Don’t Open Til Christmas

Are you ready for some Christmas turkey?

This film by the producers of Pieces did not charm us in the same "so-bad-it's-good" kind of way that their previous outing did. What we have here is a mess of a movie, with such bad acting, editing, writing, and a nonsensical plot that we can hardly recommend watching it. So instead, just listen to us rip it open like a package under the tree.

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Ep 279 - dont-open-xmas

Todd: hello and welcome to another episode of two guys in a chainsaw.

And I'm Craig. Well, we're getting into my second favorite time of year here, Craig Christmas season. I don't know. It's a close second. It's a very close 

Craig: second 

Todd: with Christmas season comes, uh, our nerdy pastime of finding Christmas horror movies to do this time. This being our first week, this month, I found a very Christmasy movie that we haven't done yet, even though.

It's from 1984, it's a slasher film called don't open till Christmas from the producers of pieces. That alone sold me on it. I know don't get me wrong. I wasn't expecting this to be a good movie and it is an absolute mess, but, um, I have really, really fond memories of our time. Discussing pieces. Pieces was kind of a fun movie.

I remember it being kind of dumb, really dumb, poorly acted, but poorly acted in a really fun way. And I had some beautiful girls in it, some incredibly great kills. There was a Kung Fu ninja guy in, at one point it was kind of nuts. So I was looking for the same level of fun when we opened up this movie.

And I'm sorry to say, I'm not sure I had as much fun this time around. 

Craig: No, this is a steaming turd of a movie. It's like it is or a ball. It seem worse. I don't know if you were going to say we've seen worse. The, that might be a true, but there's this constant. Yeah. Real, real bad. What, what, what makes it even worse though?

Is that, uh, I was celebrating Thanksgiving. With my family this weekend. And so I didn't have time to, like, I started watching it and then I had to go do family stuff. So I had to get up like, especially early to finish this this morning, 

Todd: no way. So, so sorry. I dragged 

Craig: myself out of bed at like seven 30 this morning to finish this.

Horrible movie. 

Todd: I'm surprised you didn't fall back asleep. 

Craig: I wanted to, and I will immediately after we're done talking about it, which I imagine will be in 10 minutes because I can't imagine what we're going to say. It's 

Todd: horrible. I took three pages of notes. And I'm so glad I did, because I'm not sure that this plot could be recounted without notes because it made no sense.

Craig: It made no sense, like to even call it a plot is a misnomer. Like it really is just now to be fair. Lots of Christmas. Cause 

Todd: there's yes. 

Craig: It's a slasher movie about a slasher who kills people in Santa's suits for an entirely nebulous reason that is only revealed at the end. And it's so stupid. There are, I don't know, like, I guess there are main characters, I guess, but like I go to say, it's 

Todd: so bad.

At times the movie felt like two or three movies kind of stuck together. There were entire tonal shifts where you're like, what, what is the setting? What is going on here? And I think that's probably because, well, a, because it's just a lousy movie poorly written and everything like that, but. I guess the film actually took according to IMDBs trivia page about two years to complete because the original director, admin Purdum, who stars in this movie by the way, quit.

And another guy named Derek Ford took up. But he was fired after a couple of days, then the distributors hired someone else to complete it. And another guy to rewrite parts of the script. And then a lot of the footage ended up being refilled. And then apparently Edwin Purdum came in at the very end somehow to finish it up, I guess, two years later.

And he only agreed to star in the. On the stipulation that he also directed and God, uh, did he ever direct anything after this? I'm not 

Craig: sure. No, this is it. This is the only thing ever directed. Thank God. Like, honestly, it just felt like, I don't know. I think I watched the trailer and it's like the trailer referenced Friday the 13th.

So I feel like they were just kind of trying to go, like, they're like, okay, Christmas. Um, Santa. Okay. So let's shoot a whole bunch of scenes of guys dressed up as Santa is getting killed and all of the Santas, most of them anyway, have to be like street hobo, drunken, bums, 

Todd: drunken. SANAS yes. Every one of them is drunk and stumbling around confused, and we'll 

Craig: just, we'll just slaughter all of them.

Let's let's just shoot all that. And then. Maybe we'll kind of try to like piece of story around it. Maybe if we get around to it and 

Todd: it's stupid, it's too reminiscent of the worst movie we've ever seen in my book. Don't go into the woods where. We know, they just went out and shot a bunch of killing scenes that were random with random people.

Uh, and then kind of formed a movie around that. Whereas at least in this case, all of the people murdered her in Santa costumes. Probably the same Santa cost might even be the same guy, drunkenly stumbling around every single time 

Craig: possible. It's possible. Any different? Uh, like I had never heard of this movie.

I mean, obviously the title don't open till Christmas. Like, you know, it's not like that's an unfamiliar phrase, so I had no expectations going in, but it even I could tell from the trailer, like it was very, the video quality was bad. It was really dark and I don't know, watching the movie now. Okay. So the, uh, the cut that you sent me was from YouTube and it ran for an hour and 22 minutes on IMDV.

It says it's an hour and 26 minutes long. So maybe this is maybe we lost something and the editing did seem really bad. So maybe this is. Some kind of fan cut or something. I don't know, but like the editing, the editing was just awful. Like, it just would cut from like a scene would be happening and it would be like the height of a scene and there would be like crazy music and then it would just cut to like an exposition scene and like the music would just cut.

