5.3/10
2,626
59 user 76 critic

The Toolbox Murders (1978)

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

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vance Kingsley
...
Laurie Ballard
...
Kent Kingsley
Nicolas Beauvy ...
Joey Ballard
Tim Donnelly ...
Detective Jamison
...
Joanne Ballard
...
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
...
Sgt. Cameron
Alisa Powell ...
Girlfriend
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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! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 March 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Na Senda do Crime  »

Box Office

Budget:

$185,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only movie directed by Dennis Donnelly. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where we first see Laurie Ballard tied up in the bed and Vance enters the room, the shadow of a boom mic is clearly visible on the wall behind them. 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 The Shining (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Pretty Lady
Sung by George Deaton & Terry Stubbs
Music & Lyrics by George Deaton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A reasonable exploitation movie which sets out at a sprint but runs out of steam in the final reel
28 October 2007 | by (England) – See all my reviews

The original "Toolbox Murders" isn't a bad exploitation movie but it's far from achieving classic status. Dennis Donnelly's low-budget grindhouse film moves quickly once the opening credits have finished - we are shown a series of violent attacks in an apartment block on a number of attractive women. Each attack, carried out by a ski-masked psycho with a toolbox and a penchant for whistling as he works, is different but retains a DIY theme. So, we have death by nail-gun, death by chisel, etc.

There's a fair bit of female nudity on display in these early scenes, including an eye-opening bathtub masturbation scene. Accompanied by a funky '70s soundtrack, the gore sequences aren't memorable in the way that they are in a good "Friday the 13th" installment but the scenes are shown in such rapid succession so there's no time for boredom to set in.

Sadly, the film runs out of steam towards the end. Once the identity of the killer is known (although it's hardly a shocking revelation), the movie changes pace and becomes a little tired. Well, a lot tired, to be honest.

Still, I've seen a lot, lot worse. 6 out of 10. Good but not great, I preferred Hooper's recent remake.


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