After the first 15 minutes of Dennis Donnelly’s “The Toolbox Murders,” I thought I was getting myself into a nonsensical slasher with no plot and no character development whatsoever. To my surprise, that is actually not what ensued for the next hour and 15 minutes. Instead, I got a slasher flick that actually thrives on building the villain and tries to make the viewers really understand what drives him to do what he does.
The acting in this 1978 ‘exploitation’ film varies from actor to actor. Some are just plain mediocre, while Cameron Mitchell does an outstanding job as Vance Kingsley, a distraught man who is suffering from the loss of his daughter… and of his mind. Wesley Eure, who plays Mitchell’s nephew in the film, Kent, stands right behind Mitchell with the second best performance of the movie.
The kills were great for a 70’s slasher and the first 15 minutes or so of the film should be enough to keep any gore fan satisfied. I couldn’t really predict how the film was going to end and when the climax finally came, I was very happy; I thought it was a great ending, made even better by its unpredictability.
I know there is a remake out there, floating around, but if you haven’t seen Dennis Donnelly’s original “The Toolbox Murders,” you definitely should do so. I’ll give it an overall rating of 3 drill bits out of 5.