Everything would just, it was just a sharp cut and. Oh, I mean, it just felt cut and pasted together and the characters didn't even make any sense. And pretty much everybody ended up being entirely inconsequential. And there, the ties between the characters were super tenuous and the characters had no character like who are these people?

Todd: The big reveal at the end was. Ridiculous. And I got to the bottom. So I noticed that, yeah, obviously the, the editing was bad, but I also had the suspicion that there were parts where the editing was so bad that we were actually watching a version that had been censored because in particular scenes, I thought the deaths, most of the death scenes and in what were nude scenes, the editing was supremely jumpy.

So I got to the bottom of this and I actually. I think the full version on another site. And it turns out that the version we watched on YouTube for the death scenes and the nude scenes were cut. So. That explains the utter jump cuts that you see. Like, for example, when they go over to the photographer's place and he's photographing that girl, there's at least three of those four minutes are cut from that scene alone.

And it's just her being nude while he's talking. Just total, total exploitation stuff. Yeah. But all the other poor editing is just the way it is. It matched everything else. Just the same. The editing was better than maybe you and I originally thought, but not much better. It certainly didn't help make the story any more coherent.

That's what. By seeing the uncensored version. Well, 

Craig: yeah, I mean, we'll, I'm sure we'll talk about the plot, so we'll get to that scene. But like, even that scene, everything is so random. Like all of a sudden, all of a sudden we're just like on like a soft core porn set for no reason. Uh it's so like it opens up.

Okay. So like there's like a heavy breather POV. Of somebody like stocking some drunk in a Santa suit. And this drunken, a Santa suit meets up with this woman and they get in the backseat of a car and start making out. And this POV is like circling the car. And at some point, whoever it is taps on the window and the guy's like go away.

And the woman's like, oh, don't worry about it. And so they like, like, you're just going to bang in the car and just let that guy just stand out there and watch. I mean, whatever, you know, I guess if you get off on that, that's cool. Whatever, but then eventually. The, the killer opens the door and the guy gets out like, Hey, what are you doing?

And Santa are not Santa the killer. Literally like pokes him, which 

Todd: this is his, it 

Craig: could have been a pencil. Like you just like, like.

And a little tiny spot of red shows up on the guy's white shirt and he falls over dead. 

Todd: Did you notice that in almost every circumstance where he stabbed someone with a knife, it goes into the same place and it looks exactly the same. It's like they had like a retractable knife or half retracting knife that pokes like a little blood bag under the.

Which immediately stains it. Yeah. Oh yeah. 

Craig: Like one of those, like fakes, switchblades that, you know, they used to make as toys. When we were a kid, we had 

Todd: his kids. 

Craig: Oh my God. And so, and he stabs her too, and she's dead. I maybe the best part of the movie was the credit scenes where there was like this really creepy plastic Sante that just burns through the credits.

I liked that, 

Todd: which was a total rip off of Halloween, total Halloween rip off. Yeah. Then we go to a Halloween party. I that's what I thought it was a Halloween party in a disco and everybody's dressed in goofy costumes and there's a stage and a Santa's backstage who is really putting a lot of effort into his Santa suit.

He's like at a make-up table and they're like, oh, you're going to. And he's like, goes up to this girl and he's like, how do I look? Does it look right? It's like, oh, you're a little too hot, heavy on the Rouge. And he takes off his, a hat and his beard and he goes, oh, fix it, please. I don't want to go out there looking like a gay queen.

And then another dude comes in and sits down next to him. Hey, you look like a gay queen.

It's not the first time that this comes up. It's really kind of silly. Actually. I'll tell you, the movie tries really hard to be funny in parts. Like there are actual jokes that have been written and scenes that have been written to be funny, but the acting is so poor. The delivery is so bad that it doesn't even approach.

No, it just completely falls flat. So this Santa goes out and there's a guy walking around with a spear he's in a grotesque like shrunken head mask or something. And they make it very clear to us that this man is sinister because the party music's going on and he passes in front of the camera. The party music cuts out.

And this Dan that Dan and Dan, that music comes. And then as soon as he's past the camera, the party music comes back on. Again, the music editing in here was super abrupt all the time. We would just cut in and out of music or cut from one music to another, with no transition sometimes in the. Seen in the middle of action, if just felt so cobbled together.

So I don't know if this is a thing in Britain. I know I've been, um, I've been in England during the holiday season, cause my sister lives over there and they have this tradition called pantomime. It's like a silly play that's meant for kids, but also for adults to enjoy. And it usually. Uh, a wacky range of characters that, uh, in, you know, including fairy tale characters and a king and a queen and some goofy, silly kind of kids plot, and you're supposed to sing along and all this stuff.

And then Santa, at some point, it also makes an appearance, whether he's a main character in it or it's about him or whether he just comes out at the end and hands out toys and things to kids. Now, this movie was clearly takes place in London and it's pretty much all British actors, I think. And this Santa comes out and give them.

Uh, performance for this adult crowd handing presence to them. I don't even 

Craig: know. 

Todd: It's so weird. It happens a second time. Uh, he's 

Craig: only out there for like a minute, and then he gets a spear through the head and like the spear comes out of his mouth and it looks. All right. Like, it was super abrupt. Like we just met these characters, but it just happens so fast, but at least the effect, this one effect looked okay.

