30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Bob Vila's Favorite Film!,
This review is from: The Toolbox Murders (DVD)
Back in the day Phil Donahue devoted an entire show to violent films and their alleged harmful effects, focusing mainly on The Toolbox Murders. This type of horror film was still quite new at the time, Halloween still being a year away and Friday The 13th three years away. I can understand how Phil and Co. thought this was appalling at the time, but any hardcore horror fan will say, "what's all the fuss about?" Actually I'm surprised they singled this out and didn't devote the hour to Last House On The Left. I guess Phil didn't watch that one. Imagine his reaction if he saw Cannibal Holocaust! Anyhow, as you'll read in other reviews, people really think this is a stinker. Most of these folks are young horror fans exposed to this film for the first time since it recently got a dvd release expecting an all out bloodbath coz of the film's reputation. Yeah, if you have those expectations I can almost guarantee you'll walk away disappointed. the actual "toolbox murders" occur from the getgo and go on for about a half hour or so, then we're done with the slasher flick portion of the film. The film totally switches gears at this point, right after the killer abducts a fifteen year old girl. Ya see, this guy feels he's doing God's work by killing women he finds immoral and dirty. All victims are from the same apartment complex, and do cool stuff like dance in lingerie right in front of the window. How come this never happens in my apartment complex? Although I did hear a couple going at it last summer. Anyhow, that's not important, back to the story. He kidnaps this girl to save her from these evils, but also becomes convinced that she is his daughter who had died some years before. I've seen this film a time or two before, so I know about the psycho-drama part of the film. Quite frankly, I enjoy it. Cameron Mitchell does an adequate job, looking like a psycho Tom Jones. Lots of acting bashing here, but the scenes showing him and the girl in a father/daughter type mind game aren't too bad and even a bit disturbing at that. Gore? Confined to the first half hour mainly. The murders aren't barf bag sick or anything, but unpleasant enough. Don't hold your breath for the infamous nail gun scene, coz it's nothing to write home about. The tub scene preceeding it is an attention getter, but if you see enough slasher films, the nail gun's not so shocking. It's only famous coz it's a nail gun, which is something that had never been used in a horror film before. I would recommend The Toolbox movies if you're a connoisseur of old horror and exploitation films. It's a minor classic in it's own right, so what could it hurt to say you've seen it? Once again Blue Underground's devotion to the restoration of crappy films comes through nicely here. This film probably didn't look or sound this good upon it's original release! Watch it in your underwear with a full stock of Funyuns for full effect.