Plot Synopsis: Ski-masked maniac kills apartment complex tenants with the contents of a toolbox.
I love old horror films. By old I mean late 70's early 80's, before the MPAA became censor happy. The older films had gratuitous nudity, and lots of gore. Not piles of it like now to make it almost laughable, but gory, bloody killings. The Toolbox Murders had all of this.
Toolbox centers around the world stupidest killer. I say this because he drives around at night looking for victims. He stops at an apartment complex, gets out of his car, gets a toolbox, and walks past a handful of people. He enters an apartment, and kills a drunk, ugly woman. He uses a power drill, and rips her up good. When he's done he puts on a ski mask, Yes, when he's finished. Basically this woman saw him, which I guess doesn't matter as she's dead, but the people he walked by did. So then with his crooked mask on he walks down the hallway and knocks on another girls door. When she answers he drags her out, takes her to an empty stairwell and caves her skull in with a hammer. Pretty blood scene again. Then our mentally challenged killer picks up her lifeless body, and carry hers back to her apartment. I have no idea why he didn't just kill her in her apartment in the first place. Her roommate shows up but is quickly stabbed with a screwdriver. Our killer, who's ski mask is still on crooked then looks out the window to watch some girls in different apartments dance around by their respective windows. He then leaves with his ski mask on. So to recap. The killer walks around in public and kills one person without hiding his identity, then puts a mask on crooked, kills two more, then leaves with the mask on. Guess I'm the only person who would be suspicious of a masked guy walking past me in downtown LA during the summer.
So now the cops show up and interview the apartment manger, who acts surprised, and gives the cops a list of all the old tenants. So the next night a very attractive red head decides to take a bath. She must have been dirty, because we watch her clean herself for like 4 minutes. And yes, shes completely naked. As she is getting clean she decides to get dirty as well and starts masturbating. About this time, the worlds most annoying killer, I say that because this was a good scene, shows up with his mask on wrong and mows her down with a nail gun, that is of course after he missed her like 4 times, and has to keep reloading it. As he's already got his mask on he goes next door and grabs another girl. He chokes her out, and takes her with him. He must have ran out of nails trying to kill the other girl. Well this chicks brother shows up, he lives with her, and knows somethings wrong because there;s a diet Pepsi on the floor. That, and when they find the body downstairs and his sister is gone, he figures out something is wrong. So he tells the cops he thinks the killer grabbed her, but they tell him he needs more proof than a spilled Pepsi. If only she drank Coke.
Unfortunately here is where the film really slows to a crawl. As the girls brother looks like a dim witted version of Fred from Scooby Doo he thinks hes a junior detective. Luckily the cops, and forensic team suck, as when he starts going to these murdered girls apartments, none of them have been cleaned. So after watching this moron plod around for 15 minutes we cut to an apartment downtown and find our girl tied up and gagged while our killer talks to her while eating a Tootsie Roll pop. He's nice though, he takes off her gag and brings her food. In case you want to know the killer is the apartment manager. You know the guy with access to all these rooms. I guess the cops didn't think about that.
The guy makes a good nut job, telling the girl how he cant lose her, and wanting to know what its like for her being tied up. After about another 20minutes of just talk Fred, or whatever his name is, and his buddy find a tool box and start going through it, when, whats this, in the big swerve Fred's buddy pulls the classic pro wrestling double cross and dowses him with gas, and lights him on fire. Turns out the killer is this guys family, also turns out this kid is bat shit crazy too as he kills our main killer, after they do battle over a doll in a wedding dress. He then goes back to rape the girl, and then unties her and lays in bed with her hoping too spoon. As shes been held captive, and raped, and not happy, and also as shes not tied up, she grabs some scissosr and kills the guy, then just walks down the street covered in blood as the credits roll.
So lets see, who would the biggest idiot here be. The Apt. Manager, who doesn't know how to properly disguise himself before murdering someone. His idiot family member, who after raping a girl he has captive keeps her untied to cuddle with her. Fred from Scoob Doo as he doesn't know his freind is a killer. The cops, because they have absolutely no clue, and don't even clean crime scenes. Or finally the girl, who doesn't scream for help when shes ungagged.
Overall though this is a good film, a nasty treasure from the 70's so to speak. It's a fine piece of exploitation. Blood, violence, and nudity. Very slow middle, but a great beginning, and nice end makes up for it. It's supposedly based on a true story, but that has ben argued for years. I recommend picking this one up. Just be carefully, there was a remake done in the mid 2000's. You want the original
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars.