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Toolbox Murders

U.S. DVD cover
Directed by Tobe Hooper
Produced by Ryan Carroll
Frank Strausser
Ronnie Truss
Mark Wooding
Starring Angela Bettis
Brent Roam
Marco Rodríguez
Rance Howard
Juliet Landau
Music by Joseph Conlan
Cinematography Steve Yedlin
Editing by Andrew Cohen
Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Toolbox Murders is a remake of the 1978 film of the same name. In spring of 2003, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper announced he had plans to direct the remake. Hooper announced his cast as Angela Bettis from the cult hit May, and Juliet Landau, from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series. Sheri Moon (Baby, from a House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects) had a cameo.

Contents

Plot

In Hollywood, the young teacher Nell (Bettis) and her husband, Steven (Roam), move to an old building called Lusman Arms. Some sixty years ago, the place was glamorous, but presently is completely dilapidated, and many of its residents have disappeared while living there. While her husband is working in the hospital, the lonely Nell hears weird noises and becomes afraid of their home.

While jogging, she is introduced and becomes close to her neighbor Julia Cunningham (Landau) and they schedule a hike together on the next day. Julia never shows up, and Nell looks for her in the building. She finds that there is an evil being, descended from death itself, living hidden behind a wall with many corpses.

Cast

  • Angela Bettis as Nell Barrows
  • Brent Roam as Steven Barrows
  • Marco Rodriguez as Luis Saucedo
  • Rance Howard as Chas Rooker
  • Juliet Landau as Julia Cunningham
  • Adam Gierasch as Ned Lundy
  • Greg Travis as Byron McLieb
  • Chris Doyle as Coffin Baby
  • Adam Weisman as Austin Sterling
  • Christina Venuti as Jennifer
  • Sara Downing as Saffron Kirby
  • Jamison Reeves as Hudson
  • Stephanie Silverman as Dora Sterling
  • Allan Polonsky as Philip Sterling
  • Charlie Paulson as Hans
  • Eric Ladin as Johnny Turnbull
  • Sheri Moon as Daisy Rain
  • Price Carson as Officer Daniel Stone
  • Carlease Burke as Officer Melody
  • Bob McMinn as Shadow Man
  • Ralph Morris as Nell's father

Reception

Early reports of screenings were positive and many horror websites said this film will basically put Hooper back on the map. The film was originally rated NC-17, but quite a few gory moments were trimmed for an R rating. The scenes were released as extras on the US release of Toolbox Murders DVD. The majority of the film turned out to be a in-name-only remake of the original.

Toolbox Murders struck many Hooper fans and horror fans as a welcome return for Tobe Hooper who had been on a decline in films since the early 90's. Toolbox Murders received only a limited release in 2003 and 2004. The film was released on DVD in the United States in 2005.

This is Hooper's second of three collaborations with writers Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson. The first was the creature feature Crocodile released in 2000. The third collaboration was on the 2005 release of Mortuary.

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