And I thought, well, you know, maybe. We're just going to get a movie where they're just going to be some like interesting kills with fun, practical effects and I'm down for that always. But no, this is the only even somewhat interesting one and we're introduced. Okay. So this Santa's apparently. Is the father of a woman named Kate.

And she's the one that was helping him with his makeup. And she has a boyfriend named cliff. I think that they're kind of supposed to be central characters, but every character is clearly only written so that there can be some sort. Glue to the story like, and it's so tenuous, like it, like even these characters who were supposed to kind of know and follow.

And we don't know anything about them. They're not interesting. They're really not important to the plot at all. It's just the only glue of a story that we have. And it's so dumb. Like I don't even know who they are. Like cliff is like a. Busker. Yeah. 

Todd: That's how they make their money. Um, he's got a really nice place for just being a flute.

Busker. I'll tell you that. Well, right. Lincoln nuts. That's all her job is to hold the hat. Well, 

Craig: he just stands there and plays the flu, like 

Todd: so weird. Right? I feel like it's just like, maybe he could actually, this actor could play the flute. And so, you know, they gave him something to do for the movie after the Santa gets.

Which, and everyone stands around and does nothing. Yes. Like not even, 

Craig: no, like they're just like, oh my God. What just had bad. They're just all standing there. And like the, like Kate is like holding her dad, like, oh no, nobody is nobody panics. Like if somebody had just gotten this, if I were at a club and somebody had just gotten a spear through the head, I wouldn't be getting out of there.

Like they're just standing around like consoling each other. It's okay. At least it was 

Todd: at least hopefully the killer's gone or it doesn't have another spear. And cliff runs over to the bar where there's a, looks like the guy standing, but it's just, he's put a dummy of himself there, I guess. Just kind of does a half-hearted smash of his fist on the bar.

And then we cut to Scotland yard or new Scotland yard, whatever that is. I dunno. Uh, and there are two detectives named, um, Harris who is the main guy, he's the inspector and Powell, which, who is like the Constable or a psychic. And, uh, they go to visit the victims family though. So the woman and her boyfriend, I guess it's her boyfriend, right?

I guess there's a husband. I don't know. It's never really explained. It doesn't matter. 

Craig: It could be brother and sister for all we know it 

Todd: could be actually they claim, well, it was the costume. He was the victim of another Santa's. So this is the second or third of several Santa's slayings, the, at least the previous one we've seen.

And then I think from here, it cuts to another third Santa's murder. Right? 

Craig: I mean, they just, like I said, they, they filmed all these Santa's kills and then they just kind of wrapped a story around it. So. We see another street Santa, who is also like the Chestnut roaster. So he gets strangled and then his face gets.

Pushed into the roasting chestnuts and none of this looks great, like 

Todd: in the, in the uncut version of this, that I saw, he pulls his head back up off of the barbecue and you can see that his face is all black while he's screaming and then drops his head back down on the barbecue and he catches. Okay, so it's a little bit better, 

Craig:

Todd: little bit.

Trust me. It doesn't look good. It doesn't look good. It looks like his face was painted black and then they cut away from it. And, uh, there's just a dummy that catches flame. That's it. And 

Craig: then randomly. Like the postman, uh, delivers a gift to inspect her Harris that says don't open till Christmas. Um, and the maid's like, you should just open it now.

And he's like, no, it says don't open until Christmas. So he puts it away until the end of the movie

Todd: and the maid's character was so unnecessary. She has a really, really long dialogue. I wrote her name down. I thought she was certainly going to come into play because she's chewing up so much scenery this early on in the movie. And then she just completely disappears up until like one shot when she gets called on the phone later.

And then. Then we get back to that couple. And I just love this, this line. My father has just been murdered. I can't concentrate.

And then we're in a phone booth and this weird guy. Uh, named Giles calls, uh, inspector Powell, and gives him this cryptic nonsensical coma. What did it help your promotion prospects? So if you were to solve this case, I'm sorry. I don't understand. What are you getting at?

I'm just thinking about what I've said. 

Craig: I'll be in touch.

And like, as soon as Powell gets off the phone with them, he called like, he rings up the daily news, but we don't see that conversation. So we have no idea what's 

Todd: going on. There. There's a lot in this movie that we don't see 

Craig: another Santa, another drunk Santa gets. Like he's just walking around and somebody steps in front of him and sticks a pistol in his mouth and shoots the back of his head out.

Todd: It's so 

Craig: random, like these, I swear to God, I I'll stop saying it. Cause I've said it like two or three times. I swear to God, they just filmed these kill scenes and then wrapped around them. That's it 

Todd: just as bad, honestly, as you know, don't go into the woods and this is a sin that's committed by a lot of these cheap Grindhouse type horror movies is that they don't know how to build any tension.

Right. There's no tension about any of these seats. I mean, first of all, there's no. Pathos. Like we don't care about these people because we have no idea who they are. We've just met. It's just a random drunken Santa person. And second they're just stumbling around and then immediately they get killed by whatever method there's no shadow around the corner, them creeping around them, running for their life, anything like that.

It's just, they get stabbed. And then that's it. 

Craig: Another thing that really frustrates me. Okay. First of all, This weirdo, Giles approaches Kate, I think at her apartment, but she won't talk to him. He's a reporter. She's not going to talk to him or whatever, but then we get to the scene that you were talking about that apparently was heavily cut where cliff takes Kate 

Todd: cliff is out busking you.

