Horrorfest 2022 Presents: The Toolbox Murders (1978, Dennis Donnelly)


The Toolbox Murders first half contains murders that make even a gorehound like myself feel uneasy. Too bad the last half of the movie turns into a bottle episode that slows the movie down until the rather creepy finale. I’m reminded of a steak that appears tasty at first until you start cutting away and realize there’s too much fat inside. I prefer my slasher movies a bit leaner and meaner than even what this one has to offer.

Still Dennis Donnelly’s likely most famous creation works as a movie, and it did have some wonderfully nasty surprises up it’s sleeve. Cameron Mitchell gives a freaky and evil performance, fully taking over the movie by the middle of the flick. Pamelyn Ferdin also does a fine job of being the so called final girl, although she doesn’t get much to do for a lot of the movie.

The Toolbox Murders fits in well among the other 1970s sleeze type horror movies that were a big part of that decade. Some of those movies are fantastic and a few are even classics. I wouldn’t label this one anything other than a decent grindhouse B movie that was unfortunately inspired by real events. People tell me reality is more terrifying than onscreen, and they have a point.

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