5.3/10
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56 user 81 critic

The Toolbox Murders (1978)

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

Director:

Dennis Donnelly

Writers:

Neva Friedenn (screenplay), Robert Easter (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cameron Mitchell ... Vance Kingsley
Pamelyn Ferdin ... Laurie Ballard
Wesley Eure ... Kent Kingsley
Nicolas Beauvy Nicolas Beauvy ... Joey Ballard
Tim Donnelly ... Detective Jamison
Aneta Corsaut ... Joanne Ballard
Faith McSwain ... Mrs. Andrews
Marciee Drake ... Debbie
Evelyn Guerrero Evelyn Guerrero ... Maria
Victoria Perry Victoria Perry ... Woman in Apartment
Robert Bartlett Robert Bartlett ... Man in Apartment
Betty Cole Betty Cole ... Middle Aged Woman
John Hawker John Hawker ... Middle Aged Man
Don Diamond ... Sgt. Cameron
Alisa Powell 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:

What he does to your nerves is almost as frightening as what he does to his victims! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Na Senda do Crime See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$185,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kelly Nichols (Dee Ann) took her brothers to see the movie when it was first released - coincidentally at the same theater she worked at when she was younger. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by around 6 minutes by the BBFC to remove a bathtub masturbation sequence and to heavily edit the murder scenes and shots of bloody bodies, and the film later ended up on the DPP 72 list of banned video nasties. In 2000 the film was finally released in the UK and was cut by 1 min 46 secs, with edits being made to a scene of a naked girl being chased and killed with a nail gun. See more »


Soundtracks

I've Got Everything It Takes to Be a Fool
Sung by George Deaton
Music & Lyrics by George Deaton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Truly awful - yet strangely watchable.
30 May 2000 | by MartPolSee 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.


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