Right. But then 

Craig: he takes her to his friend Jerry's apartment and he's like, Jerry's a photographer. And Jerry is. Photographing this woman named Sharon. And it's obviously like a very sexy shoe in the cut that I saw. She's wearing something like a jacket or a robe or something that almost exposes her breasts, but doesn't, and cliff says to Kate.

A couple backed out on him. So I told them we'd do it. Like, did you just bring your girlfriend over to shoot like porn stuff, like in your creepy friend's apartment? Without telling her 

Todd: randomly the friend that you just bumped into basically earlier that day. It's so bizarre. Yeah. It doesn't make any sense.

Well, 

Craig: no, thank you. 

Todd: No, she's not as annoyed by that as she is, is when the photographer pulls out a Santa's outfit says, Hey, you can put this on. And then she's like, what, how insensitive of you after my father's death? And she runs out. Um, and then cliff glyph doesn't run after her. And then Jerry just suggests, Hey, you don't need to right after close, like, okay.

Yeah, I guess not. Hey, why don't you take Sharon home with you? And Cliff's like, okay. So he completely completely ignores her and goes out with this Cheron girl outside. She doesn't put on any clothes. No, they stumble outside the door and she's got a robot. 

Craig: She put on the Santa robe, but she's just, she's only wearing the Santa robe and skimpy lingerie underneath latest winter, put your pants on, like, what is happening?

I mean, you 

Todd: know why, but I 

Craig: get just so she can run around, but that's the thing, like the second they get out there, he gets spooked by something 

Todd: because he looks at the cops. He says, oh my God, they're gonna think we're a couple of games.

Hurry up and run. Nevermind that she's a woman.

Craig: And then he just bolts, like he just takes off running and just leaves her standing there. And then. No, I don't even understand. And, and then, so like they just saw the cops, he bolts, then she's standing there and then all of a sudden she's being pursued by presumably our killer. And she gets cornered by the killer who now is wearing some weird mask for no explainable reason.

Like we've never seen this mask before. 

Todd: Translucent. 

Craig: Yeah. I mean, we've seen these kinds of masks before. I mean, it's just basically like a, a face, but it's kind of translucent. It almost looks kind of like a baby dollar something, but it's kind of creepy, but the killer like raises his knife. Like he's going to kill her, but then they do close eye shots on both of them.

Like they make eye contact and. He doesn't kill her and she just gets run. She runs away 

Todd: and no, no, no. She doesn't just run away. She stands there while he slowly opens a, um, razor blade and approaches her with the razorblade toward the neck while she just stands there and then runs the razorblade down.

Her chair. Now again in the uncut version, her, by this point, he has opened up the front of her, of her robe. And it's just a leering shot where he's bringing the razor blade down, past her chest all the way down to her crotch, where she does have panties on lingers there for about 10 seconds before bringing it all the way back up to her, then closes the razorblade, gives her one last look and runs off.

Then she goes in the meantime. She is just standing there while he does this. She's not backed up against a corner. No. Which a lot of girls in this movie do when they're approached by the killer, they just, and then 

Craig: she gets questioned by the police. And the only detail that she can give is that he has smiley eyes.

Like this comes up several times throughout the movie. Like people just keep, the only thing I can remember is that he has smiley. And it is entirely inconsequential. It means nothing like, and, and do we even ever see that mask again? Like, 

Todd: do we see a one, one or one more time, but you're right. Most in most of the killings, we never see the face.

We never see that mask. It's just twice. Yeah. Santa's goes to a peep show, some sleazy peep show down a flight of stairs and sits in front of this window where there's this actually of all of the actresses and actors in this movie. I thought this girl was the most fun. She seemed cute and bubbly and she was.

Craig: She was the 

Todd: only one playful and kind of acting normally like, I mean, her, she was probably just playing herself, but in that regard, her acting was actually quite good. Our 

Craig: peep shows 

Todd: real maybe. Or 

Craig: are they just in 

Todd: movies? Cause I've never been, I mean, I've never been, but, uh, they used to be, I guess, I don't know, but every time I've seen them in the movies, they've been different.

Those girls 

Craig: just like sit behind that glass and just watch guys jerk-off all day like that their job, 

Todd: this would have been like, um, this was the cam show before we had the. 

Craig: Okay. Yeah. All right. Yeah. I guess cam shows it probably taken over, but I'm intrigued.

Todd: We'll have to arrange a field trip sometime research for our movie, uh, our podcasts. Cause, cause it comes up in our movies every now and then. Yeah. Um, so he sits down and they actually have kind of, I mean, what I thought the most realistic writing this whole damn. 

Craig: Well, I mean, she seems like she's good at her job, right?

Like he's nervous, but she kind of makes him feel at ease. 

Todd: And then out of nowhere, again, with no tension whatsoever, this knife goes into his neck and blood that looks like red paint, splatters all over the. Glass, she screams and manages to run out of there. I'm really not sure how the geography of this peep show thing works because it seems like there's only one entrance and exit for both the performer and the, the customer, but she somehow manages to escape.

Craig: This. This, I think was my favorite piece of dialogue. It's my first 

Todd: time in this sort of place. Me too, really. I live with my mother. So do I, I don't think my mother would understand. Does your mother know you work here? She got to, she owns it. I'm just filling in for another thing. No from my mother.

