Don't Open Till Christmas

1984, Movie, NR, 86 mins

Review

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This is yet another in the series of horror movies seeking to exploit Christmas and Santa Claus for scares (none of which have been as effective as Bob Clark's sweet, nostalgic A CHRISTMAS STORY, in which children are treated to a truly nightmarish visit to an impatient department store Santa). The plot, such as it is, concerns a madman who is murdering all of the men who play Santa Claus during the holiday season; Purdom is the Scotland Yard man assigned to track down this crazy killer and bring him to justice. The Santas are depicted as drunks and tramps who have accepted the temporary jobs and are now paying for them with their lives and/or horrible disfigurement. (In one brutal scene one of the Santas is castrated in a public restroom.) There are several suspects, including a newsman (Lake) who always seems to be present at the scene of the crime just after it happens. This was the directorial debut of actor Purdom, and he demonstrates little talent for his new position. Lake, who was married to Diana Dors for many years, committed suicide shortly after she died of cancer. Genre favorite Munro makes a brief appearance to sing and dance in a rock-'n'-roll production number that seems to have been inserted only to relieve the tedium. leave a comment

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