“You need more than a spilled Pepsi to prove that she was kidnapped.”
When his sister (Pamelyn Ferdin) goes missing, a teenager (Nicolas Beauvy) and his friend (Wesley Eure) attempt to determine who has committed a rash of bloody murders in an apartment complex.
Within the first half-hour of this notorious serial killer flick — banned in the U.K. from 1982-2000 as a “video nasty” — we witness no less then four grisly “murders by tool” of nubile young women, all living within the same apartment complex. Shortly thereafter, we learn that the ski-masked killer is the apartment’s deeply disturbed landlord (Cameron Mitchell) who has gone off the deep end after the death of his teenage daughter in a car accident (shown as a flashback in the film’s opening credits sequence). When an apple-cheeked young virgin in the complex (Pamelyn Ferdin) goes missing, we can accurately guess that Mitchell is responsible, and that her life is in grave danger. Given its reputation, I was surprised to find The Toolbox Murders (remade in name only in 2004, by Tobe Hooper) to be a reasonably compelling slasher flick. While the opening murders are hard to stomach, the remaining hour or so holds one’s attention, as Mitchell chews the scenery and a major identity twist is revealed. While it’s only recommended for fans of the genre, this one is not quite as bad as you’d think.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- The “bedside” scene between Mitchell and Ferdin
No — though hardcore film fanatics may be curious to check it out, given its notoriety. Listed as Trash in the back of Peary’s book.