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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TBM, Candide with a nail gun killer.
Religious maniac and handyman, Vance Kingsley goes on a killing spree and kidnaps a young woman to protect her from the evils of LA.

The Toolbox Murders is best known for its opening 20 minute slaughter of mostly scantily clad or naked young woman. This put it on the video nasties list. The general consensus is that TBM goes downhill from there on in. The...
Published 10 months ago by Nelson Viper

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Toolbox Murders makes a belated return
Roasted over the coals for its alleged misogynistic overtones and all but chased out of the UK upon its initial video release, The Toolbox Murders makes a belated return appearance on video and its first appearance on DVD. Toolbox Murders notoriety rests entirely on its opening moments as Ski- Masked Psycho Cameron Mitchell murders a succession of women with the...
Published on 27 Jun 2000


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Toolbox Murders makes a belated return, 27 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Toolbox Murders [DVD] (DVD)
Roasted over the coals for its alleged misogynistic overtones and all but chased out of the UK upon its initial video release, The Toolbox Murders makes a belated return appearance on video and its first appearance on DVD. Toolbox Murders notoriety rests entirely on its opening moments as Ski- Masked Psycho Cameron Mitchell murders a succession of women with the contents of the titular Toolbox. Grand Guignol is taken to almost farcical levels as woman upon woman stumble upon the
killer and meet their fate. By the time Mitchell advances on his final victim of the evening with a drill theres barely enough room to move for all the dead bodies. After this shocking opening precariously little else really happens, Mitchell ranting insanities kidnaps a girl who he believes to be his daughter, splitting the rest of the narrative between the not so interesting attempts by the girl's brother to find her, and the girl's own attempts to escape. Toolbox has its moments such as Mitchell's legendary rendition of "Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child" but the film rarely peaks after its opening bloodbath. This DVD version does a good job in preserving perhaps the films finest feature, its camerawork by Orson Welles collaborator Gary Graver, but censor cuts of over 2 minutes rob the film of the reasons for all the hype. Sad to say that remove the opening half hour of the film and the Toolbox Murders could easily play on afternoon TV, hardly a fitting eulogy for a formally red-blooded video nasty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TBM, Candide with a nail gun killer., 8 Oct 2013
This review is from: Toolbox Murders [Blu-ray] [1978] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
Religious maniac and handyman, Vance Kingsley goes on a killing spree and kidnaps a young woman to protect her from the evils of LA.

The Toolbox Murders is best known for its opening 20 minute slaughter of mostly scantily clad or naked young woman. This put it on the video nasties list. The general consensus is that TBM goes downhill from there on in. The reality is that the kills are not the point of the story. They are the exploitation hook. Dennis Donnelly's film is really about a religious zealot trying to indoctrinate a girl he thinks he is saving and her struggle to get away. Like the Searchers and Taxi Driver, The Toolbox Murders could be seen as a spin on Candide. It is not a great film, but it does have aspirations and some stylish moments. The dynamics between Cameron Mitchell's almost tragic Vance Kingsley, Pamela Ferdin's not so naive Laura Ballard and Wesley Eure's creepy Kent Kingsley are pretty interesting for a B movie. The editing during the kills is excellent and the nail gun attack is a favourite of Stephen King.

Personally, I really Like the Toolbox Murders, but can see why some viewers are disappointed by it. It's a distinctive and in some ways ambitious example of what slasher films were like before the rules became fixed. The central idea is more of an attempt to graft drama onto sensationalism of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre than anything post-Halloween which was released the same year, 1978.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Vipco release stimulates controversy., 27 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Vipco pull through again by releasing this 1978 classic which has been unavailable since the great 'Video Nasty' scare of 1983. The film, dealing with a samauri who goes on a rampage in America, has not aged a bit and is still as shocking as it ever was. People get killed with all sorts of 'toolbox' appliances, hence the title. There is castration when a man urinates on the killers feet unknowingly, there are nail-gun murders, and a whole host of other nasty killings which have not been cut by the ever-sharp blade of the censor. Definatly not for the weak-of-heart, the film was one of the only 'Splatter' movies to be discussed in detail upon its release on a late-night talk show. The audience were shown the nail-gun murder, and groaned at disgust. Buy this movie now and you will not regret it! Great story, lovingly detailed kills, and previously banned as a bonus. Support Vipco - they are one of the best horror labels around, and have been operating since 1979, a year after this film was originally released.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Toolbox Murders Blue Underground Blu-Ray, 6 April 2010
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This review is from: Toolbox Murders [Blu-ray] [1978] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
In the early 2000's I set myself a task to see as many if not all of the DPPs final 39 list of video nasties I could, not for any other reason than just to say I had seen them all. Some were watched and put to the back of my DVD cupboard never to see the light of day again while others were straight back on Amazon marketplace and resold but there are a rare few have become firm favourites and although I feel slightly embarrassed to say it-favourite films I return to again and again. Well The Toolbox Murders falls into the latter category and despite its low budget, odd pacing and draggy middle I love the atmosphere and dare I say it, the gore not to mention the sight of Cameron Mitchell who played Buck Cannon from The High Chaparral chasing girls around an apartment block whilst wearing a ski mask and brandishing an array of DIY tools.