It's funny. It's supposed to be really funny. And, uh, it kinda is, but it's somehow just doesn't play 

Craig: right though. She kind of is the only actress or actor in the movie who seems a little bit natural. A little bit, like you kind of believe her character as opposed to the rest of them who I don't even know if they knew.

Todd: So then after this, everything just gets random and really choppy. I think, especially from this point on, like it just, these very short xAPI scenes nothing's very well connected. Um, and a lot apparently happens in between them. Like the next scene is cliff and Kate or at home. And cliff has abandoned, wrapped around his hand and suddenly Harris comes by again.

For what reason? I don't know. I don't know why he keeps visits. Because presumably he's gotten all the information he can from them, but he comes back like, no, they don't know anything can't help. Right. How could they help? But in any case, he says, oh, what happened to your hand? And cliff says, oh, I heard it.

What did he say? Did he say he punched his buddy Jerry or whatever? Like I thought, okay, this is going to be significant. Like he injured his hand. Was there maybe a knife Cod or the implying that he got hurt in a scuffle that maybe he's. But this is the only scene in which his hand is injured, because then in the next scene we see him, he doesn't have a bandage around it.

And it's never mentioned again, I don't know if that was supposed to be a red herring or if it was just poor editing and writing. Harris and Kate have, as she's leaving, I think Cliff's like, get out, get out. And Kate kind of sees Harris to the door and then they have this oddly intimate discussion of course, ministry outskirt, you know, at my office.

No, I'd like to talk to you, someone less public. Okay. Hmm.

Yes, ma'am. I have his number, very few of these ops, Ms.

Uh, you're not very welcome, Kate, but please.

And I'm like, are they flirting? Is this like clearly 50 plus year old guy flirting with this young sort of Jane Fonda look alike. And I thought that was going to go somewhere and become this kind of odd romantic thing. And I don't know, it doesn't really does it, or do you still thought that was implied?

Craig: The characterization is so loose and, and, uh, like there are all these characters and you don't know who any of them are and you don't know what any of them are doing. Like Giles. This reporter, supposedly visits detective Powell, and is asking all these questions about Harris, throwing suspicion on Harris.

And then I immediately leaves and then immediately leaves and then Powell starts following Harris, but like, it doesn't lead to anything. And then it just goes to the next Santa's kill where this drunk up on a bicycle. Oh, my kids chased by some punks and then, and then gets chased apparently by the killer to the London dungeon, which I.

Red was something that they re shot. Uh, this was something that they added in and it's hilarious. Like it's really just an opportunity. For this Santa to run around the London dungeon as a set 

Todd: piece, it's a wax museum, basically with a lot of horrific I've 

Craig: been there.

It is a, it is a tourist trap in London. Uh, and there's probably more than one location. I don't know, but it's a total tourist trap, but it is exactly what you see in the movie. Like it's like a wax museum of it's supposedly like, you know, the history of the horrors of England, like torture chambers and LA it's, it's silly and ridiculous.

Yeah, good time. 

Todd: You got to see a lot of it. The movie, cause this goes on for like 10 freaking minutes. Him just slowly stumbling around there, looking up at things and being shocked by this and being shocked by that. In the meantime, someone who's dressed in like a Monk's outfit and a different man. Who apparently has been sitting in the London dungeon this whole time, just waiting for a drunk Santa to come.

Uh, you know, it's one of those eyes look, left, eyes look right. Oh my God, it's not a dummy. And it steps away from the wall and starts following him. It's the closest thing to attention we can get here, but it really does beg the question. How is this killer there? Ready? And waiting. I got the impression 

Craig: that he followed him in, but 

Todd: no, we don't ever see him being chased by the killer.

I guess that's true. The punks chase, the Santa, get chase him off his bike. He falls off the bikes, the punk apparent punks apparently only want to steal his bike. They run off and then he just like climbs over a wall and stumbles down a street. And into that, that door, he's not running from anything. Not that we 

Craig: can see in the, uh, London dungeon.

I'm saying this because my sister listens to this podcast and she was there with me. So. Saying this just for her, but in there they show there's like an animatronic devil that like talks, it's talking like this. Like they really had that. And we were standing in line, I think for a long time to get in the audio that was playing was just on a loop.

And I don't remember anything that he. I said, except for something about suckle at the teach of the sow's of hell

and every time it would say that we would just die. It was so funny.

Uh, yeah. Right. Okay. So, but that sand that gets killed, he gets stabbed in the gut after having like a ninja star thrown at him and then a knife thrown at him, he finally gets stabbed. Okay. It feels like a 

Todd: different movie, really. I mean, the set is all weird and different and that suddenly it's suddenly just taking its time.

It's the closest thing to stocking we have in the whole film. 

Craig: Yeah. And, and in a different movie, it like, it might've been okay. But in, in this movie, I mean, everything is just so cobbled together. And then we get another shot of the cops where they talk about how they're going to put cops on the streets and Santa's suits, which we never see.

Well, there are all these 

Todd: ideas thrown around. Oh, that's a 

Craig: good idea. Yeah. That never 

Todd: happened. Then Harris attends. Apparently a circus for no reason. He's walking around anyway, the circus and two more SANAS stumble out of the bathroom. Presumably drunk. One of them takes a piss on something. And then there's, I guess a third Santa that is in the, the circus tent on the stage, giving another little performance where he's just walking out and handing out.

Toys to kids. And the sound here is so bad. It's like, there's no sound of the crowd. There's no sound of anything. Except the obviously dubbed after the fact Santa talking right now, 

Craig: then you little kiddies. Didn't get no present earlier on. It was one over here. Right? Well, what are you and what over it?

You go, national is 

Todd: one go unwind all of 

Craig: your mum after 

Todd: me. Suddenly it's day. Sometimes it's night. I, the shots here go back and forth. The two 

Craig: is outside gate killed. One of them gets kicked with a boot knife. Like that's the other thing, like the Santa has no emo, like he just has a bunch of random, uh, yeah.

Yeah. Oh, I'm sorry. Right? The, this guy, one of them. Yeah, like a knife shoots out of the killers boot, and he kicks him with it and kills him and he kills the other one. I don't know. 

Todd: Yeah. And the unedited version, the third Santa comes out and he gives him another punch in the face, I guess, uh, with the fist, something on his fist, something, and there's a closeup of his eye hanging.

Craig: Oh, I didn't see that. Yeah. I guess what I saw was pretty heavily edited. Not that great, which is fine because the more you could shave off of this movie, the better. Yeah. 

Todd: Right. Okay. 

Craig: Well, I mean, I can just go through, uh, Harris visits, Kate again. Tell her to keep him posted and then 

Todd: also says something about cliff.

Oh no, no, no. Harris says Harris says that. Right? Well, cause 

Craig: cliff has been around. Cliff is. Cliff even like calls it out. He's like, holy crap. I've been at the scene of like three of these murders. They might think it's me. Well, yeah, maybe. 

Todd: Well, and Harris sees them busking outside and it's a very odd exchange that they have.

It's like, it's like, they're, they're almost like they're going to try to hide from him, but he comes walking over and cliff runs off and she just stands there. And she and Harris from about, you know, 15 feet of. I have this odd exchange, just how you make a living. Yes. Sometimes I realized cliff could be reduced to us through his connections.

He's liable to reach a breakthrough long before we do well. We'll just have to keep in contact then and exchange the latest news flashes. I was going to ask you just that. And I'm like, what, how, how, what, he's a busker. He has connections. He can, it didn't make any sense. That was a bizarre exchange.

Craig: Everything is the, you know, then it cuts to Powell questioning the peep show girl. And she says, I don't remember anything. Cynthia smiley 

Todd: eyes. I do remember one thing, his eyes. They sort of smiled behind the mask. If I saw those eyes again, I'd recognize him 

Craig: if he was smiling and then she leaves. And like on her way out, she like talks to a guard or something, and then she's being followed.

And I was like, is the guard following it? Like, I didn't even understand what was happening. And then Kate tries to call Harris, but his receptionist says, oh, he's not available right now. And she's like, well, where is he? Oh, well, I'm really not supposed to say, but he's visiting Parkland. We don't know what, like they leave us hanging on what that means for a little while.

Meanwhile, the peep show girl is back in her booth and she gets visited by a guy and they talk for 10 seconds and she's like, oh my God, it's easy.

And, and so he chases her around and he catches. And he's, he says like, now it's too late. You have seen my face. Think about the error of your ways. Then I kill you. I shit, you, not that, like I wrote down, that's what he said.

Todd: It's bad the way. I mean, he chased her down a random street. She must have gone several blocks and in the middle of the day and he somehow leaps out, grabs her, takes her down the nearest stairwell, which happens to be. Something that he set up down below and he chains her to the bed with clearly black plastic chains before he leaves her to, you know, a reminisce on the errors of her ways.

So bizarre, I'm thinking like in the same 

Craig: morality play all of a sudden 

Todd: he's killing Santa clauses, but now he's decided to like, take an immediate left turn and go for peep show girls. Uh, Powell calls Harris, and then, uh, it says he's off the case. Um, Harris, something about the commissioner. I don't even understand why the commissioner has given him pressure cause he hasn't found the killer or something.

So he just takes them off of it. Yeah. 

Craig: Th that that happens after another drunk, Sante is pursued at the backstage of a concert.

It's just awful. There's we, we get footage of this terrible female singer and. Again, you know, you'll have to tell me in the unedited version, did we see that kill? Because all I saw was this awful woman singing and, and quote unquote dancing on stage. And then like we had seen the Santa's getting chased around backstage, but then the next thing that we see is like a platform raises up onto the stage with the Santas.

Body on it. 

Todd: Yeah. With the knife through his face, which was decent enough, I guess the, the, look, the makeup, there was maybe the best chance to look. All right. But we didn't see the kill itself. Yeah. And then suddenly go ahead. 

Craig: Oh, I don't know. I mean, you, you took three pages of notes. You probably know better than me.

Todd: did. I don't know. Kate suddenly calls Powell and, uh, says she's been doing her own investigation. Harris has been visiting Parklands and Parklands as a mental institution and Powell. Uh, and she says something about his name or some kind of name change. I don't know that maybe he has a 

Craig: brother. There are no records that Harris actually exists.

Well, that's interesting. Like how do you become like a lead detective in Scotland yard? With a fake identity, you don't even exist, plus it doesn't make any sense. Like why would he be hiding his identity? There is no reason. 

