Sunday, September 20, 2015
THE TOOLBOX MURDERS (1978)
This is a great example of slasher movie that actually came out before HALLOWEEN kick-started the avalanche of similar films. It all starts out with a flurry of bloody, graphic murders of various women, including porn star Kelly Nichols, using various implements of destruction found in your average toolbox. The first third of this film is super sleazy mixing a bathtub masturbation scene with Miss Nichols, other assorted scantily-clad females and graphic bloodletting. From there it does slow down a bit but is still a great watch thanks to the batshit-crazy acting job of Mr. Cameron Mitchell who goes from kidnapping young girls to singing silly songs about about lollipops all the while never failing to convey that he is a complete wack-job psycho barely hanging onto sanity. This has to be my all-time favorite performance of Mr. Mitchell's and I'd recommend any grindhouse aficionados check it out if they haven't already.
I got a chance to view a slightly-aged 35mm print of this last night on a weird double-bill with the 80's nutso monster/ghost/zombie movie SPOOKIES which was quite the experience.
The film ends with a claim that this movie is based on a true case from the 60's which I'm willing to bet is a big load of horse-crap.
There was a remake of this, directed by Tobe Hooper, in 2004 that wasn't particularly good and was basically a remake in name only since it had a very different plot.
The 'mystery movie' aspects of this are pretty laughable since Mitchell is so bad at wearing a mask that you can see most of his face under it for a large part of the movie: