365horror

Don’t Open ‘Til Christmas

by on Dec.24, 2009, under Daily Review

They don’t make ‘em like this anymore, and it’s a damn shame. Shot in London with a host of TV actors from Bergerac, The Sweeny, Juliet Bravo and Dick Turpin, the calibre is pure quality. A cheap British flick from the 80’s, looks great, with lots of experimental fast moving camerawork dontand fast editing. A fine script and a great plot, although it does take the first ten minutes to get over the initial Monty Python type sketch, Police officers talking seriously about ‘another Santa’s been murdered’.

So that’s the plot. A bloke with very little Christmas spirit decides to slay as many Santa impersonators as is possible on the streets on London. Simple genius and engrossing. I can’t actually believe how enjoyable this film is. It’s fun, pacy and well made with some really nice touches. The flashback to Giles (Alan Lake) 70’s Christmas is incredible, powerful and beautiful and the hightlight of the film, especially when he starts making jabbing movements with his Swiss army knife.  The acting is great too, notable performances from Belinda Mayne, Alan Lake (how does a great Dave Hess impersonation), and Edmund Purdom, (who also Directs) with Pat Astley putting on a great show, Gerry Sundquist has real presence, especially with that hair cut and Mark Jones offering a solid, stunning performance and an electric death scene. A guest appearance from Caroline Munroe is always a good thing too. Mayne is no stranger to 80’s horror, featuring in Alien Terror, Nightkill and Dead End. It’s such a shame that many of the rest of these actors didn’t amount to much, which was probably the reason for Sundquist’s demise under a London tube some years later.

If you like a bit of Minder and Sweeney. If you love a bit of cockney dialogue and some English titillation, you can’t go far wrong. If you only watch one horror film this Christmas, make this one be it.

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