Macabre…ish Horror Review: Toolbox Murders




Toolbox Murders, 2004/ 1 hr 35 min


In the Lusman Arms apartment building that is currently being renovated and once a supposed opulent get away built by stars for the stars of old Hollywood. Now a residential tenement building and home to Daisy Rains (Sheri Moon Zombie). She is bludgeoned to death with a hammer claw shortly after getting home.


While the building bustles with new tenants moving in and the building manager attending them. There are strange happenings going on, weird noises over the intercom, a trinket box full of adult molars with gold fillings are found in a hole in a wall and tenants are vanishing.


A long time resident explains that the man who built the building, Jack Lusman, vanished and a lot of construction workers have died there. And there are symbols scattered throughout the building that are a part of the structure. It turns out, Jack was an occultist and part of a group that mixed science and magic, The Talman Lunar Cult, the symbols are part of a spell.


The next victim is tortured with a nail gun and her screams alerted a neighbor, Nell (Angela Bettis), who is losing credibility because the last time she called police, people were rehearsing lines and this time, they saw no one in the apartment.


Another resident, Julia (Juliet Landau) gets lobotomized with a drill but someone’s watching through a webcam placed in a her bedroom and inadvertently recorded the event.


Nell visits the Los Angeles Preservation Society to learn about the building and the blueprints shows a hidden townhouse within the structure. She returns home to find the townhouse and discovers the old gutted townhouse, newspapers covering a few walls, a room dedicated to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Also inside, torture chambers and human remains in different stages of decay. This has been going on for a while.


And the corpses aren’t just here, they’re everywhere, in the walls. Lusman Arms is a tomb. And Coffin Baby (Chris Doyle), the boy born from his mother’s corpse and clawed his way out, freed by her mourners. He keeps and replenishes this crypt.


This Tobe Hooper movie feels like an 80s movie and it’s based on a book with the same name. It’s paced well and it’s violent. As the movie goes on it becomes more graphic and gorier, it definitely gets better as the story goes on. And the story, though outlandish, is pretty solid. The effects are overall good but there are a few moments where the kill scenes and effects seem like they’re right out of the early 80s. Very nostalgic, I really enjoyed this!