Saw's Grandpappy 


A hulking, humming, heavy-breathing psychopath starts doing renovations on the young women of an apartment complex in 1978's The Toolbox Murders. This guy's a big fan of the cordless drill (which, as everyone knows, is the least scary, least powerful thing on the average workbench), the pneumatic nail gun, and the claw end of a hammer. Basically, the film is like Saw's old-timey grandpappy.

Halfway through, Toolbox takes a turn from the slasher genre when the killer (Cameron Mitchell) gets unmasked and kidnaps a virginal 15-year-old girl who reminds him of his dead daughter. Imprisoned in a white, frilly bedroom and bound with organza, she waits out her captivity in wide-eyed terror. Oh yeah, and it's based on a true story.

But is it good, you ask? Ha! No, it's not. It's grindhouse. What it has, at least, are some vaguely innovative killings, the hammiest performance by Mitchell you'll see outside of a county fair, '70s-tastic sets, dumbass character actors you'll recognize from your formative years as a TV-watching latchkey kid, and a slowly paced climax that unfortunately wipes the previous hour's gore clean from your memory.

Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for The Grindhouse Film Festival: The Toolbox Murders


Showing 1-1 of 1

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

More by Courtney Ferguson

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy