Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

Don't Open till Christmas is a 1984 British horror mystery movie. It was produced and distributed by Spectacular Trading International, while 21st Century Film Corporation handles the U.S. rights.


A woman greets a man dressed as Santa Claus, and they head to a nearby car to make out. Somebody unseen approaches the car, and the Santa steps out to confront the man, only to get stabbed in the stomach with a knife. The woman gets out of the car to try to run for it, but she gets killed too.

Later, at a party, Kate and Cliff introduce Kate's father, who is dressed as Santa, to the crowd. An unseen man throws a spear and hits him in the back, scaring everyone. Inspector Harris and Detective Sergeant Powell from Scotland Yard arrive to investigate the murder. They talk with Kate and Cliff where Harris tells Kate that her father was a "victim of another Santa murder."

Meanwhile, another man dressed as Santa is on the street, standing by a grill. The unseen killer wraps a wire around his neck and shoves his face into the grill. The killer flees, leaving the dead Santa to cook and burn.

The next day, a package with the note "Don't open till Christmas" is delivered to Inspector Harris' place. He tells his housekeeper to leave it on his desk. Meanwhile, Kate tells Cliff that Harris asked about him, inquiring whether they were going to get married.

At the police station, a man named Giles phones Powell, saying he is from The Daily News. He asks if Powell would like to solve the Santa murders that have been happening all over London for over a week now. Giles says that he will be in touch and hangs up.

That evening, a drunken bum dressed as Santa is seen stumbling through an alley when the unseen killer puts a gun in his mouth and fires, killing him.

The next day, Giles tries to talk to Kate on the street. She says he would not bother her if he had ever lost a parent like she had. He tells her that he has and Kate leaves.

Cliff is out playing a flute and Kate is holding a hat for money, clearing panhandling various passerbys. A photographer named Gerry sees the two, and he and Cliff go for a drink. At a nearby pub, Gerry asks Cliff to the studio and tells him there might be something for him, especially if he brings Kate. Cliff then tells Kate that Gerry invited them for tea. The couple walks to the studio and they walk in while Gerry is taking pictures of a model named Sharon. Cliff tries to persuade Kate to do some shots for Gerry, by saying "it's a quick 50 quid". But when Gerry brings out a Santa outfit, Kate storms out. Gerry convinces the irate Cliff to stay.

Later that evening, Cliff is outside with Sharon (mostly nude under her Santa costume), and he tries to go back in when he sees policeman approaching, but the door is locked. He tells Sharon to run, but she follows and loses him. She turns around and sees the masked killer, who holds a straight razor over her. But the killer puts the razor away and leaves. The cops find a frightened Sharon and lead her away. At the police station, Harris and Powell talk to Sharon to ask her to give them a description of the killer, but she tells them that it was dark and she could only see the killer's eyes, "which seemed to smile".

At a local porno house peep show, a Santa Claus arrives and sits to watch a nude woman. After the woman dances a bit, the Santa is attacked in the booth by the unseen killer and stabbed in the back.

Cliff & Kate are seen arguing with each other. Harris arrives at their place and tells the couple that Sharon was attacked. Meanwhile, Giles sees Powell in his office and suggests keeping an eye on Harris, who may know more about the case. Powell trails Harris to a local shopping mall, but loses him outside in the crowd.

That evening, another drunken Santa is seen leaving a pub and then hanging around outside a local museum. He enters the museum through a back door when the unseen killer approaches. In attempting to flee, the killer easily catches up to the doped-up Santa and stabs him twice in his stomach before fleeing.

The next day, Harris goes to see Powell and talks about the "decoys" being sent out. Two undercover police officers are seen dressed as Santa at a local carnival. The unseen killer approaches and kicks one of the undercover Santas in the crotch with a boot-knife and punches him with a studded glove. The killer then shoves a broken bottle into the eye of the other Santa cop.

Powell talks to the woman from the peep show if she saw the killer, and she says she can only remember a dark figure with the "smiling eyes". Meanwhile, Kate calls Harris' private phone number, and his housekeeper tells her that it is the day the inspector visits Parkland's.

The woman from the peep show return to her job, and the unseen killer arrives and punches through the glass to get at her. She is chased into the streets, where she is grabbed, dragged into a room, and thrown unto a bed. She tells the killer that she did not tell the cops anything and has not seen his face. But when she turns to look, the killer tells her that it is already too lake. The woman is restrained with a chain and left alone.

