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The Toolbox Murders (1978)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  March 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 2,184 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 75 critic

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Vance Kingsley
Pamelyn Ferdin ...
Laurie Ballard
Wesley Eure ...
Kent Kingsley
Nicolas Beauvy ...
Joey Ballard
Tim Donnelly ...
Detective Jamison
Joanne Ballard
Faith McSwain ...
Mrs. Andrews
Marciee Drake ...
Evelyn Guerrero ...
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 ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Drama | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

March 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Na Senda do Crime  »

Box Office


$185,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


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 »


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 »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) See more »


Carolina in the Morning
Sung by George Deaton
Music & Lyrics by George Deaton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Are you too much of a Gorehound to enjoy the slow segments?
4 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Toolbox Murders starts out with 20 minutes or so of grisly and very well done kill scenes, all of which involve tools. If you like violence, then you'll love the introduction of this film. I personally don't have a preference when it comes to nudity in horror films (since it's overdone and pointless 90% of the time), but if you're a sucker for that sort of thing, then you'll appreciate the introduction to this film for that as well. After the kills are complete, however, many people will be bored by the lack of action that takes place on screen until the final moments of the movie. The middle portion of this movie is a lot of talk with little or no gore. I didn't mind this, because I found the dialog between the killer and the kidnapped girl to be very interesting. "What's it like?" the killer asks, referring to dying. The girl responds that "everything is purple, like a lollipop, and you can't see God, and there are people flying around, and you can see all of their thoughts, and you know the answers to all of their questions, but you can't answer them because nobody can talk." I enjoyed listening to this conversation, and although I'm sure I didn't get it word for word, there is something creative and maybe even worthy in here. Lots of people complain that the acting in this movie is terrible. These people cannot be horror buffs, as I have seen countless other films in which the acting is much MUCH worse. I would go as far to say that the acting in this film is very decent. If you have the attention span to sit through 'slower' moments of this film, then you'll find something to enjoy in it. I give The Toolbox Murders an 8/10.

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

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