The Toolbox Murders - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Toolbox Murders Reviews

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April 22, 2016
very slow burn near the middle act. You find out the murder too soon and it makes you want to stop watching right at that moment. lifeless film shooting as well.
September 3, 2015
Actually one of the first Video Nasties I ever saw. The Toolbox Murders is a low budget slasher psycho film that is not as grizzly as you may at first expect. It isn't the best film in the genre or on the Nasties list but it is far from the worst. It is easy to see why the sad saps at the DPP got their knickers in a knot over this ...Tools as weapons ? Oh My Word !!!
In reality this film looks cheap and plays cheap, some bad acting and a cheesy 70's soundtrack add to this feel but it's watchable all the same. The start of the film does seem to be trying to somehow commentate on how little community there is/was post 1960's but then turns a corner at the midway point and becomes a straight psychological thriller with a Giallo style ending.
½ July 2, 2015
Pretty boring and weird and badly written.
½ May 21, 2015
Good first half, shows you what you'd expect from the title.
Second half not so good however as it reveals the man behind the mask and he has captured a girl, it's boring and pointless at that point, it's literally filler to go with the surprisingly decent blood and gore sequences during the first half.
Because of the first half and the title, it was banned along with many other horror films in the UK and was labeled a 'video nasty'.
Worth a look for the first half if you like slasher films.
April 28, 2015
Series of murders by way of toolbox contents changes course to a kidnapping story, with police performing an uninspiring investigation. One of Cameron Mitchell's finest performances. Always helps to use the right tool for the job although presence of ski-mask could mean he is not a licensed repairman.
December 22, 2014
Do not bye the VIPCO version of this film cause its heavily cut from start to finish your better of getting the Uncut Version on DVD region 1 that's the only one that's fully uncut.
½ May 30, 2014
The first half was great, till the kidnapping part which goes downhill from there
April 4, 2014
Despite a fairly promising opening few scenes, the action dwindled into an obvious and badly acted who done it... Although some of the killings were pretty brutally decent, especially considering they were at the birth of the mainstream slasher genre, it was sad to see that was all the film had to offer... Frankly I preferred the 2004 reboot which is a severe rarity!
April 1, 2014
A man dressed in black drives through Los Angeles, and flashes back to a girl dying in a car accident. The man arrives at an apartment complex, and kills a female tenant (who recognizes him) with a drill. Afterward, the man dons a ski mask, and murders two other women, the first with a hammer, and the second with a screwdriver. The police are called, and they interview the people who found the bodies, as well as Vance Kingsley (Cameron Mitchell), the owner of the building. The next night, the killer strikes again, breaking into the apartment of a woman who is masturbating in her bathtub, and shooting her in the stomach and head with a nail gun. The murderer then abducts Laurie Ballard (Pamelyn Ferdin), a fifteen year-old who lives in the above apartment with her family. Laurie's brother Joey (Nicholas Beauvy) is questioned by Detective Jamison (Tim Donnelly), and frustrated by the man's seemingly lax attitude towards Laurie's disappearance, decides to search for his sister on his own. While looking through the homes of the murdered women, Joey meets up with Kent (Wesley Eure), Vance's nephew, who has been hired to clean up the apartments of the deceased tenants. While Joey is helping Kent, Kathy Kingsley, Kent's cousin and Vance's daughter, is brought up, with Kent mentioning that Vance has not been the same since Kathy died in a car accident. It is revealed that Vance is the serial killer, having been driven insane and to religious mania by the death his daughter. He is killing sinners, and has kidnapped Laurie (who is kept tied up in Kathy's bedroom) to replace Kathy. During a discussion with Detective Jamison, Joey realizes that all the clues point to Vance being the killer, so he goes to the Kingsley house, and is followed there by Kent...

"The Toolbox Murders" was one of the video nasties of the 1980s and was banned in the UK from 1982 to 2000 by the BBFC. An edited DVD was released in the UK in 2000 by VIPCO. To date, there is no uncut UK release. The film was marketed as well as being a dramatization of a true story taken place in 1967. I have managed lately to finally see "Maniac", "The Driller Killer" and now "The Toolbox Murders". Those classic video nasties you red and heard about. To my surprise I think "The Toolbox Murders" succeeds by far the other two in dramatisation and horror being a cross of a gory slasher and a psychological thriller film. The storyline is not just a gory movie with a faceless murder, instead with the religious undertone and bottomless sadness through loss of a dear one,"The Toolbox Murders" is just not your average slasher. And I do love the twist in the end and the fact that they claim it was based on a true story creates another layer to the film. Cameron Mitchell is good as Vance Kingsley and he fits the role. Yes, you can question the full on nudity in it, but I reckon the filmmakers wanted one more dimension to upset the movie goers in 1978. The acting might be wobbly at times and itīs not a 100% production, but itīs for sure one of the better so called video nasties I have seen.
October 24, 2013
Dumb. Original. Wtf. Violent but not. 1977, still at an age where you couldn't show a complete death, somehow these films are more creepy than their remakes and horror films of yore. Yet, today's folks just don't believe me and get it. I've seen 4 of the creepiest and most disturbing films that the '70s could provide. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Toolbox Murders, The Last House on the Left, I Spit On Your Grave, The Amityville Horror. While TTCM is the only one that isn't scary...

