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Toolbox Murders (2004)

A historic Hollywood hotel houses a supernatural evil. It's been subdued for decades, but when renovations start, a series of murders take place.

Director:

Tobe Hooper
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Bettis ... Nell Barrows
Brent Roam ... Steven Barrows
Marco Rodríguez ... Luis Saucedo (as Marco Rodriguez)
Rance Howard ... Chas Rooker
Juliet Landau ... Julia Cunningham
Adam Gierasch ... Ned Lundy
Greg Travis ... Byron McLieb
Christopher Doyle ... Coffin Baby (as Chris Doyle)
Adam Weisman ... Austin Sterling
Christina Venuti ... Jennifer
Sara Downing ... Saffron Kirby
Jamison Reeves ... Hudson
Stephanie Silverman Stephanie Silverman ... Dora Sterling
Alan Polonsky Alan Polonsky ... Philip Sterling (as Allan Polonsky)
Charlie Paulson Charlie Paulson ... Hans
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Storyline

In Hollywood, the young teacher Nell and her husband, the resident Steven Barrows, move to an old building called Lusman Arms. Some sixty years ago, the place was glamorous, but presently is completely decadent. Many dwellers have disappeared along the years. While her husband is working in the hospital, the lonely Nell hears some weird noises and becomes afraid of the place. While jogging, she is introduced to (and becomes close to) her neighbor Julia Cunningham, and they schedule a hike together on the next day. Julia never shows up, and Nell looks for her in the building, finding a hiding block behind the wall, where an evil being, which was born from death, lives with many dead bodies. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every year, thousands of people come to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. Some succeed. Some go home. And some just disappear. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [UK]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 2004 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

The Toolbox Murders See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The tools in the toolbox belong to Tobe Hooper. 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

Byron McLieb: [over the intercom in Nell and Stevens Apartment, said in a British Accent] Luis, the Vice Chancellor will be here at 3 for finger sandwiches.
Luis Saucedo: All right, Byron.
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 »

Alternate Versions

The US release was heavily censored to get an "R" rating rather than an "NC-17". The following scenes were edited:
  • The "drill kill" of the girl in the apartment was about 20-30 seconds longer, showing much more blood fly out of the back of her head, and the drill going all the way through her mouth. After the killer retracts the drill, he then begins drilling again into her head. Also, this scene is well-lit as opposed to the darkened version in the "R" rated cut.
  • The man getting his head sawed in half; this scene was much longer. More blood and grue flies out as the killer saws, and the aftermath of the top half of the man's head being ripped off was shown, and the camera lingers longer on it when it hits the ground.
  • The man being strapped to the table and killed was a bit longer. There were more hits with the hammer, more screams from the man, and a better view of the powder being poured on his head. A more grisly after-view of the man's lye-laden head was present afterward.
See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

California (Back To Hell)
by Shithead
See more »

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User Reviews

 
So much better than you'd expect, given Hooper's recent track record.
26 April 2005 | by ThrownMuseSee all my reviews

Nell and Steven move into a run-down Hollywood apartment in the middle of being renovated. They soon realize that the landlord, maintenance man, and other tenants are a strange bunch. Nell finds herself delving into a mystery of the building when one of her neighbors goes missing. This is an excellent and unique slasher. Considering the last movie I saw by Hooper was about a CGI crocodile, I think it is fair to say he is back in the game. Unfortunately, there are plot holes galore that should have been worked out, the pacing is somewhat uneven, and the ending is a big let-down. But the murder scenes are nasty, the atmosphere is creepy, the set is awesome, and the jump scares are worthy. The "city of broken dreams" theme is effective even though most of the film takes place within the claustrophobia of the apartment building. The performance by Angela Bettis ("May") really anchors the movie. This lady brings a sense of dignity and classiness to the horror genre and I think she could become a real genre pioneer. All horror fans should check-out this movie.

My Rating: 7/10.


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