The Toolbox Murders. 1978. USA. Directed by Dennis Donnelly. 93 min.
Grind-zine Gore Gazette creator Rick Sullivan (who died in December 2017) found a receptive audience away from West 42nd Street among the Club 57 cinephiles. Gore Gazette, a myopic and idiosyncratic “handmade” handout devoted to cinema ignored by the conventional filmgoer, screened several movies at the club, and this Cameron Mitchell vehicle was among them. Mitchell had started out in the 1940s working with John Ford in Hollywood, and in the original Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Extremely prolific, possibly alcoholic, and bankrupt more than once, Mitchell was sometimes reduced to making Grade-Z product. And he didn’t always phone it in. From The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, by Michael Weldon: ‘Cameron Mitchell in his ultimate exploitation sickie. As the crazed super of a California apartment building…[his] performance is indescribable.’” (film notes by John Epperson).