Chiller Tuesday VHS Horror Review 'The Toolbox Murders'
The Toolbox Murders (1978)
Welcome back to the crypt VHS fiends!
Todays installment brings us to a lesser talked about favorite of mine, The Toolbox Murders from 1978! This film came to be in the wake of Texas Chainsaw copycats, but before the popularity of the slasher craze we would see with Halloween and Friday the 13th. Like some other films, this one rides the line of different subgenres. Boasting ties to not only sleazy slasher, but also psychological thriller, crime drama and giallo.
Directed by Dennis Donnelly, who held his hand in tv shows, this was his only film debut.
Set in LA, we open centering around murders occurring in an apartment complex. Met immediately with 3 back to back slayings featuring a killer in a ski mask, no time is wasted in the first act of this film. We are then introduced to complex owner Vance Kingsley (Cameron Mitchell) as the police begin investigating who could be behind such brutal crimes.
The movie shifts gears into more thriller crime drama as early on the motive and identity of the killer is revealed to the audience. But don’t fret! Just as we think we have this one figured out, a twist is thrown in showing another sinister character at play, worse than the other!
This one seems to fall under the mainstream radar in my opinion. It isn’t as jarring with in your face action and gore as some later slashers. The soundtrack gives almost an ethereal feel, even as horrible events play out before you. It’s quite unique in its ability to compile multiple subgenres together, much like what I praise “Torso” for as well. Not one I recommend for everyone, but for 70s sleaze fans, at least one watch is recommended!
Fun fact: A remake of this one was put out in 2004 by none other than Tobe Hooper.
Streaming: Amazon Prime, Youtube(paid), Tubi(free)
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