I won't go into detail of the plot of The Toolbow Murders though as if your reading this review there is a good chance you are already fully aware of what this particular slice of low budget American exploitation has to offer so I will get down to the nitty-gritty and head straight to how this new Blu-Ray release from film restoration experts Blue Underground compares to their already fantastic standard definintion DVD from way back in 2003.

Simply put the picture transfer is superb. The standard def release was always a stunner even back in 2003 and improved 100% on the cut fullframe DVD available here in the UK, but this new 1080p high definintion release takes this a step farther. The contrast and level of detail are grately improved with certain scenes popping out at the viewer and background scenes that were slightly obscured on the DVD now sharp and clear. Just check out the vase of flowers and the badly fitting carpet in the opening scenes to see what I mean. Other scenes have that all important viewing through a window feel that you get from Blu-Ray such as the close up of one of the victims and the initial car crash scene. As to be expected from a low budget 1977 picture there is an amount of natural film grain but it doesent affect the image and if anything is important to remind the viewer of what they are actually watching. Colours are rich and vibrant too and print damage is pretty much non existant. The image is presented in its original and correct ratio of 1.66:1 with slight window boxing on the left side of the screen and is completely uncut and uncensored. A fantastic job by Blue Underground.

When I first read the technical specs of this release I was very suprised and a little excited to see Blue Underground had given this a Lossless DTS HD-Master remix in 7.1!!! After slipping this into my Panasonic BD-80 I was a little disappointed with how this sounded. I wasent expecting a surround experience comparable to Terminator Salvation but after hearing Blue Undergrounds 7.1 remix of The New York Ripper which although played very front and centre had instances of jump out your seat descrete action and lots of ambient effects,especially in the busy New York streets. For The Toolbox Murders though the action starts in the centre channel and pretty much stays there for the whole duration of the film. I did count on two fingers instances where the sound broke free from the front namely the music in a busy bar and the score on the end credits but this plays out pretty much as mono. Thats not to say its a bad mix, compared to the DVD the sound is a lot fuller and more dynamic in lossless with music in particlar sounding far more rich but don't expect the .1 channel to add much punch. I did notice a couple of moments of distortion during the music passages namely on the vocals during the bathtub scene but this is more than likely a fault with the original recording. Overall not bad but I'm still not sure as to why Blue Underground have encoded this with a 7.1 mix as most viewers will hardly notice any change from the original mono. Included on the disc is a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1EX mix and the original mono track. All in all not bad but not the same kind of upgrade the picture has had.

As far as extras go you don't get anything different to the DVD release, infact you get less as for some strange reason as a poster gallery and Mitchell bio have been removed. But what is left is the good stuff. The feature length commentary with producer Tony Didio, DOP Gary Graver and actress Pamelyn Ferdin is very chatty and entertaining plus you get an interview the 'nail gunned girl' Marianne Walter and both a theatrical trailer and TV/radio spots.

The bottom line is if your a fan of this movie the new 1080p transfer is definatly worth the upgrade even if there is nothing new in the extras department. The Blu Ray is region free the same as the DVD and will play on all players worldwide.
Thanks to Blue Underground for this great release and heres to hoping they release more of their back catalogue to Blu-Ray. How I would love to Zombie 2 and Mountain Of The Cannibal God in hi-def!!!

Over-all:-
Movie-XXXX
Picture-XXXX
Sound-XXX
Extras-XXX
Ratings are out of five.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Scary But True, 11 July 2006
By 
Jim Piper (Blandford Forum, Dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Toolbox Murders [DVD] (DVD)
I can only assume the reason this film was banned was because of police embarrassment or as respect to the real life victims. Brief glimpses of a masked madman with various drill attachements setting about murdering the neighbours in a quiet suburban area then kidnapping the daughter of one of the deceased should lead to a mass murder hunt. In this case one detective was deemed to be enough.

