I first became aware of this film via an old copy of "Kingdom of the Spiders," which contained a slew of trailers after the credits. The preview for this is absolute gold, which actually made me a little wary of seeing it. So often, I'll find great trailers for obscure horror films, then go to the effort and much cost to track it down, and then I am ultimately let down because the preview just boiled it down to the finer parts. And while "The Toolbox Murders" trailer kicks massive amounts of ass and features ample nudity and violence, and I am happy to report that all you see here is merely the tip of a monstrous iceberg.
I've seen people say some really downright stupid things about this movie. Primarily, any allusion to the fact that this is your run-of-the-mill slasher is the most fucking retarded things you will ever be told about any movie. There is absolutely nothing common about the movie. In fact, this thing verges on high art. Sure, you have a masked killer with a gimmick bumping off broads, but the elements which surround the violence make for a downright bizarre collage. In particular, the editing and the music during the bath tub masturbation scene which prefaces one of the killings is absolutely stellar.
I actually try to show this movie to as many people as I can, an I'm often met with a complete lack of enthusiasm. Once it gets rolling however, people are absolutely riveted. One of the main reasons is the incredible performance by Cameron Mitchell. Anyone who sees this film will become acutely aware of this man as an intense force. In fact, after experiencing this movie I'd go out of my way to see anything the guy did, no matter how low budget the production. Mitchell was one of those guys who, no matter how shitty the movie he was in may have been, put 200% of himself forward. Nowhere is it more apparent than in this film.
They say this was based on a true story, and I really hope it was, but I've never been able to find any evidence of that being true. Nevertheless, the story and the motivations of the characters certainly smack of something that could have been true. In all, this movie is far from typical. Yes, it's sleazy, but the moments with the younger characters actually feel like something out of an episode of the Partridge family. Anything featuring "an innocent" feels completely white washed, and the contrast between those moments and the more gruesome scenes is enjoyably jarring. The acting itself is way above par for a film of this nature. In fact, EVERYBODY in this film turns in a solid performance. This is top-to-bottom entertaining and well worth seeking out.
Tobe Hooper remade this film several years ago, and though I have yet to see it, it doesn't seem to share many similarities with the original based on what I've read. It gets high marks, but I remain skeptical.
Like I said, the trailer has nudity, so don't watch it if you work around a bunch of uptight squares.
And yeah, I know, the box isn't VCI. Eat a dick, I'm tired.