Toolbox Murders

The Toolbox Murders

4.0 1
Director: Dennis Donnelly, Cameron Mitchell, Pamelyn Ferdin, Wesley Eure

Cast: Dennis Donnelly, Cameron Mitchell, Pamelyn Ferdin, Wesley Eure

     
 

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After a tense, bloody beginning, The Toolbox Murders takes a turn first into TV movie-style suspense and then stumbles towards an incredibly silly conclusion. Despite a sensational reputation amongst splatter fans (including Stephen King, who provides a promotional blurb for the video release's packaging) the only gore occurs within the first 30 minutes, as a

Overview

After a tense, bloody beginning, The Toolbox Murders takes a turn first into TV movie-style suspense and then stumbles towards an incredibly silly conclusion. Despite a sensational reputation amongst splatter fans (including Stephen King, who provides a promotional blurb for the video release's packaging) the only gore occurs within the first 30 minutes, as a ski-masked maniac cuts a bloody swath through an apartment complex. Four attractive young women are dispatched in harrowing style with a variety of power tools, indicating a killer taking extreme sadistic pleasure in his work. It's no surprise when the apartment owner (Cameron Mitchell) is revealed to be the monster, but his claims of putting the "dirty" women out of their misery quickly doesn't jive with what's been presented earlier. He murders in order to avenge the unrelated car accident death of his only daughter, and to this end, kidnaps a virginal 15- year-old girl to replace her. Unfortunately, his nephew is also fixated on the dead girl, and has his own obsessions. Director Dennis Donnelly did most of his work in TV, thus the preponderance of familiar television faces on display: his brother Timothy Donnelly from Emergency!, Wesley Eure from Saturday morning's Land of the Lost, and Pamelyn Ferdin, a '70s sitcom perennial with many guest shots including The Brady Bunch and The Odd Couple. The incongruity of these appearances, along with the clumsily expressed psychosis of the villains, destroys any sense of dread created at the outset of The Toolbox Murders, and as a result, the only enjoyment that can be obtained from the film is ultimately derisive.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
This grubby, sleazy sickie, purportedly based on a true story, is best known for the notorious scene in which the killer shoots the naked Kelly Nichols to death with a nailgun after she's been pleasuring herself in the bathtub. Nichols was quite comfortable with onscreen nudity, having appeared in dozens of porno films including several for this film's cinematographer, Gary Graver (aka "Robert McCallum"). Aside from the nailgun, viewers will also be treated to the spectacle of Vance sucking a lollipop and singing "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" to the bound Laurie; gruesome murders by screwdriver and hammer (he's the building super); and Kent setting Joey on fire after pouring gasoline on his head. None of these things would be quite as shocking if not for the cast, most of whom (save for Cameron Mitchell and Nichols) might have wondered what they were doing in junk like this. Kiddie TV fans will be mortified to see Land of the Lost's Wesley Eure beating and raping Space Academy's Pamelyn Ferdin. Watching this film is like one long corruption of Gen-X childhood memories, including the sight of The Andy Griffith Show's Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut, also in The Blob) as Ferdin's floozy mother. Co-writers Neva Friedenn and Robert Easter had previously collaborated on the ridiculous Super Van, a film which -- while just as misogynistic as this one -- isn't nearly so nasty. Director Dennis Donnelly did most of his work in television, helming episodes of such series as Adam-12, The Amazing Spiderman, The Man From Atlantis, and even Charlie's Angels. Pass the nailgun, Bosley.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/26/2010
UPC:
0827058702393
Original Release:
1978
Rating:
NR
Source:
Blue Underground
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:34:00
Sales rank:
12,634

Special Features

Audio Commentary with Producer TonY DiDio, Director of Photography Gary Graver and Star Pamelyn Ferdin; ; I Got Nailed in The Toolbox Murders - Interview with Star Marianne Walter; ; Theatrical Trailer; TV Spot; Radio Spots

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cameron Mitchell Kingsley
Pamelyn Ferdin Laurie
Wesley Eure Kent
Nicolas Beauvy Joey Ballard
Timothy Donnelly Detective Jamison
Aneta Corsaut JoAnn Ballard
Evelyn Guerrero Butch
Kelly Nichols Victim
George Deaton Conductor

Technical Credits
Dennis Donnelly Director
George Deaton Score Composer
Tony DiDio Producer
Robert Dietz Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Easter Original Story,Screenwriter
Gary Graver Cinematographer
Jack Kindberg Associate Producer
Ann Kindberg Original Story,Screenwriter
Skip Lusk Editor
Kenneth A. Yates Associate Producer

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The Toolbox Murders 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago