The Toolbox Murders

The Toolbox Murders is a 1978 American slasher film directed by Dennis Donnelly, written by Ann Kindberg, Robert Easter, and Neva Friedenn, and starring Cameron Mitchell, Pamelyn Ferdin, and Wesley Eure. It follows a series of violent murders centered around a Los Angeles apartment complex, followed by the kidnapping and disappearance of a teenage girl who resides there. The film was marketed as being a dramatization of a true story, and was briefly banned in the early 1980s in the United Kingdom during the "video nasty" panic. It has garnered a cult following in the years since its release, and been cited by horror writer Stephen King as one of his favorite horror films.


A man dressed in black drives through Los Angeles. Near a car dealership, the man has a flashback of a car accident that occurred at the site which killed a young woman. The man arrives at an apartment complex and kills Mrs. Andrews, a female tenant (who recognizes him) with an electric 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, 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, a fifteen-year-old who lives in the above apartment with her family.