Friday, August 19, 2005

Toolbox Murders (2004) the remake

I'm back from the Midwest, home for a day, then off to a wedding in Visalia, California. I am going to post pics from the past week's trip - pics that will interest horror fans - I promise. I also really want to review the movie Nightmare Weekend, a weird, weird, mess of a movie that Troma released in the 80's on Lightening Video. That will have to wait.

Pirated DVDs - they are bankrupting the industry, costing people jobs, and are hand delivered by Bin Laden to the guy on your street corner. None of those things are true, so check out
this gallery of DVD cover scans hosted on Flickr.

Vegan horror filmmaker Scott Goldberg will be putting his movie The Day They Come Back online on
his website for two days, October 30th and 31st. DVD release is November 21st. He's working on a movie with Felissa Rose (it's called Danielle's Revenge), the actress who played the original Angela in Sleepaway Camp.

Over the break we hit up Blockbuster Video, a place that every horror fan hates, other than the readers of Fangoria who no doubt believe it is dope or fly cause they've got all the new CGI monster movies and Sci-fi Channel features. I picked Toolbox Murders because I wanted to see if director Tobe Hooper is back on track. This guy once brought us The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist as well as the cult slashers Eaten Alive and The Funhouse. Unfortunately his last well known movie was The Mangler. Released in 1995, it's a terrible Stephen King film that bears, of course, barely any resemblance to the original short story of the same name. Sadly, it got worse. In 2000, on video, appeared the Lake Placid knockoff, Crocodile, with a giant CGI beast. Oh that movie did certainly suck as you can better imagine.

People are talking about Tobe Hooper again because there has been some buzz about this Toolbox Murders, a gore-filled remake of a 70's bloodbath. Is this the awesome movie we've all been waiting for? Hell no.

The original The Toolbox Murders is not that memorable, but it has got one really great kill before ending on a slow note. At least the film goes down as one of the video nasties, banned in Britain. I really don't remember it well, but am pretty sure it drifted off on a dull kidnapping plot tangent. That's all irrelevant now, because Tobe Hooper's movie only shares the killing tools with the original. He brings in a bunch of other shit though... and it's all awful.

- a kid who hacks into his neighbors webcam, to watch her changing, but did he get that murder recorded?

- mysterious runes of magic decorating the building, this supernatural element is never explained. I mean that in a bad way, I know ambiguity often works in horror, but in here it's either laziness or too much crap ended up on the cutting room floor.

- a Trent Reznor-type brooding handy man, so obviously weird, that he could not be the killer.

- a cast of moody generation x'ers, look... the nineties are over, but here we are. A lot of rain too, sure there is a rainy season in L.A., but that looked like Seattle.

- a sleazy building manager, who seriously, did not seem at all bad to me next to an actual building manager that I had when I lived in Hollywood.

- piles of rotting corpses, like we discovered Leatherface's secret room, which is out of place in a movie that aims to be believable for the first two thirds of the way through.

- the movie did not feel 70's, despite the quote on the box cover, it felt very now... and it sets us up for a sequel!

- don't see it


Anonymous Halloween Guy said...

Hey Warrenzone,

Good to have you back, I look forward to your review of toolbox murders when you get the time.

Your right about blockbuster's "horror" section... me and the wife were standing right in front of it yesterday and did not really find much of what I was looking for (mainly classic Hammer stuff).

Anyway, just wanted to say hello from one horror / halloween bloger to another.

~ Halloween Guy

11:00 AM  
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