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Toolbox Murders (2005)

Angela Bettis , Brent Roam , Tobe Hooper  |  R |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Angela Bettis, Brent Roam, Marco Rodríguez, Rance Howard, Juliet Landau
  • Directors: Tobe Hooper
  • Writers: Adam Gierasch, Jace Anderson
  • Producers: Adam Gierasch, Frank Strausser, Gary LaPoten, Jacqueline Quella, Mark Wooding
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: March 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00079HZY8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,116 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Toolbox Murders" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Every year thousands of people move to Hollywood to pursue their dreams. Some succeed. Some go home. Others just… disappear. There are bad apartments – rats, bad plumbing, crazy landlords - and then there’s the Lusman building. Something evil lives deep in the building itself, something linked to the architecture itself… something that needs to keep killing to stay alive.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, gory and smart Tobe Hooper is back. March 1, 2005
The Ambassador Hotel an L.A. landmark takes center stage in Tobe Hooper's re-envisioning of the THE TOOLBOX MURDERS. Sharing the leading role with the Hotel is scream queen in the making Angela Bettis. Here she is cast as a more down to earth character than her two star making roles in CARRIE, and MAY and it is nice to see she is capable of great range. The rest of the ensemble cast fares well also, most notably Rance Howard (Ron and Clint's father). The first half of the film is mostly buildup with a couple of effective jolt type scares, while the later half lets the blood spill and harkens back to directors more classic work in being just genuinely frightening. Some great ideas are evident in the writing and while the finale could be a bit more "fleshed out" the pieces are there for you to put together (unlike the hit you over the head forced twist ending of say SAW). I was quite pleased as the credits rolled on this stripped down piece of throwback horror, something that can't be said of most of the recent genre attempts (excluding SHAUN OF THE DEAD and Bubba Ho Tep) No its no TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, but what is? Worth a peek if you are intrigued by a real horror flick, worth buying for fans of Tobe's and Angela.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
One of the respected horror directors Tobe Hooper comes back with the star Angela Bettis ('May' and TV's 'Carrie'). This 'Toolbox Murders' is a remake of the 1978 film of the same title, in which a killer uses various items in ... er ... the toolbox. Though the gimmick itself is unchanged, the new version gives more stress upon the spooky atmosphere coming from the well-chosen locations. And Ms. Bettis (I really like her) is a real talent, which is a bonus to the film.

The film is about the married couple newly moving in a decaying apartment building in LA. The place is surely spooky, and looks either infested with evil spirits, or just tenanted by a bunch of strange, slightly crazy inmates. As you know, so many people come to Hollywood with dreams, and if you are acting like a little bit starnge, no one cares. Even if you suddenly vanish.

But Angela Bettis's heroine plucky Nell notices something different, What is the dirty package hidden behind the wall of her room? What do the marks signify engraved on the floor of the building? The film slowly builds up the story.

[GREAT LOCATION] Tobe Hooper chose The Ambassador Hotel, now closed, where Robert Kennedy was assassinated. I don't know how many films in the past used this building as location, but in this Hooper's new film the place becomes the spookiest. In usual places, an officious manager or a creepy repairman is a big no-no cliche; in here, they look so real that you might feel that Hooper is talking about an old-fashioned ghost story, not a serial killer horror. (But actually, it is a serial killer story.)

However, Hooper's 'Toolbox Murders' is not perfect.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A surprising creep-out October 13, 2005
Recently I've been trying to figure out for myself exactly what I enjoy about horror movies and how it is that I come to love some, laugh at some, and yawn at most. After seeing Toolbox Murders the remake, I'm starting to understand what it is exactly that makes a horror film work for me and what makes some of them laughably bad. I watched this movie with no notion of what it was about and found myself riveted. As you watch, you really don't have a sense of who the killer is at all, you figure the maintenance guy is the obvious red herring so you rule him out, and the film doesn't give you any real idea of what you're dealing with. The murder scenes are creative and you start to wonder why more filmmakers haven't used nailguns, drills or table saws as their weapons of choice as they are seemingly logical items to use in serial killing. LOL. But when the story line seems to be taking you down a path of the usual slasher psychopath, it suddenly turns and becomes the supernatural, leaving you with lots of questions and wondering who and what the killer is exactly. You never do get the answer to these questions and that, for me, is what I love about certain horror films. I LIKE unanswered questions in horror, especially when there IS no explanation for things; that is what makes some horror really disturbing and others just plain cliche and stupid. This is a fine line however, as some films throw a bunch of garbage in the movie that makes no sense and expect the audience to come up with a solution that isn't there but this can be done cleverly so it works, as it does in Toolbox Murders. For me, I like when everyday things are turned into mazes of confusion and I enjoy being led down one path only to discover I have ended up somewhere else. It is the genius horror filmmakers that can do this and it is clear why Tobe Hooper is one of the Great Masters in horror.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Location location location March 16, 2005
By Elaine
Beware of renting in an old building that's being renovated - you never know what all that dust and noise might "wake up". Tobe Hooper is BAAAACK and he is NOT messing around in this scary, gory movie. Set in the Lusman Arms (but filmed at the creepy old Ambassador Hotel - site of many tragedies of its own), a young couple, Nell and Steven (the great Angela Bettis of "May" fame and Brent Roam), move in on the typical "dark and stormy night", unaware that a murder has already occurred in the building. As Steven is a med school intern, he is away a lot, leaving Nell to her own devices in this creepy building with it's MORE than fair share of strange tenants. She hears things, calls the police (who, of course, don't find anything) who think she is crazy, a friend down the hall disappears, she starts doing a little investigating into the Lusman's past and that's where the REAL fun starts. There are several power tool-related murders but Hooper has them lit in such a way that you can't quite make out what exactly is being done but the outcome is obvious (and quite grisly in a few cases). The building itself is a principal character and a very scary one at that - with all the dark hallways, boarded-up areas, the eerie back stairways, plastic sheeted areas for the renovation - LOTS of shadows and plays of light to startle and mislead. The supporting cast is quite good: Rance Howard (father of Ron and Clint) as a long-time denizen of the Lusman, Juliet Landau as Nell's friend, Julia, co-writer Adam Gierasch as Ned the creepy handyman, Sheri Moon ("House of 1000 Corpses") as Daisy, Adam Weisman as the voyeuristic young neighbor Austin who finally believes Nell. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Sheri Moon Zombie got killed off too soon, but campy movie was still entertaining.
Published 25 days ago by Ronald Ben
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
I chose a one star rating for this purchase because, I ordered the (Widescreen Version), and I received the (Fullscreen Version).
Published 5 months ago by carlton
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Angela Bettis.
I've said it before; I consider Angela Bettis to be one of the great under-rated actresses of our time. Her work always impresses me. Read more
Published 5 months ago by D. Barber
4.0 out of 5 stars Toolbox Murders
Product arrived on time and in good condition. Have not viewed movie yet so I cannot comment on movie content however I remember seeing this movie in the past and it was fairly... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jimmy C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good flick!
This was a great remake of the original. Angela Bettis reminds of the Amy Poehler character from SNL that would run around shouting RICKRICKRICKRICKRICK
Published 8 months ago by R. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
A very good and decent movie.

It is a nice buy and interesting story.

Will recommend to people to buy.
Published 10 months ago by Hassan Ur Rehman
3.0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed With This One
I had such I hopes for this movie especially since I heard the original SUCKED. I actually got into it in the beginning to the middle. It is gory but duh it's a slasher film. Read more
Published 13 months ago by K.L. CocKayne
3.0 out of 5 stars good movie
i loved this movie the hole trick with the salt acid i loved then the whole movie i thought like it was like saw alittle down graded for that
Published 15 months ago by Firstbank
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
Bought this movie as a gift, they loved it (as they had lost their copy and couldn't find it anywhere). Super-fast shipping, good price, like brand new.
Published on July 2, 2011 by Love England!
3.0 out of 5 stars An Effective Tool That Could Have Used Some Sharpening
A remake of the 1978 film of the same name, "The Toolbox Murders" is a return from director Tobe Hooper to his suspense/slasher roots. Read more
Published on May 24, 2011 by A. Estes
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