MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 854 this week

Toolbox Murders (2004)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(awaiting 5 votes)
Reviews: 109 user | 94 critic

A historic Hollywood hotel houses a supernatural evil. It's been subdued for decades - but when renovations start, a series of murders take place. It's up to our heroine to solve the mystery.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 27 Sep 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 02 Jun 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 02 Jul 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 22 Aug 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Toolbox Murders" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Toolbox Murders.
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Djinn (2013)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An Emirati couple return home from a trip and discover that their new apartment has been built on a site that is home to some malevolent beings.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Razane Jammal, Ahd, Aiysha Hart
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A young man finds out that his parents had been used in an atomic-weapons experiment shortly before he was born, and that the results have had some unexpected effects on him.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Brad Dourif, Cynthia Bain, Jon Cypher
The Mangler (1995)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A laundry folding machine is possessed by a demon from Hell.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Robert Englund, Ted Levine, Daniel Matmor
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
Crocodile (Video 2000)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A group of friends including Brady Turner, Claire and Duncan McKay go out on a boat trip on a lake in Southern California, but their joyful weekend turns into horror, when a giant killer ... See full summary »

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Mark McLachlan, Caitlin Martin, Chris Solari
Eaten Alive (1977)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A psychotic redneck who owns a dilapidated hotel in rural East Texas kills various people who upset him or his business, and he feeds their bodies to a large crocodile that he keeps as a pet in the swamp beside his hotel.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones
The Dark (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

An alien mutilator stalks and kills human prey during the night.

Directors: John 'Bud' Cardos, Tobe Hooper
Stars: William Devane, Cathy Lee Crosby, Richard Jaeckel
The Apartment Complex (TV Movie 1999)
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A graduate student named Stan becomes the manager of an apartment complex which is quite uncommon. The tenants are all quite eccentric and uncommon characters, and the place is quite run ... See full summary »

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Chad Lowe, Fay Masterson, Obba Babatundé
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A radio host is victimized by the cannibal family as a former Texas Marshall hunts them.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow
Venom (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

International terrorists attempt to kidnap a wealthy couples child. Their plan comes unstuck when, a deadly Black Mamba sent by mistake instead of a harmless snake, escapes, and the ... See full summary »

Directors: Piers Haggard, Tobe Hooper
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Oliver Reed, Nicol Williamson
Coffin Baby (2013)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

Hollywood, California is turned upside down by a series of strange and horrific murders creating chaos and turmoil in tinsel town. One particular victim is kidnapped, held captive and ... See full summary »

Director: Dean Jones
Stars: Bruce Dern, Brian Krause, Clifton Powell
Eggshells (1969)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Ron Barnhart, Pamela Craig, Allen Danziger
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Luis Saucedo (as Marco Rodriguez)
...
...
...
...
...
Coffin Baby (as Chris Doyle)
...
...
...
...
Stephanie Silverman ...
...
Philip Sterling (as Allan Polonsky)
Charlie Paulson ...
Edit

Storyline

Nell and her husband Steven are looking for a business, as well as a home, when they come across the Lusman Arms apartment block. They move in and begin renovating the building, in which a series of weird killings begin to take place. When she finally discovers the supernatural evil behind it all, she gets more than she bargained for! Written by Leatherface15

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Another legacy begins. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and gore, language, some sexuality and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 September 2004 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

The Toolbox Murders  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucky McKee was originally set to play the part of the killer, but dropped out to work on his own horror film The Woods (2006). See more »

Goofs

When Ned is in front of the elevator it opens and Julia comes out. A front shot of Ned shows him with his hair all over his face. Then another shot shows his hair to the sides and then it changes back to cover his face. See more »

Quotes

Luis Saucedo: Here you go, catch.
[tosses water bottle to Julia]
Julia Cunningham: You're a lifesaver.
Luis Saucedo: Hey, it's a full-time job with you, isn't it? All this huffin' and puffin' and runnin' around in circles to get back to where you started.
Julia Cunningham: One of these days I'm gonna get you to come with me.
Luis Saucedo: Oh no, I'm a stand-in-one-place kinda guy.
Julia Cunningham: It's working
[does a spin]
Luis Saucedo: Oooh Yeah!
Julia Cunningham: Night Louis.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Every years thousands of people come to Hollywood to pursue their dreams. Some succeed. Some move back home... And some just disappear. See more »

Connections

Followed by Coffin Baby (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

California (Back To Hell)
by Shithead
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Hollywood Occult
4 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is such a great horror-film, and it has some original-twists to it too. The story centers-around the "Lusman Arms" (really the Ambassador Hotel, once THE place for the Hollywood elite and the site of the RFK assassination), a decaying-Hotel in a seedy part of Los Angeles. It seems after recent-renovations to the structure of the building there have been some strange-occurrences: a workman hurt in an unexplained-blast, and strange electrical-surges. There is a constant-sound of hammering, even when the workmen are gone. Tenants have gone-missing, and a strange aura of oppressiveness has descended-upon the building. It seems the place has a reputation that the building manager (a concierge) doesn't want known. It's just a great film, with a bunch of oddball-characters, unlike the log-jam of boring, PG-13 pseudo-horror. The characters in this film feel real, and I like them. Because I like them, I fear for them, and that is what horror is about.

