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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DVD Review: DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS (1984)

   

DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS
Directed by  Edmund Purdom
Distributed by Mondo Macabro / TLA Releasing

Just in time for Christmas comes this little known slasher flick from Mondo Macabro and the great folks at TLA Releasing.  TLA is selling this film under their TLA Cult line.   I say this film is "little known" because I, for one, had never heard of it before.  Maybe some of you already knew about this one, but I sure didn't.  I am glad I finally got to know about this film, even if it is 27 years after it's initial release! For those of you like me that aren't familiar with this film, here is the basic plot synopsis from TLAcult.com:

It's Christmas time in London - the season of good will to all men. A time for celebration, a time for family, a time for presents. This year, it's also time for a masked maniac to be let loose on the streets. His intended victims are chosen at random but they all have one thing in common: they are dressed in the flowing white beard and bright red robes of Santa Claus.
The police are baffled as the horrific death toll rises. Fourteen dead Santas and only three killing days left until Christmas.

 This is a classic 80's slasher film that at first seems to be a little short on plot, focusing more on just the killings, but changes toward the end with a plot twist and the reveal of the killer.   All the elements of a great 80's slasher film are contained in DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS, including bad 80's hair and clothes, synthesized background sounds and music, gratuitous nudity, and some bad overacting.   All this adds up to a blast from the past when watching this film.   Most everyone will agree that the 80's was the best decade for slasher flicks, so getting to see a new one that I hadn't seen before was quite a treat!

Like all great slasher flicks, there is plenty of blood in this film.  The effects are really good including a stabbing scene so realistic I still wonder how they did it and a castration scene that will make me think twice when using a public restroom ever again!   

The killer is targeting people in Santa costumes and the flashback as to why that is will make you understand why those in Santa suits are getting singled out.   The only thing I didn't understand is why (when it is all over the news and paper that there is a killer on the loose targeting those dressed in Santa costumes) there are are so many people still dressing in Santa suits out in public!

DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS was definitely a fun find and one I will be adding to my yearly holiday viewing schedule from here on out.   

The DVD is packed with some cool extra features including:

* 52 minute "Making Of" feature
*  Documentary about producer Dick Randall
*  Trailers
*  Extensive production notes
*  Mondo Macabro previews


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD


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