A man dressed in black drives through Los Angeles, and flashes back to a girl dying in a car accident. The man arrives at an apartment complex, and kills a female tenant (who recognizes him) with a drill. Afterward, the man dons a ski mask, and murders two other women, the first with a hammer, and the second with a screwdriver. The police are called, and they interview the people who found the bodies, as well as Vance Kingsley (Cameron Mitchell), the owner of the building. The next night, the killer strikes again, breaking into the apartment of a woman who is masturbating in her bathtub, and shooting her in the stomach and head with a nail gun. The murderer then abducts Laurie Ballard (Pamelyn Ferdin), a fifteen year-old who lives in the above apartment with her family. Laurie’s brother Joey (Nicholas Beauvy) is questioned by Detective Jamison (Tim Donnelly), and frustrated by the man’s seemingly lax attitude towards Laurie’s disappearance, decides to search for his sister on his own. While looking through the homes of the murdered women, Joey meets up with Kent (Wesley Eure), Vance’s nephew, who has been hired to clean up the apartments of the deceased tenants. While Joey is helping Kent, Kathy Kingsley, Kent’s cousin and Vance’s daughter, is brought up, with Kent mentioning that Vance has not been the same since Kathy died in a car accident. It is revealed that Vance is the serial killer, having been driven insane and to religious mania by the death his daughter. He is killing sinners, and has kidnapped Laurie (who is kept tied up in Kathy’s bedroom) to replace Kathy. During a discussion with Detective Jamison, Joey realizes that all the clues point to Vance being the killer, so he goes to the Kingsley house, and is followed there by Kent…

“The Toolbox Murders” was one of the video nasties of the 1980s and was banned in the UK from 1982 to 2000 by the BBFC. An edited DVD was released in the UK in 2000 by VIPCO. To date, there is no uncut UK release. The film was marketed as well as being a dramatization of a true story taken place in 1967. I have managed lately to finally see “Maniac”, “The Driller Killer” and now “The Toolbox Murders”. Those classic video nasties you red and heard about. To my surprise I think “The Toolbox Murders” succeeds by far the other two in dramatisation and horror being a cross of a gory slasher and a psychological thriller film. The storyline is not just a gory movie with a faceless murder, instead with the religious undertone and bottomless sadness through loss of a dear one,”The Toolbox Murders” is just not your average slasher. And I do love the twist in the end and the fact that they claim it was based on a true story creates another layer to the film. Cameron Mitchell is good as Vance Kingsley and he fits the role. Yes, you can question the full on nudity in it, but I reckon the filmmakers wanted one more dimension to upset the movie goers in 1978. The acting might be wobbly at times and it´s not a 100% production, but it´s for sure one of the better so called video nasties I have seen. (3 out of 5)

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