MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 13,009 this week

The Toolbox Murders (1978)

 -  Drama | Horror | Thriller  -  March 1978 (USA)
5.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.2/10 from 1,998 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 68 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Unbroken: An interview with Angelina Jolie

IMDb's Arno Kazarian chats with Angelina Jolie about working with cinematographer Roger Deakins and harnessing Jack O'Connell's fire

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 26 Mar 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 19 Jun 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 46 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Toolbox Murders (1978)

The Toolbox Murders (1978) on IMDb 5.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Toolbox Murders.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Unhinged (1982)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Three college girls on their way to a jazz festival crash their car in the isolated woods during a rainstorm, and are taken in by a mysterious family in an old mansion. Little do the girls know, the family has a dark, murderous secret.

Director: Don Gronquist
Stars: Laurel Munson, Janet Penner, Sara Ansley
The Prowler (1981)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A masked killer, wearing World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35-year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney
The Funhouse (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin
Nightmare (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A mental-patient, who is troubled with horrible nightmares, has escaped from his hospital. Now on the streets he can't help killing innocent people. But there is one family he is more than ... See full summary »

Director: Romano Scavolini
Stars: Baird Stafford, Sharon Smith, C.J. Cooke
Pieces (1982)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Young co-eds are being cut up by a chainsaw killer on a college campus. The killer is attempting to put together a human jigsaw puzzle made from body parts.

Director: Juan Piquer Simón
Stars: Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A disturbed young man who was burned as a child by his sadistic mother stalks women with a flamethrower.

Director: Joseph Ellison
Stars: Dan Grimaldi, Charles Bonet, Bill Ricci
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of auditioned stage actors rehearse for an upcoming musical production. While locking themselves in the theater for rehearsal, not knowing that an escaped psychopath sneaked into the theater with them.

Director: Michele Soavi
Stars: David Brandon, Barbara Cupisti, Domenico Fiore
The Burning (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director: Tony Maylam
Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer
Night Warning (1982)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An orphaned teenager finds himself being dominated by his aunt who's hell-bent on keeping him with her...at all costs.

Director: William Asher
Stars: Jimmy McNichol, Susan Tyrrell, Bo Svenson
Absurd (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A priest comes to a small town to help get rid of a monster whose blood coagulates very fast. This creates problems as the monster is very hard to kill and then decides to go on a killing spree of its own.

Director: Joe D'Amato
Stars: George Eastman, Annie Belle, Charles Borromel
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Two low-life punks invite themselves to a party at a posh villa and after being taunted by their snobbish hosts, hold everyone hostage and subject them to various forms of torture and mayhem.

Director: Ruggero Deodato
Stars: David Hess, Annie Belle, Christian Borromeo
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Kevin Ford's take on the making of Tobe Hooper's 'Toolbox Murders'.

Directors: Kevin Ford, Chris Sivertson
Stars: Angela Bettis, Tobe Hooper, Rance Howard
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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When the killer dons a ski mask following the first murder, he puts it on crooked so he's looking out of only one of the two eye holes. 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 Body Double (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Carolina in the Morning
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?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Closing credits said it was based on a true story. rachaela
HAD SOME GOOD MUSIC I BELIEVE MarieJ111
apartment building location finleproc
DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHERE I CAN GET THE THEME SONG FROM?! Chart_3
question about scene missy31279
Pretty Lady? CatspawVP
Discuss The Toolbox Murders (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?