Don't Open Till Christmas Reviews
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.
There's just not much to say about this fairly basic slasher. It started off relatively promising, with a nice long shot from the killer's POV as he stalks a couple in a car. However, after like 50 dead Santas later I was getting tired of the movie. I wouldn't recommend it over Silent Night, Deadly Night as far as slasher Christmas movies, but if you want to look deeper into the well after that movie then Don't Open Till Christmas is worth checking out. If you hated Silent Night, Deadly Night because of the Christmas aspect and you still want to watch Don't Open Till Christmas then you're likely an idiot.
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.
You'll find little yuletide joy here: A psychotic murderer is stalking the streets of London, looking for Santas to prey on. Fortunately, every Englishman in a Santa suit is a pervert, a drunk, or both, so their usual haunts are easy to find. Understandably, the killing of Jolly Ol' St. Nick in his many forms probably isn't good PR for London, so Inspector Ian Harris (Edmund Purdom, who also directed -- some of the movie) is on the case, with unreasonable, unseen higher-ups demanding progress at every turn.
No movie has made Christmas more terrifying -- or made you more glad for a quiet holiday at home -- than "Don't Open Till Christmas," except perhaps for "Bad Santa," or Dan Aykroyd's brief appearance as everyone's favorite gift-giving benevolent burglar in "Trading Places."
#25: Don't Open Till Christmas (1984)
well, its time for Helliday Horror 2010 to come to an end. The last and final addition is an older slasher from 1984 called 'Don't Open Till Christmas'. I followed the title and did not open or watch this until X-mas. Surprisingly, it wasn't really worth the wait. It's about a serial killer who is killing innocent people who are dressed up as Santa Claus during Christmastime in London.
Overall: It was directed decent and had pretty dark sets, but the movie just really failed in almost every other area. All of the british actors are just way to silly. They very much over act their paper thin roles like they are participating in an academy award winning feature. It really is just silly. The entire film is basically a showcase of tits and stupid acting. There really isn't even any memorable kills. Basically all of the santa's get killed in really dim lit areas making it very hard to see how any of the kills occur. About the only salvagable part of the film is the frantic score. It really does fit well into an early 80s slasher movie like this. The film seems to tangent off several times with stupid dancers and strippers. Making this movie must have just been absolute production hell! The girl lip singing on stage if awful! It feels like some stupid old 'Dexy's Midnight Runners' video or something. What is with the old guy trying to score with the nineteen year old girl?? wtf!? If there are any reasons to be truly glad that Christmas is over, this movie should be the main reason. It really sucked.
Thanks to everyone who participated in '25 Days of Helliday Horror' Mike, Phats, Crystal, Chris, Michelle and Nick. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.