Todd: There's no reason. And why, and, and why would Powell upon hearing this information completely matter?

Well, I guess he utterly dismisses it because it makes absolutely no sense, but you know, for the sake of the movie, he just says, oh no, this isn't, no, this isn't helpful. Thanks a lot. Nevermind. And the thing is like, we don't see any of her investigation, like in a normal, well, plotted movie, some characters got to get to the bottom of stuff and we see all that unfold, but whatever investigation she's been doing completely happened in the middle of all these Santa killings screen.

And we just hear the tail end of, of her results, you know? So it's. 

Craig: And then, okay. So she thinks she, she thinks he's suspicious and that maybe he has a false identity or something. So she goes on a date with him. Yes. To have Turkey with all the trimmings, 

Todd: God. 

Craig: Oh, you know, like this now we're into like the stuff that I watched this morning and I'm reading my notes.

I'm like, I don't even remember what happened. Like, so they're on a day having like Thanksgiving. 

Todd: Yes, he does something. He tells her he's been suspended and she says, I know it's strange. I'm talking with you, but you're the person I feel closest to at the moment. I'm like, why, what about your boyfriend, cliff?

Who randomly shows up at the restaurant gets upset that they're, that they're together, but maitre D doesn't even let them get him in because he's not properly dressed for this fancy restaurant. 

Craig: Right. So. Whole scene, like why did it even happen? Like he, he doesn't, he, he doesn't get to talk to them. They don't even know he was there.

Like, why, so then wait, wait, wait. Um, 

Todd: yeah, we do not forget the department store Santa. Cause I think that happens before we wrap up this movie. There's a rather large gentleman. A terrible actor. Happy-go-lucky walking through a department store and you're like, okay, who's this guy. And then you see that he's had got some kids on his lap and he's the Santa for the department store.

Then he goes into the bathroom. You do not remember this. Oh, 

Craig: I do. I do. I don't, I can't believe I do. I have it. I, cause I remember typing. What's going to happen. 

Todd: He just goes into the bathroom, starts to pee at the urinal. And of course the door behind him in the stall mysteriously opens and dark Hiller comes out with his razorblade and shops.

This guy's Dick off. 

Craig: Right. Which kills him. Like now to be fair, if you got your Dick cut off and you didn't well true. And like, if you didn't get immediate medical attention, sure. You could probably bleed out, but you are not going to instantly die. 

Todd: And then let yourself bleed 

Craig: out. Oh God. Oh my God. Okay.

So Kate goes home, I guess. And then Giles, who, who is. Rondo, like he just shows up at her place unannounced. And then here's where things start to get explained and make absolutely no sense. Um, so apparently Giles is Harris's brother and which, by 

Todd: the way, she worked out herself, she tells, she tells him, I don't know how, but.

Craig: And it turns out that Harris had put Giles in the loony bin and that's why he visits the asylum every month to visit him. And then it's revealed that Giles is the killer, by the way, Giles is super creepy and does not have smiley eyes. So I don't know what these women are talking about. And then I was super shocked because he kills her.

Like he strangles her with Corinthian. Christmas tree tensile. 

Todd: Yeah, I was shocked. Did not expect her to die. Did not. No, 

Craig: not at all, but it just goes to show like none, all of these characters are expendable. We don't know anything about them. How Powell finds her. But he thinks that Harris 

Todd: did it. Why does Powell Harris did it?

He just dismissed her that when she claimed Harris did it, then he calls the what? The dispatch, oh, the somebody that he had tailing Harris. Right. And he says, oh, you mean Harris was at his apartment the whole time. Oh, it couldn't be him. Then it hangs up. Guess what? Harris wasn't at his apartment the whole time.

Cause the guy had a date with her in a restaurant. 

Craig: What

Todd: does even the internal logic of the movie doesn't even work. 

Craig: No, and not at all, it doesn't make any sense. And then, you know, coincidentally Giles is still around or something. So PO so Powell goes chasing after him, but Giles electrocutes, 

Todd: they're like in a car lot. And Harris is like, Powell is opening, like every other car just to check and see which one is his and Harris apparently.

He apparently was able to throw this together in 10 seconds. Um, hooked up a car battery, I suppose, to the frame of the 

Craig: car frame of the car. 

Todd: As soon as he opens it, it's the car practically explodes 

Craig: again, I don't, I, as far as I know. This is not going to happen. Like, yeah, you, you might get a nasty shock, but you're not going to stand there and get electrocuted with like lightning pacing through your body.

Maybe I'm wrong. I'm not a mechanic. I don't know. 

Todd: The effect was pretty spectacular though. Lots of smoke, lots of sparks. 

Craig: Well, and then like pretty much everybody that we know is dead. So, so Giles goes back to. Peep show girl. And she promises, oh, my second favorite part of the movie is when she promises.

Cause he offers her some food and she's like, well, how can I eat? If my hands are tied? And he's like, okay, I'll tie your hands, but you have to promise not to try to escape. And she promises, but the camera is very careful to show us that she crosses her face. When she promises, like if, if a killer makes me promise, I'm not going to try to escape.

I'm for sure. Going to make sure to cross my fingers just so I don't get in trouble for lying. Right. What the fuck? So stupid. 

Todd: So dumb. 

