Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Toolbox Murders (1978)

Director: Dennis Donnelly

Writers: Neva Friedenn, Robert Easter, Ann Kindberg

Composer: George Deaton

Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Pamelyn Ferdin, Wesley Eure, Nicolas Beauvy, Tim Donnelly, Aneta Corsaut, Faith McSwain, Marciee Drake, Evelyn Guerrero

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Bit by bit..By bit he carved a nightmare!

Plot: In a quiet apartment complex in Los Angeles, a deranged handyman goes on a killing spree, savagely murdering 'immoral' women with the tools of his trade - claw-hammers, screwdrivers, power drills and even a deadly nail gun! But these gruesome massacres are just the beginning of this landmark epic of violence and depravity that was vilified by critics, banned by censors, and treasured by splatter fans worldwide. This is... THE TOOLBOX MURDERS!

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Probably.

Featured on Stephen Romano Presents Shock Festival (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

You know what's great about this flick?  The opening credits have us tagging along for a car ride that ends up at an apartment building where we then follow a man with a toolbox into an apartment where he promptly pulls out a drill and murders a middle aged woman while a country song, "Carolina In the Morning", plays on the record player.  Nice!  85 more minutes to go before the end.

And then another?  And another?  They're not fucking around with this flick.

I've just got two questions.  Who is that broad and where the hell is this apartment complex?

The kills just keep coming.  This is great!

The songs they're playing during the kills are hilarious...except now it's an hour before the next kill.  The ending is great and it took me by complete surprise.  The biggest issue I have is that hour of slow, who cares goings-on.  Cut that in half and you've got something but it's an awful lot to sit there for an hour after several great kills (and some nudity).  If only there were something interesting happening in that gap between goodness to hold your attention.  I'll probably watch it one more time years down the road but I'm not going to expect much.  This could be a great classic if only maybe the kills were either more abundant or spaced out better.  Great beginning and end, though.

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