Movie Review – Don’t Open Till Christmas
Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984)
Directed By: Edmond Purdom
Written By: Derek Ford, Al McGoohan
Well, it’s that time of year again. Shopping for last-minute gifts, putting up decorations….and watching trashy Christmas themed slasher movies. Let’s delve into the misfire that is: Don’t Open Till Christmas.
It seems that a slasher is targeting blokes who dress up as ol’ Father Christmas in London. Inspector Harris (Played by Director Edmond Purdom, who also starred in the slasher trash classic PIECES) and Sgt. Powell are deemed with the task of trying to figure out who is putting a downer on everyone’s holiday, and put a stop to the killings. The daughter of one of the victims and her boyfriend(Who’s apparently some kind of a flute playing street musician?)are also around for nonsensical subplots that stop dead in their reindeer tracks. Of course he’s a suspect, and she has some weird affection for the Inspector.
One by one, Father Christmases are mowed down all throughout London. Stabbings, castration, eye-gouging and even the old shot in the face trick, as our intrepid team of sleuths sit in their Scotland Yard office and look puzzled….then talk………then look puzzled again, and so on.
Apparently this was a troubled production from the get-go. Two Directors were replaced (Yes one of them was Edmund Purdom)and it’s obvious it was a very limited budget. The London locations do help, but the film is so haphazard, with the obvious gore scenes inserted to beef up the seedier aspects of the story. It’s quite amazing that everyone in London knows there’s a slasher killing Father Christmases, yet those same Father Christmases are almost always perpetually walking down dark alleys and hanging out after hours alone! Characters disappear for a while, then show up again. There’s even a silly pop music/dance number in the movie. By the time the big reveal happens, you’ll probably groan a little, but the last scene kinda makes up for it, only because the filmmakers remembered what the title of the film was.
So if you like your holiday flicks with a healthy dose of huh? This will fit the bill. Just make sure you have plenty of egg nog (the leaded kind….if you know what I mean). The folks at Mondo Macabro just released this on DVD. Father Christmas thinks this would be a great stocking stuffer!