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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 the killer reappears through the window he enters making a spectacular jump, even there is not enough space behind the window to execute it, as it is shown after he falls down. See more »

Quotes

Chas Rooker: It's not about what can get in; it's about what's already here.
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

Referenced in Toolbox Murders: As It Was (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

California (Back To Hell)
by Shithead
See more »

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User Reviews

Good Remake with the great Angela Bettis!
16 June 2013 | by RockPortReviewSee all my reviews

In 1974 Tobe Hooper directed the original horror masterpiece "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and created and instant name for himself. But over the past few decades he really hasn't done anything to write home about. Except that in 2004 he directed Angela Bettis in a remake of the 1978 film "The Toolbox Murders".

This new version stars Bettis as Nell as she and her husband move into the Lusman Arms apartment complex in Los Angeles. The complex in under an extensive renovation and is a complete mess, but they have a doorman. The story feels like a lost film from Roman Polanski, drawing a lot from the themes of "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Tenant". The story also throws in a bit of old Hollywood noir, as the apartment building was the former residence of the infamous Black Dahlia victim Elizabeth Short. The building is a character in itself as a dark and foreboding presence. The movie was shot at the old Ambassador Hotel which has a pretty storied past in itself. The Lusman Arms is the place where young actors come with dreams of making it big. Although Nell is a school teacher and her husband Steve and med student.

From the first scene of the movie we know that there is a ski masked maniac in the building who is killing off the resident and things seem to point towards Ned the quiet and creepy young maintenance man who kind of looks like Jack White. Like the original film he kills his victims with various tools in his toolbox, so yeah the title is pretty self explanatory.

Nell immediately gets the creeps about the place, but its so affordable since they have to live in a construction zone. We get to know a lot of the residents from an old man who has lived there for 60 years, to the young couple that is always fighting, and the middle aged couple with a teenage son. After hearing a bunch of screaming from next door Nell calls the cops, but they find nothing. She is all alone with her mind allowed to wonder and with the paper thin walls she can't get a moment of silence. As the terror and suspense increases Nell starts to investigate the history of the Lusman Arms. Acting on a tip from the Old Man she find that each floor is missing a room and that something sinister lurks within the walls.

This is a fun little movie that is all about Angela Bettis and her character Nell as she fights for not only her life but for her sanity. The "Toolbox Murders" DVD is available online or from Netflix and includes a couple of commentary tracks and some deleted scenes. So I guess you should put the Hot Pocket down and go watch this movie.


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