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The Toolbox Murders (1978)

 -  Drama | Horror | Thriller  -  March 1978 (USA)
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 1,914 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 67 critic

Ski-masked maniac kills apartment complex tenants with the contents of a toolbox.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vance Kingsley
Pamelyn Ferdin ...
Laurie Ballard
...
Kent Kingsley
Nicolas Beauvy ...
Joey Ballard
Tim Donnelly ...
Detective Jamison
...
Joanne Ballard
Faith McSwain ...
Mrs. Andrews
Marciee Drake ...
Debbie
Evelyn Guerrero ...
Maria
Victoria Perry ...
Woman in Apartment
Robert Bartlett ...
Man in Apartment
Betty Cole ...
Middle Aged Woman
John Hawker ...
Middle Aged Man
Don Diamond ...
Sgt. Cameron
Alisa Powell ...
Girlfriend
Edit

Storyline

A lunatic runs around an apartment complex, apparently home only to attractive flight attendants with a tendency towards exhibitionism. While there, the lunatic tries to kill all the tenants with the contents of a toolbox. Based (probably quite loosely) on a true story. Written by Chris Holland <stomptokyo@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Bit by bit..By bit he carved a nightmare!

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

March 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Bohrmaschinenkiller  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$185,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A sequel was planned for a 1986 release but never finalized. See more »

Goofs

Both times that Vance carries the supposedly unconscious or dead Debra, when he puts her down she very obviously is gripping his arm or shoulder to prevent herself from falling onto the floor. See more »

Quotes

Joey Ballard: I'll be home for dinner. What are you fixin'?
Laurie Ballard: Ah! La specialty of the house; chicken à la TV dinners.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Got Everything It Takes to Be a Fool
Sung by George Deaton
Music & Lyrics by George Deaton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Truly awful - yet strangely watchable.
30 May 2000 | by (Caerphilly, Wales) – See all my reviews

This was a film that my girlfriend and I rented because it said on the box that it had been "banned for 14 years", or somesuch sensationalist tag. We expected, rather naively, a powerful, shocking attack on society a la Texas Chain Saw Massacre. What we had was some bloke in an unfrightening woolly hat going around and, yep, you guessed it, killing people with a variety of tools. Of these, the initial murder with a drill is the most unpleasant. As the film goes on, however, it clutches at straws, ultimately having to resort to that oh-so-scary object of carpentry, the chisel.

Unfortunately, entirely pointless deaths only account for about half the film. Where it really goes wrong is when it begins to justify these with some bizarre "taking revenge on the evils of society" explanation delivered by the one character we were really certain WASN'T the killer, by virtue of his being such an obvious candidate.

But for all its faults (and there are many), The Toolbox Murders remains compulsively watchable. This is because its hack dialogue and direction are so unbelievably bad that the viewer is left wondering just what god-awful impersonation of dialogue or technique is going to crop up next. Whole chunks of background information go effectively unexplained, phrases are repeated by characters unnecessarily, and one scene goes on so damn long you can't help thinking it might be a deliberate Chain Saw Massacre-style experiment on the viewer's nerves. But no, it just goes on too long.

Two-out-of-ten stuff, then - but one way or another, you won't hit the stop button before the end.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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