IMDb > The Toolbox Murders (1978)
The Toolbox Murders
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The Toolbox Murders (1978) More at IMDbPro »


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5.2/10   2,157 votes »
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Neva Friedenn (screenplay) &
Robert Easter (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Toolbox Murders on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
March 1978 (USA) See more »
Bit by bit..By bit he carved a nightmare!
Ski-masked maniac kills apartment complex tenants with the contents of a toolbox. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Somewhat overblown exploitative slasher effort See more (58 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Cameron Mitchell ... Vance Kingsley
Pamelyn Ferdin ... Laurie Ballard

Wesley Eure ... Kent Kingsley
Nicolas Beauvy ... Joey Ballard
Tim Donnelly ... Detective Jamison

Aneta Corsaut ... 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
Kelly Nichols ... Dee Ann (as Marianne Walter)
Robert Forward ... Screamer Man
Kathleen O'Malley ... Screamer Woman
Gil Galvano ... Man
James Nolan ... Bartender
George Deaton ... Preacher
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dennis Donnelly ... Bar Patron at Table (uncredited)
Robert Leh ... Policeman (uncredited)

Directed by
Dennis Donnelly 
Writing credits
Neva Friedenn (screenplay) &
Robert Easter (screenplay) and
Ann Kindberg (screenplay)

Robert Easter  story

Produced by
Tony DiDio .... producer
Jack Kindberg .... associate producer
Kenneth Yates .... associate producer (as Kenneth A. Yates)
Original Music by
George Deaton 
Cinematography by
Gary Graver (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Nunzio Darpino 
Skip Lusk (uncredited)
Production Design by
D.J. Bruno 
Set Decoration by
Leamon Adams 
Makeup Department
Edward Ternes .... makeup artist (as Ed Ternes)
Production Management
Ann Kindberg .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ann Kindberg .... assistant director
Gary LaPoten .... second assistant director (as Gary M. Lapoten)
Art Department
Frank Armas .... leadman
Sound Department
Bob Dietz .... sound mixer (as Robert Dietz)
Beau Franklin .... boom operator
Ron Moler .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Jean Clark .... electrician
Catherine E. Coulson .... second assistant camera (as Catherine Coulson)
Hedy Dietz .... still photographer
Michael Ferris .... assistant camera
Gary Strange .... key grip
R. Michael Stringer .... gaffer (as Michael Stringer)
R. Michael Stringer .... camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michele Logan .... wardrobe supervisor (as Michelle Logan)
Editorial Department
Mario S. Anthony .... assistant editor
Music Department
Walt Cunningham .... music arranger: keyboards
Zeke Dawson .... music arranger: strings
George Deaton .... conductor
Frank Evans .... music engineer
Frank Evans .... music mixer
Transportation Department
Charles Franchimone .... driver
Thomas A. Gordon .... driver (as Tom Gordon)
Other crew
Tony Didio Jr. .... production assistant
Maria Dillon .... production secretary (as Maria C. Dillon)
Nancy Hansen .... script supervisor
Patty Koehnen .... production assistant
Jim Magglos .... bookkeeper
Ann McDonald .... production assistant (as Anne McDonald)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:Refused Classification | Canada:R (Ontario) | Canada:18+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-18 (self applied) (2006) | Norway:18 (2004) | Norway:(Banned) (1978-2003) | Sweden:18 (video rating) | UK:X (original rating) (cut) | UK:18 (video rating) (2000) (cut) | USA:R

Did You Know?

A sequel was planned for a 1986 release but never finalized.See more »
Boom mic visible: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Nail Gun Massacre (1985) (V)See more »
I've Got Everything It Takes to Be a FoolSee more »


Is the movie The Toolbox Murders based on fact?
What are the differences between the censored British BBFC 18 Version and the R-Rated Version?
See more »
Somewhat overblown exploitative slasher effort, 9 June 2015
Author: GL84 from Los Angeles, Ca

Following a spate of brutal murders, a young man and his friend set out to find the culprit in the crimes when his sister gets abducted by the maniac and held hostage to prevent her from following in the victims' footsteps.

On the whole this was a decidedly disappointing effort that doesn't really have all that much going for it. When this one was right, it's unbelievably effective and grisly which is what basically amounts to the first few minutes here which is about as prime exploitative fodder as can be expected at a time like this as the series of kills in this section is outright brutal and shocking. The chase around the apartment with the drill that cuts up her arms before finally delivering the knockout blow to the back of the head, the shockingly casual scene of another victim is knocked out and carried into a stairwell where she has her head smashed in with a claw hammer, dragged back into her apartment when a friend finds the body, tries to flee but is grabbed, bashed to the floor, and has a screwdriver slowly pushed into her. That all these murders happen with absolutely no let up is what's unbelievably shocking about these, letting the gore flow freely and easily here through the merciless scenes before getting to the infamous assault on the nude bather who traps her in the apartment and dispatches her with utterly cruel and deadly nail-gun shots that show truly exploitative full- frontal shots with a relish for the more exploitative aspects of the victims' suffering. The pedestrian-like nature of these kills is such that it really does feel that the psychotic handyman is going about his everyday duties, humming peacefully as he goes, and nothing is out of the ordinary. Sadly, this is the first half-hour of the film and from there the film goes so down-hill the drabness that follows slows the film down to such a crawl that barely anything here is worthwhile. The fact that the torture scenes are incredibly tame and result more in his sweet-natured disposition to the situation of having her tied up that the torture actually comes from his rather lame singing and actually holding her hostage while none of whatever else happens to her is all that terrifying. Likewise, the slasher movie elements end and settles into a police procedural rut with a subplot between the lead detective and her mother which ultimately goes nowhere as her brother plays amateur sleuth when he agrees to clean the crime scenes, ultimately turning up evidence in the case but is altogether ignored with most of his findings being dismissed until the finale when it becomes altogether obvious. As well, despite the one murder it's not really all that nasty as the action is handled listlessly, being brutal but with zero suspense that they actually have little real impact. This really could've been something special but otherwise it's pretty drab overall.

Rated R: Full Nudity, Graphic Violence, Language and strong scenes of female masturbation.

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