The Toolbox Murders (1978)

Genres - Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller  |   Release Date - Mar 1, 1978 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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This grubby, sleazy sickie, purportedly based on a true story, is best known for the notorious scene in which the killer shoots the naked Kelly Nichols to death with a nailgun after she's been pleasuring herself in the bathtub. Nichols was quite comfortable with onscreen nudity, having appeared in dozens of porno films including several for this film's cinematographer, Gary Graver (aka "Robert McCallum"). Aside from the nailgun, viewers will also be treated to the spectacle of Vance sucking a lollipop and singing "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" to the bound Laurie; gruesome murders by screwdriver and hammer (he's the building super); and Kent setting Joey on fire after pouring gasoline on his head. None of these things would be quite as shocking if not for the cast, most of whom (save for Cameron Mitchell and Nichols) might have wondered what they were doing in junk like this. Kiddie TV fans will be mortified to see Land of the Lost's Wesley Eure beating and raping Space Academy's Pamelyn Ferdin. Watching this film is like one long corruption of Gen-X childhood memories, including the sight of The Andy Griffith Show's Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut, also in The Blob) as Ferdin's floozy mother. Co-writers Neva Friedenn and Robert Easter had previously collaborated on the ridiculous Super Van, a film which -- while just as misogynistic as this one -- isn't nearly so nasty. Director Dennis Donnelly did most of his work in television, helming episodes of such series as Adam-12, The Amazing Spiderman, The Man From Atlantis, and even Charlie's Angels. Pass the nailgun, Bosley.