4.2/10
1,383
40 user 84 critic

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984)

Somebody with very little Christmas spirit is killing anyone in a Santa suit one London holiday season, and Scotland Yard has to stop him before he makes his exploits an annual tradition.

Director:

Edmund Purdom

Writers:

Alan Birkinshaw (additional scenes written by) (as Al McGoohan), Derek Ford
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edmund Purdom ... Inspector Ian Harris
Alan Lake Alan Lake ... Giles Harrison
Belinda Mayne Belinda Mayne ... Kate Briosky
Mark Jones Mark Jones ... Detective Sergeant Powell
Gerry Sundquist ... Cliff Boyd
Kelly Baker Kelly Baker ... 'Experience' Girl
Kevin Lloyd Kevin Lloyd ... Gerry
Wendy Danvers Wendy Danvers ... Housekeeper
Nicholas Donnelly Nicholas Donnelly ... Doctor Bridle (scenes deleted)
Pat Astley ... Sharon
Laurence Harrington Laurence Harrington ... Kate's Father (as Lawrence Harrington)
Ken Halliwell Ken Halliwell ... Restaurant Commissionaire
Ray Marioni Ray Marioni ... Maitre d'hotel
Wilfred Corlett Wilfred Corlett ... 'Experience' Santa Claus
Ricky Kennedy Ricky Kennedy ... Theatre Santa Claus
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Storyline

A murderer is running loose through the streets of London, hunting down men dressed as Santa and killing them all in different, and extremely violent, fashions. Inspector Harris has decided to take on the unenviable task of tracking down the psychopath, but he's going to have his work cut out for him. Only the suspicious reporter, Giles, seems to offer the Inspector any promising leads. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...t'was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring...they were all dead! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fröhliche Weihnacht See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pat Astley's last film. See more »

Goofs

When Kate attempts to answer the telephone, she's strangled by the killer and grasps onto the phone while it's still on the hook; yet in the next scene Powell is able to answer Kate, even though the phone is still hung up. See more »

Alternate Versions

Version released on UK DVD in 2003 restores all previous 2 minutes and 13 seconds of cuts made to the 1985 video release. However the film has been slightly re-edited, the scene in which the department store Santa (Max Roman) is castrated in the toilet has been moved to earlier on in the film replacing a murder scene in which a Santa impersonator is shot with a gun. The latter scene is missing from the disc. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Slumber Party Massacre III (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm the Warrior of Love
(uncredited)
Sung by Caroline Munro
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
NOT a happy Christmas...
1 June 2013 | by natashabowiepinkySee all my reviews

You'd think with a spate of Santa killings in London, the inhabitants would do their utmost to avoid dressing up like jolly old Saint Nick. But no, even after the story is all over the papers, they still parade about in red and white, without a care in the world. Like lemmings, they are.

I'd never heard of this film, but an 80's slasher set in somewhere that wasn't Middle America demanded to be seen, despite the unseasonal time of year. And I think I can grasp as to the reason behind its obscurity... it ain't very good. The scenes that are filmed seem to be stuck together with Pritt-Stick and paste, which is a way of saying it appears they're making up the plot as they go along. A lot of this material could be jumbled up in any random order... and still make as much sense as it does now (which isn't much). It comes as no great surprise when that the opening credits inform us that 'additional shots were written and directed' by some guy who WASN'T Edmund Purdom. A bit of trouble during production, perchance? Perhaps poor old Edmund got the SACK!! HO HO HO! *Ahem* Sorry...

If you can stay awake long enough though, some of the murders are a really hoot, including one where Father Christmas gets emasculated while relieving himself, and another where Kris Kringle has a javelin lodged in his windpipe from fully 100 yards. (He might be a psycho, but that killer needs to try out for the Olympics, I tell you what.) It's just the parts in-between are little more than the same sort of padding that gives Santa his ginormous belly. There's no-one to relate to, and the constant change of perspective is a pain. It's definitely not a film to frighten your friends at a sleepover, more like one where you skip to the death scenes, and laugh your socks off at the dated effects. Get ready with that fast-forward button... 4/10


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