At the station, Powell released Cliff from custody "once and for all" because he thinks he knows the "right man" who is doing all the killing.

Meanwhile, another inebriated Santa on the street is chased by the killer into an auditorium where there is concert taking place and "Miss Caroline Munro" is performing with her band. The Santa hides backstage but is found and gets a blade to his face. The killer throws the dead Santa onto an elevator lift and brings the dead body upon the stage before the horrified Miss Munroe and her band.

At Kate's place, she tells Powell that Harris was at Parkland's "lunatic asylum". She says that she cannot find a record of his name anywhere and that Harris irrationally implies that Cliff is the Santa Killer, despite the fact that Cliff was beside her when her father was attacked that night. Powell takes Kate's comments lightly. Kate goes to see Doctor Bridle at Parkland Mental Hospital.

That evening, another "jolly ol' St. Nick" is working at a local department store before he goes to relieve himself. The Santa goes to the men's room where the unseen killer follows him in and uses a straight razor to slice off a particular body part, causing the Santa to bleed to death all over the urinal and mens room floor.

Kate goes to see Harris who has now been suspended from the police force. She says that Cliff has been acting differently. Since it is Christmas Eve, the two of them decide to go out to dinner together. During the dinner, Kate asks Harris at what his first name is. Cliff arrives and is taken out of the restaurant by the host because his is not dressed properly. Cliff and Kate see each other.

Back at Kate's apartment, Giles is there, and he pushes her against the wall before she can get to the phone. Kate tells him that she has figured out that Giles is Harris' brother, and that Harris changed his name from Harrison when Giles was put in the Parkland institution. Giles says that he threatened his brother by saying that he would go to the newspapers if he did not visit him. Kate accuses Giles of being the Santa Killer and killing her father. Giles says that Kate's father, like his other victims, reminded him of Christmastime. Powell calls Kate and she runs for the phone, but Giles pulls her back with tinsel from the nearby Christmas tree and stabs her in the stomach.

Powell and another police officer arrive at the apartment to find Kate dead. Powell is told that Harris has been in his apartment all night. Outside, Powell spots Giles running from the scene and chases him to a warehouse filled with parked cars. Giles hooks cables to a car and murders Powell by electrocuting him to the wired car.

Giles returns to the flat with some food for the captive woman from the peep show. She talks about Christmas and with her hands now free to eat, she hits Giles on the head with a piece of wood. Giles declares her to be the "supreme sacrifice" for the evil of Christmas and the woman runs out the door. She is chased upstairs and Giles swings the chain around, terrorizing her. The woman grabs the chain and pulls him over the stair railing, letting him fall. At the bottom of the stairs, the woman approaches the motionless Giles, but he gets right back up and attacks her again....

Meanwhile, Harris stirs in his sleep. A flashback to many years ago shows a young Giles at Christmastime walking in on his father (who is dressed as Santa) with another woman. Giles' mother also walks in and sees the couple. The father angrily hits his wife and she fell down a flight of stairs while the young Giles and Harris watch. Harris wakes up, and sees that it is Christmas morning. Harris takes the package from his desk, which has an attached note saying "from your Loving Brother". He opens it to see a tiny music box with a dancing Santa. He sits it on his desk and rests in a nearby chair, listening to the soft Christmas music the box plays. When the song ends, the box suddenly explodes, killing Harris.


Actor/actress Character
Edmund Purdom Inspector Ian Harris
Alan Lake Giles Harrison
Belinda Mayne Kate Briosky
Mark Jones Detective Sargent Powell
Gerry Sundquist Cliff Boyd
Kelly Baker 'Experience' Girl
Kevin Lloyd Gerry
Wendy Danvers Housekeeper
Nicholas Donnelly* Doctor Bridle
Pat Astley Sharon
Lawrence Harrington Kate's Father
Ken Halliwell Restaurant Commissionaire
Ray Marioni Maitre d'hotel
Wilfred Corlett
Keith Smith (uncredited)
'Experience' Santas
Ricky Kennedy Theatre Santa
Sid Wragg Dungeon Santa
Max Roman Store Santa
George Pierce Market Santa
Ashley Dransfield Drunken Santa
Derek Ford
Adrian Black
Circus Santas
John Aston Santa Claus in Car
Maria Eldridge Girl in Car
Des Dolan Detective Constable
Derek Hunt Police Constable
Paula Meadows Dungeon Secretary
Caroline Munro Herself
Sarah Hope-Walker Vamp
Dick Randall Party Guest

* - Deleted scenes only

External links