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The Toolbox Murders 4K               review by Bobby Blakey

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I love all things horror and even more so things that have controversy around them. In 1978 the Dennis Donnelly directed exploitation slasher flick The Toolbox Murders was unleashed on the world starring Cameron Mitchell, Land of the Lost star Wesley Eure, Aneta Corsaut, and adult film star Kelly Nichols. Now the cult classic is getting the 4K treatment from Blue Underground loaded with a ton of bonus content. Could this cult classic live up to the hype of its day or will it fail to use the proper tools of the trade?


The Toolbox Murders follows a lunatic who runs around an apartment complex, apparently home only to attractive flight attendants with a tendency towards exhibitionism. The culprit is a mysterious masked man determined to use every tool at his disposal to make "immoral" women pay.


It had been years since I watched this and was excited to dive back in knowing the ridiculous nature of its overall execution. The issues with this film are not with the story or the lower budget execution, but the choices and performance in general. I love this movie in all its bad glory. I respect the attempt of what Donnelly was trying to accomplish, but not sure how some takes were just taken as is.


The ladies make not just the typical bad decisions, but they make little to no sense from running away and sitting on the bed for safety or just watching the killer kill them with little to no reaction. It is so bad and also what makes this film so great in its absurdity. The idea of the handyman coming in and killing is a truly terrifying ideal, but the reactions to this is just not.


The bad nature of it is also what makes me love it so much. It is baffling in its nature and therefore works to silly perfection. Another likely not intended laughable aspect is that of the killer and his mask. For the first bit of the film his mask is on completely crooked and looks hilarious. Being an exploitation film I get that the real attempt here was to get as many kills and nakedness on screen and it delivers on that. It is not a good movie, but a classic that fans of the genre will no doubt love.  


Blue Underground's 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray of the film release includes a complete toolbox of special features and bonus content. Brand-new extras include a video essay, a look back at the career of Mitchell, a new audio commentary with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson, and interviews with director Donnelly and stars Eure and Nichols. 


Grab your copy of The Toolbox Murders when it hits 4K for the first time ever on January 18th from Blue Underground.

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