced by Sgt. Powell (Mark Jones). The list of suspects includes the Scotland Yard detective, a reporter who happens to be on the scene just after one of the crimes is committed, and another fellow who was also around for several of the attacks and is indirectly related to one of the victims. The puzzle will hopefully be solved while some Santas (Father Christmas in England) are still around. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
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Critic Reviews for Don't Open Till Christmas

All Critics (1)

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October 10, 2005

Audience Reviews for Don't Open Till Christmas


A fun and twisted holiday-slasher from Britain that differs greatly from the America/Canadian Christmas slashers, Don't Open Till Christmas is funny, brutal, and bizarre. The movie is a real treat for fans of 80s slasher film fans who have seen everything else.

Al Miller
Al Miller

Pretty silly film, though it honestly seemed to make up for the goofy story with a high body count and some truly over the top kills including Santas on fire or even slashed to death in a public toilet! Worth a look at least once for the ridiculousness of it all, though I have to admit that I've moved it into my normal Christmas rotation. Rental.

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant

1984 was a tremendous year for Christmas time slashers as we were graced with both "Silent Night, Deadly Night" and to a lesser extent "Don't Open Till Christmas." "Silent Night" shocked the nation with it's portrayal of killer dressed as Santa brutally butchering people. "Don't Open" didn't shock that nation as a killer is brutally butchering people that are dressed as Santa. What the hell? This is from the makers of "Pieces", perhaps the most brutal slasher of all time yet this yule tide slasher didn't even get noticed? Apparently a Santa killer is a NO NO but a killer killing Santas is acceptable. That's just as about two faced as Wal-Mart refusing to carry unedited versions of CDs yet carrying the 3 disc unrated version of "Caligula". In other words it makes no fucking sense! Another reason that this British slasher didn't get shake the foundations like it's brother in crime as it was released under the radar due to many, many production quandaries. The first major problem is that our director and main star Edmund Purdom left the film half way through due to disagreements with the producers. The rest of the film was finished by the editor and producer. That's three different directors! Due to Purdom being the main star the rest of the film had to be re-written to explain his absence. This of course makes the film an incomprehensible mess of bloody shit. The plot is simple enough with a killer stalking people dressed as Santa but all the re-writes even makes this simple plot almost impossible to follow. Certain characters that are written in to be major contributors to the plot (like the photographer) just simply disappear with no explanation. Other characters disappear with lame explanations like our main detective (the director that walked off) just simply being suspended off screen no less. Many important scenes that should have been filmed are also left up to our secondary characters to tell the audience what the fuck is going on by boring dialogue. Other than the mess of a plot, slasher fans that like their films sleazy will get a major Christmas present with this one. This is every bit as sleazy as "Silent Night, Deadly Night" perhaps even more so. Lots and lots of female flesh is present. All the Santa Clause characters are also sleazy drunks with most stumbling around and/or going to porno stores. Trust me all these slobs are human ashtrays and deserve to get offed. They are also incredibly fucking stupid because if there is a killer butcher people dressed as Santas wouldn't you think they would, I don't know, quit their job? FUCK! The production troubles not only fucked up the plot but also makes the editing look like it was hacked by a psychotic Santa. All the extreme gore sequences look like they were added in as an afterthought in order to compete with other gory slashers at the time. The score also seems like it was recorded before the film was finished as it really doesn't' fit with certain sequences, like dialogue scenes with music more suited for a stalking sequence. With schlock producer Dick Randall, the man responsible for the unapologetic and guiltily pleasure slasher "Pieces", this should have been just as much a guilty pleasure as its rival "Silent Night, Deadly Night" but thanks to all the production problems we get a pieced together film that has terrible plot flow. Saying this film is a mess is an understatement but it's worth a look for slasher fans that prefer to their films with sleaze and bloody violence.

Eric Reifschneider
Eric Reifschneider

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