Sunday, December 18, 2011

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984)

Dick Randall, the hyperactive jokester in exploitation cinema. Few men has delivered so much insanity to our screens, tapes and nowadays discs like Big Dick. Don't believe me? Just watch these movies and you will come crawling back on your bare knees for forgiveness: Death Dimension, Crocodile, Supersonic Man, Challenge of the Tiger, For Y'ur Height Only, The Clones of Bruce Lee, Pieces, Horror Safari, Slaughter High and countless other classics from Europe and Asia. I have a feeling that Mr Randall just had a blast with his investors money. He know what sold and used the budget to entertain himself - and the actors - to a maximum. I think we all can agree that none of his movies are 100 % serious. It's exploitation in EVERY way possible.

A psychotic killer is murdering every person dressed in a Santa Claus-outfit in London. Cranky old inspector Edmund Purdom investigates while there's a murder every ten minute or more, including an unhealthy dose of tits and ass.

Yeah, there's some silly sidestory where Belinda Mayne and her boyfriend is getting in trouble. Something like that. And it's not really important either.

Don't Open Till Christmas was a very troubled production. Purdom started directing it, but after realizing this would probably kill every other chance he had to direct something he quit and two years later two other directors plus a new writer cobbled everything together to the mess we all learned to love over the years. Mind me, it's neither a boring or a bad-looking movie, but the script is all over the place the atmosphere is so f**king seedy and sleazy. There's lots of backyards, alleyways, prostitutes, public toilets, drunken santas, breasts and thick RED blood all over the place. The murders are primitive when it comes to special effects, but the nasty way they're handled makes them more powerful. There's an sense of pure sadism over these sequences.

It's easy to see that the story was put together in chaos. The style differs from each scene and sometimes the focus is anywhere near the target. Most of the drama, the typical social realistic scenes that made the UK so famous still looks good and works most of the times very good, but cut together with extremely colourful bloody murder scenes makes the movie even crazier. I have no idea, but it feels like Purdom directed the drama and some other talented sprayed the blood later on.

The DVD from Mondo Macabro looks - yes, I'm not hyping it - stunning. At least compared with earlier DVDs and tapes out there. It has a nice natural grain, but it's very sharp and clear and everything you wanted to see in a movie about someone killing santas you can see here without rubbing your eyes every fifth minute. Even the dark footage looks gorgeous, and one scene that really comes out as great-looking is the weird ghosthouse/museum/whatevah set-piece.

Mondo Macabro never failed to bore me with their releases and Don't Open Till Christmas is not exception. Buy it before you get your dick cut off in a seedy London toilet!


forestofthedead said...

I only own this in a cheap Millcreek Entertainment collection, but I did enjoy it.
Great review!

Anonymous said...

Ah Dick Randall movies =)

I will watch "For your height only" right now.