Don't Open 'til Christmas
Dick Randall, Stephen Minasian for Spectacular Films
directed by Edmund Purdom, Al McGoohan
starring Edmund Purdom, Alan Lake, Belinda Mayne, Mark Jones, Gerry Sundquist, Kelly Baker, Kevin Lloyd, Wendy Danvers, Pat Astley, Laurence Harrington, Ken Hallywell, Ray Marioni, Wilfred Corlett, Ricky Kennedy, Sid Wragg, Max Roman, George Pierce, Ashley Dransfield, Derek Ford, Adrian Black, John Aston, Maria Eldridge, Des Dolan, Derek Hunt, Paula Meadows, Caroline Munro
screenplay by Derek Ford, additional material by Al McGoohan, music by Des Dolan, special effects by Peter Litton
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The days before Christmas: Someone is killing the Santa Claus's of
London, and if you believe inspector Harris (Edmund Purdom), the killer is
Cliff Boyd (Gerry Sundquist), basically because he was seen at two of the
murders, the one of his rich fiancée Kate's (Belinda Mayne) father
(Laurence Harrington), and the murder of a nude model (Pat Astley).
Harris's actions however soon enough become more and more bizarre, and the
weirder the man gets, the more Kate starts to distrust him, so much so
that she takes investigations into her own hands - and finds out that
Harris has a brother who was recently released from an insane asylum, a
brother who has been classified mentally unstable ever since he has seen a
man in a Santa Claus costume shag his mother as a child - and killed him
with his knife he gor for Christmas. Eventually, Harris's brother turns
out to be Giles (Alan Lake), an annoying journalist who has the ability to
requently show up at the most inappropriate moments - but once Kate has
found out as much, Giles shows up and slashes her throat. And for
Christmas, he has sent his brother a letterbomb ...
Fan fave Caroline
Munro can be seen performing a disco tune in a very tight outfit.
film took two years, two directors and two screenwriters to finish - and
it painfully shows. The whole build-up of Don't Open 'til Christmas
is painfully uneven, which especially shows in the ending, when several
narrative threads (including one about a stripper [Kelly Baker] held in
the killer's torture chamber, which has next to nothing to do with the
rest of the film) are tied up in a half-hearted way without giving the
audience any kind of real satisfaction, and the solution of the whodunnit
aspects of the story is as much as a disappointment as it lacks actual
narrative coherence - and despite all this, it doesn't even come as much
of a surprise, the culprit was just too suspicious from the beginning
That all said, one is of course not inclined to expect
brilliance from a slasher movie from the mid-1980's, but this one hardly
even delivers good entertainment.