The clues: The killer only had to forcefully enter the home of one of the three victims. The kidnapped girl bore an uncanny resemblance to the tragically lost daughter of the properties owner. The owner & his nephew were carrying out repairs to their properties at the time. The nephew was provided with a huge toolbox to carry out these repairs.

The faults: Cameron Mitchell [Uncle Buck] spilt more blood in the High Chaparral but sang just as badly. When the brother of the kidnapped girl suggested that the killer may have a key to the properties & could indeed be the owner our lone detective fell about laughing.

To sum up: The fact that the story is based on true events makes you feel less disappointed. As a docu-drama it is passable. As a horror film if this scares you i expect black & white Mummy/Werewolf presentations have the same effect. I am in the Excalibur/Alien lover class [but Disney's Big Red had me wailing] and love the modern cinema's gruesome effects. So sadly if you are like me & love being scared don't bother with this tame effort but if you don't like sleeping in the dark it's not for you either.

A definite MISS that should have been left undisturbed. JimP
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4.0 out of 5 stars WEIRD, 23 Jun 2009
By 
J. M. Nuttall "joe" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Toolbox Murders [DVD] (DVD)
not a bad slasher - bit of a weird ending though.

not a bad film o get on the cheap - better than the remake which is nothing like this
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CHIZEL, HAMMER, NAILGUN, DRILL !! !! !! !! !!, 12 Jan 2006
By 
M. Western "Zombie" (Wakefield, West yorkshire, Enagland, Eurpoe, Earth, Some random 'milky way') - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Toolbox Murders [DVD] (DVD)
The Tool Box Murders was a hard film to review, i love the films in Vipcos Vault of Horror and this was the film that got me into them! This film has been censored and edited quiet badly but there isnt that much of a difference from the uncut version, most of the death scenes were hard to see properly or were off-screen anyway. The Tool Box Murders was previously banneed (put on the video nasty list) and has been in that status for a surprisingly long time!
This film definetly has all the characteristics of a good slasher film and has a brilliant array of death scenes and weapons (or in this case tools). The killer is only saw with his black ski mask on at the start of the film but his face is discoverd near the end.
The Tool Box Murders has one of the strangest ending though, i wont tell you what happens because that will gust spoil it but i didnt like the ending and in my opinion it had a bad effect on the film!
But nomatter how rubbish this film may be it definetly gains a star for having the coolest and most relevant name a slasher has ever had! And for people who like this type of film it definetly catches your eye (especialy as the vipco DVDs have big yellow titles on a black back-ground).
The other thing i noticed about this film is how quiet it is, even when the women he kills are screaming you can hardly hear them for some reason (its not like their screaming quietly either) and whenever someones talking theres never a noise in the background, its just a very quiet conversaiton. This isnt a bad thing though, it doesnt have any affect on how good or bad the film is.
All the other things in this film are typical of a Vipco' movie, bad acting, bad dubbing, terrible picture, a below avarage story (this doesnt count all vipco' films).
I would reccomend this to any slasher or Vipco film fans but anyone else would probably hate this film!!!!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Toolbox Murders, 26 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The Toolbox Murders [DVD] (DVD)
Quite possibly the worst movie i have ever seen.
Do not order this movie at any cost, whatever your interest in any of the stars or its director.
My interest was in the female lead, Pamelyn Ferdin, who i saw and loved as a 12 year old in Clint Eastwood's' The Beguiled. She must have been suicidally desperate to even think about participating in this trash!
There is no acting or even a plot to humanise this inhuman garbage.
This one went straight to the trash can after 15 minutes.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really poor movie, 11 Feb 2011
By 
Gareth O'Flaherty (Newbridge, Ireland.) - See all my reviews
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I bought this DVD on the strength of its reputation as a classic, gory slasher. After watching it I can tell you it is not a classic, and it certainly is not gory. The special effects are lame and the gore level is at the TV movie level. The acting is atrocious and I fail to see how this movie has become so popular. One to avoid.
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Toolbox Murders [Blu-ray] [1978] [US Import]
Toolbox Murders [Blu-ray] [1978] [US Import] by Cameron Mitchell (Blu-ray - 2010)
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