It's Christmas again. Should we see the "Advenutres of Tin Tin" or "Don't Open Until Christmas?" Well, you know my answer to that question.
Mondo Macarbo has finally given this obscure 80's slasher film a solid release with its better tranfer (this isn't pristine, but I think the film negative itself was probably on the crummy side to begin with) and uncut presentation. I love this DVD company because they'll find just about any obscure movie and give it the good treatment. "Lady Terminator" is probably one of my favorites they've put out. Great film.
But anyway, "Don't Open Until Christmas" is a very disjointed movie in regards to plot and character continuity. Sometimes it's funny because of this, sometimes it's head scratching. For example, a woman sees her father (who is dressed as Santa at the time) stabbed through the head with a long spear. A day or so later, the boyfriend of this grieving woman tries to get her to pose in a nude photo shoot. How sensitive, right? I think another issue is there are too many characters and the movie fails to really hone in on any of them. You've got random santa killings (the killer is targeting people dressed as santa as Christmas is closing in), a reporter, a boyfriend and girlfriend, and a set of detectives, including the incomporable Edmund Purdom, who isn't in this movie enough. He's the best actor of the film, easily. You should check out "Pieces" and "Horrible," both with Mr. Purdom. "Pieces" is on my top five favorite slasher films list ever. EVER.
So does it sound like I'm dogging on this holiday movie. Well, I'm not. Despite some stretches of being boring, I actually liked this film. On the DVD box it boasts 14 kills, but most of these are tame, being off-screen, though there are three or four inspired kills, so that makes me happy enough. The last kill, for some reason, at the very climax of the movie when the killers motives are explained, I really enjoyed. The movie ends on a strong note when you find out what's in the box that shouldn't be opened until Christmas.
Final verdict, I give the movie a "B" and the release gets a "B+." Now don't me wrong, this movie isn't up there with "My Bloody Valentine" or "The Burning." Keep in mind, I'm scraping the barrel of old 80's slasher movies. I'd say this is one of the better scraping of the barrel in the pack. It's not great, but it's not a complete waste of time. "Like" not "Love." But I'm proud to have it in my collection.