Craig: Oh. And then he talks about how he hates Christmas. He doesn't say why he just talks about how he hates. And, uh, the stripper hits him with something. And then he says, you will be the Supreme sacrifice to all of the evil of Christmas.

What, what are you talking about? And then like, that's, that's pretty much, then we, then now here, seriously, in the last four minutes of this movie, we get a flashback. That's supposed to explain to us why all this is happening and it's dumb. Like it's just stupid and we've seen it before. Like 

Todd: it. It's ripped off of silent night.

Deadly night. 

Craig: Yeah. And, uh, there was another one evil. Yes. Christmas evil where a little kid, much, much better and not a great movie. So that says a lot. Um, but you know, a little kid sees his mom he's Santa and that puts them off of Christmas. 

Todd: For him, took me a while to figure this out. I think Santa is banging is his dad who is banging someone.

Who's not his mom and his mom comes up the stairs and discovers this at the same time he does. And then his dad as. He hits his mom and that ends up pushing her down the stairs and she dies. I think that's 

Craig: what that makes sense. I didn't know who these people were. I didn't know. It's 

Todd: not clear at all.

Craig: Not yet. I have in mind, I have, in my notes, someone gets pushed down the stairs,

but that's it like. 

Todd: It requires a sacrifice for that Supreme 

Craig: evil. She did. We, did we talk about this already? Oh, no, the, the stripper, even before, even before the flashback, the stripper fights with Giles, the killer and knocks him off like a four story 

Todd: stairwell. Plastic chain. I just love this plastic chain.

It's it doesn't even, it doesn't just look like a black plastic chain. It also looks a lot like the black plastic chain necklace that she has around her neck the whole time. And it moves like a black plastic chain. It has no weight to it whatsoever, even when he's banging it against the, um, the guard rails as he's menacing her going up the stairs, but they don't even bother.

Substitute in the sound of an actual metal. It sounds like a plastic chain hitting the guardrails and clicking around as it's being thrown around in these scenes. It's, it's so lazy. Like there's no respect for the audience in any of this. This is just a cheap kind of movie. You feel like your IQ goes down after 

Craig: watching?

Yes, it's horrible. It was so bad. And the very last scene, then it cuts to. In his house and he has his gift, his don't open till Christmas gift and he opens the card. Now you could have done this an hour and 15 minutes ago and saved us. Stupid ass movie. Um, but he opens the card and it's like Merry Christmas from your brother Giles.

And it's a, a music box, but like the, the, instead of a dancing ballerina, it's like a spinning Santa and it's playing Christmas music and he sits it down and he like sits down to read his paper or something. And I knew it was going to be a bomb and it was, but really it's. Like they put an mat in the music box.

And so like, it explodes like a big firecracker. Apparently kills him and yeah. And my, and that's it like, it kind of shows him like with half of his face, uh, burned or whatever, and the, in my notes, uh, dancing Santa music, box.dot dot. It's a bomb that kills him.dot, dot. This movie was fucking stupid. It was so bad.

Todd: It's not watchable. I watch it. I don't watch 

Craig: her. Not even with no, it's not fun. It's not fun. 

Todd: It's not fun at all. Actually. You're absolutely right. It's not fun at all. And that's, that's disappointing because honestly, what I got me kind of excited about this movie was that it was produced by Dick Randall who has just made.

A bunch of Grindhouse sleazy, exploitation, horror movies, sexploitation films, but we saw one of those. We saw pieces and yeah, pieces was also really, really stupid, but there was something about the stupidity of pieces that just also made it charming. It had a creative story, it had a creative story. It had some good looking girls in it.

Plot that, I mean, kind of made sense. It adds some utter wackiness in there that was just funny and goofy, memorable characters. It had the Bluto guy from Popeye. I mean, it was fun and interesting, even though it was a dumb ass movie, this movie was not fun and interesting. Yeah. So, oh, sorry. Great way to start off the.

Oh, I know isn't that crappy. We didn't wait till Christmas to open this one. 

Craig: Seriously. If we had saved this for our last one, what a disappointment, but we can only go up from here. And, uh, we've, we've talked about. We kind of have already mapped out, I think what we're going to do for the rest of the month.

And I'm actually really excited. Um, they're simple, uh, that I'm really looking forward to. So don't give up on us based on this one. I promise you, I mean, anything we pick has to be better than this 

Todd: pressure. That's what we need this year. Low pressure. Well, if you have any Christmas movies to recommend to us, please send us a message.

Maybe we'll try this. I think I have one slot. I'd be happy to turn over to somebody who has a really, really good. Recommendation for us this year. If you enjoyed this podcast episode, please share it with a friend. Just don't watch the movie and you can find us online, just a Google to guys and exchange sauce.

See our Twitter feed and our Facebook page and our regular base. And you would just leave us a comment there with your messages on that till next time. I'm Todd and I'm crazy with two guys and a chainsaw. .


2 Replies to “Don’t Open Til Christmas”

  1. Leeia

    Thanks for another great review! If you’re still looking for a holiday themed movie, I have request and not sure if you’ve done this one. “The initiation”- has some brief moments ( decorations) of Christmas at the mall, but that’s about it.

    • toddkuhns

      Actually, I’ve had “The Initiation” on my own personal list for a while, solely based on the cover art that constantly beckoned from the video store shelves when I was a kid. Thanks for the request! I’m adding it to our list.

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