The rest are...well, sort of. Disturbing, totally. And wrong and nuts, especially TTCM. Ironically, the same director of the original did the remake of Toolbox. That's weird. Anyway, you a film buff? Then watch these four, and tell me I am lying when I say today's films are garbage. Art is lost. Evil Dead 4, that came out recently...is actually one of the best in years, and that campy indy film, House of the Devil. Good stuff.

Okay, back to this film. It's a load of ass. A bunch of cheesy, rushed deaths in the beginning. Important, but extremely long drawn out dialogue to former a Mystery film, that leads to the end. The movie gets bad, because it has the immersion and anticipation feel, but it's kind of boring when the scenes actually happen. The cuts between shots are bad and delayed. And the ending fades out with the creepy and cheesy music still playing for like 90 seconds, it's ridiculous.

If you're reading my post and want to pay money and watch it. Go on your PS3 or 360 and download it on Vudu, it looks amazing in HDX. Decent film, I guess, somewhat original. Poorly implemented. Badly needs a director's cut that doesn't cut out or extend violent scenes, but cuts out and somehow shortens redundant and run-on dialogue. All-in-all, a horrible and disturbing classic that all should see.

2 stars for accurately creepy music. Pretty good acting with nobody who is recognizable. Along with a unknown composer. Original deaths, I guess. Decent plot.
½ January 17, 2013
Boring as hell. Just so boring and unnecessary...
November 10, 2012
A so bad it's good flick. Worth a watch for a good laugh.
½ October 27, 2012
A masked maniac kills tenants in an apartment complex with items from his toolbox. No good tool is left out - not the drill, nail gun, screwdriver, or hammer. Graphic. Supposedly based on a true story, likely a very loose interpretation.
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
October 18, 2012
The Toolbox Murders which was released in 1979 is a pretty good little Slasher film depicting a maniac wearing a ski mask killing people with the contents of a toolbox. The film manages to be one of the most depraved Slashers to come out in the late 1970's. This film is viewed by many as the definitive exploitation film, and is crafted to appeal to gore hounds and fans of extreme horror films. Although the film lacks in effective storytelling, it delivers in good kills and effective special effects that add something special to the viewing experience of this film. If you love sleazy horror films, then check this film out, this film tends to be quite entertaining despite its flaws, but towards the end suffers a bit because of a poorly thought out ending. Despite this, the film has some pretty cool kills and with a film like this, that's all you should care about. The direction is uneven and suffers from a lack of a truly good story. The film is good, but it could have been much better too. Towards the ending the film struggles to find a good ending and it leaves the viewer wanting more out of the film. As a whole, this film works better as a straight up gore Slasher flick, which it is, but leaves a lot to the horror fan looking for a well layered movie that tells a compelling story with effective kills. Toolbox Murders boasts some great kills, but lacks in a truly compelling story. If you're looking for a mindless Slasher, you'll find it here otherwise you'll be sadly disappointed. Nonetheless this flick is still a necessary viewing for fans of Exploitation horror and cheesy Slasher films in general.
September 14, 2012
Not too bad for a 'Nasties' movie. It certainly is nasty and one I would recommend to any true horror fans (and I'm not talking 'Scream'/'I know what you did last summer'/'Final Destination' fans). Just the right mix of physical and psychological horror. Review published as usual tomorrow over on 'Video Nasty a Week' page.
Francisco G.
Super Reviewer
½ July 20, 2012
After a bloody violent (and rather pointless) first 25 minutes that is on the verge of going into exploitative territory, this slasher flick turns into a buddy movie of let's find the murderer so boring it's painful. Then, we get to meet the murder and delve into his psyche on a character study so out of place and tedious it hurts. But wait, there's more: add a freakish and complete nonsensical ending and there you have The Toolbox Murders, a film that seems it was glued together by a bunch of different people that didn't had a clue what the previous person was working on from the start.
April 3, 2012
A slasher cult classic with good kills.
½ October 1, 2011
Released the same year as John Carpenter's Halloween, The Toolbox Murders remains a gritty, brutal example of the the slasher genre. The first third of Toolbox Murders is a simply unrelentingly realistic bloodbath as we follow the killer from one death to the next. The film then becomes more of a traditional slasher film with police tracking the killer and kids worrying about dying. Toolbox Murders lacks the style of Bob Clarke's Black Christmas and John Carpenter's Halloween, but it also looks forward to the unadulterated brutality of William Lustig's Maniac. An important--if flawed--early example of the genre, The Toolbox Murders remains an entertaining and at times disturbing precursor to the Golden Age slasher film.
shitfaced8
Super Reviewer
August 28, 2011
Pretty average slasher, involving a ski mask wearing psycho who is dishing out his own brand of justice against the sinners, using fairly average household tools. Has a strong begining and ending, but the middle portion is dull, uninvolving and wearisome. This movie is at it's best when people are dying basically. All attempts at rationalization or justification fall flat and fail to entertain. Gore is adequate, nothing to write home about either, but get's the job done. Really this films main draw is seeing creative ways of killing people with tools such as hammers, power drills and nail guns. Worth a watch, but nothing overly special either.
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