Enter Nell (Angela Bettis of "May") and Steven, two new tenants. We get to know them and some of their backstory, and the decaying-Lusman is literally filled with oddities. For those who have lived in a 1920s-era apartment building, a lot of the funny-parts about maintenance (or the lack-of) will be familiar! If you have ever lived in an old-building, you can attest to the impressions of the past within-the-walls. The ghosts of "old Hollywood" haunt this film, just like they do the films of David Lynch or Kenneth Anger. Let's face it, with the legend of the Black Dahlia (mentioned in the film), the constant-battle for the control of the water-supply (an engineer once controlled L.A. His name was William Mulholland, and designed the Owens Valley Acqueduct), the Manson Family, gangs, poverty, the desert air, all the Hollywood deaths and scandals, cults, Scientology, the Mexican Day of the Dead, Chinatown, drugs, the Ramparts scandals, decades of obscene-corruption--Los Angeles is creepy.

Nell notices a lot of hammering and other strange-phenomena, and eventually begins to probe the mystery of the Lusman Arms. This descent-into-hell is what makes this not merely a slasher, but an Occult-horror piece. The Lusman has a strange, esoteric architecture and a storied-past. It also has mysterious symbols covering it's walls in key-locations. The logical-sequence of room numbers are missing some rooms. Some have commented that the symbols are "Masonic", even calling the film "Masonic-horror", which is false and misleading. The symbols are ancient, and have been around for thousands of years, and most should be familiar. I noticed absolutely nothing "Masonic" in the film whatsoever, which is odd. I guess they were reviews by Nazi-skinheads.

The best-part of this story is that it connects the enigmatic-tale of Jack Parsons, an occultist Crowley-devotee who founded the Jet-Propulsion Lab, being an early rocketeer. It is said that Parsons claimed to have created an "homunculus", an artificial human-being, so there is a genuine-connection with L.A.'s strange-relationship with occultism here. Parsons blew-himself-up in an alchemical experiment in the late-1940s--exactly where the "Lusman-mythos" begins. Without Jack Parsons, there would be no Scientology: L. Ron Hubbard ripped-him-off in a business-deal and used the money to fund the publishing of "Dianetics". I think the occult-backstory of the killer was Tobe Hooper's idea, and it really draws-you-in. "Occult" comes from archaic-Greek, and merely denotes "hidden", nothing-more. There are many hidden-secrets at the Lusman.

The murderer in the film is great, and one could consider it Parson's homunculus in-a-way, though the "coffin-birth" masks this element. I actually thought the "coffin-baby" backstory was interesting, and had the ring of occult-lore to it. Frankly, I would have to agree with some reviewers--if you aren't familiar with occultism, you aren't going to get a lot of the premise here. So, get-familiar kids, study the occult, hah-hah. Nonetheless, it's still a film you can watch superficially, enjoying the many mysteries that Hooper and his writers treat us to. Also, the murders-themselves are pretty original and thrilling, some even gruesome in a way that would do Argento proud! Go-figure, reality isn't what you thought it was! Without giving-away too much, this is a tale of the undead, kept-active by sacred-geometry in the structure of a building. It is a story of the darkness and mystery that surrounds-us, and a story of magic and curiosity. There are so-many incredible images of horror in this film, it is just excellent and intriguing. With a budget of less-than $1 million, Tobe Hooper has created a new classic horror that is likely to be imitated. It is surely "better" than the original film, and is simply his and his writers' take on the source (with major-revisions and additions). It is a re-imagining. The score by Joseph Conlan is very good, and atmospheric, hitting all the right marks. It makes the film feel larger. Toolbox Murders has a lot on-offer for such a little film, and is a great return-to-form for Mr. Hooper. Here's to more from him.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Very boring...and here's why seanstanley
Death by Power Drill PurpleFanatic
Too many unanswered questions? Ceejai666
Worth seeing? jaysif
i thought nell's husband was the killer avgmoviefan
coffin baby wears a MASK--why? avgmoviefan
Discuss Toolbox Murders (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page