Monday, December 1, 2008


Holiday Movie Category: Kill or Be Killed, Kris Kringle


A missing apostrophe, a gorehound maid, the worst boyfriend in the world, a Brit Jane Fonda, a whole bunch of knocked-off St. Nicks, the horror of unshaved lady pits, Funhouse of the Unfortunate, the glorious gift of boobies, Father Pissmas, and an unearthed yuletide video nasty.

More details here.


In London, a dime store Santa gets it on with an elfish floozy in a dark alley while a wheezy voyeur looks on. Our asthmatic peeper then gets all stabby and offs the horny couple with a few pokes of his own. Roll credits with burning Santa doll. We then cut to a fancy dress party where a queer old bird is gussing up as good ol’ Saint Nick. After handing out presents to the drunken revelers, he gets a sharp stick through the neck while his daughter Kate (Belinda Mayne) witnesses in horror. Scotland Yard gets involved when a few more Santas are killed in gruesome ways by a strangely garbed killer. Inspector Harris (Edmond Purdom) and Sgt. Powell (Mark Jones) are assigned to the case in an already hectic holiday season of crime and have no answers or suspects. Meanwhile, a creep named Giles (Alan Lake) taunts the detectives and claims to know the identity of the Claus hater. The traumatized Kate and her useless boyfriend Cliff (Gerry Sundquist) have a few run-ins with the killer themselves, including one occasion where a nude model in a Santa suit befriends Cliff and then has a half-naked encounter with the Santa-cidal maniac. A few more Santa murders take place, the police are confounded, Kate finds a link between Giles, the Inspector, and the murders with disastrous results and a secondary character introduced in the third act suddenly becomes the last girl who must stop the Grinchy ways of this Christmas Killer from ruining the most wonderful day of the year.


Most Christmas-themed horror movies I’ve seen such as Silent Night, Bloody Night and Christmas Evil present Santa Claus as the evil slasher, but in Don't Open Till Christmas, Santas all over fall victim to a mad slayer with vague or unexplained motivations to kill. And for the most part, this novel approach works in this unpleasant, mean-spirited little horror film. But there's so much visual vileness, stilted acting and dumb dialog you can stand, even at am 86-minute running time. Like the films mentioned above, Don't Open Till Christmas indulges in stomach-turning ugliness in setting and character – a gruff detective, a dull female lead, her despicable boyfriend, a dim porno store girl employee, and the unoriginal killer. Speaking of which, the gory murder scenes involving the Man with the Bag, hilarious as they are, are just a little too intense than required. The storytelling is uneven and appears rushed, resulting in a strange turn of events leading to the third act and bizarre, thrown-together ending. Apparently, during production the star and the director were replaced once or twice, and characters and storylines were cut or retooled, so I guess that explains that. In addition, the identity of the killer is too obvious and there's a serious lack of motivation for the horrible crimes. But you know what? I kinda had a good time watching this thing. There is something about the movie which urges me to recommend it, especially if you are one of these loathsome X-mas haters. It's a gross little film, filled with visions of depravity but with a revolting appeal, perfect for a Christmas curmudgeon's holiday movie night.

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