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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Dennis Donnelly
USA 1978

 

A secured Los Angeles apartment building is beset by a series of grisly murders by a toolbox-carrying ski-masked killer. In between drilling, claw-hammering, and nail-gunning "sinful" women, he also takes time to stalk good girl Laurie (Pamela Ferdin). When he abducts her, her brother Joey (Nicholas Beauvy) and the building super's nephew Kent (Wesley Eure) play detectives. Little do they realize that Kent's uncle Vance (Cameron Mitchell) is holding Laurie and pretending she's his dead daughter (though the audience will have been several steps ahead of them from frame 1). Although charged as misogynistic at the time of its release, nowadays THE TOOLBOX MURDERS feels exactly like the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE cash-in that it is (the film predates the slasher cycle). The poor scripting - leavened only by Mitchell's dedicated performance and Ferdin's sympathetic portrayal - is so formulaic it borders on parody: the police - lead by the director's brother Tim Donnelly - pad the running time without contributing to either the exposition or the solution, the victims are clearly delineated from the good girl by displays of alcoholism, exhibitionism, and lesbianism, and while Mitchell throws himself into his performance neither he nor the script bother to try to make him seem normal even when interacting with the police (though Eure fills in for the scenes without Mitchell with his own brand of overacting). In any case, the film is monumentally superior to the supernaturally-themed abortion of a remake directed for-hire by Tobe Hooper. A sequel to the original is in pre-production.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: March 1978 (USA)

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Comparison:

Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Blue Underground Screen Caps!

(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Blue Underground
Region
FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:42 1:33:49.290
Video

1.65:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.14 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 21,563,871,271 bytes

Feature Size: 20,217,845,760 bytes

Average Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Blue Underground

 

Bitrate:

 

Blue Underground (Blu-ray)

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1897 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 1897 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital EX Audio English 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles none English, French, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.65:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by actress Pamela Ferdin, cinematographer Gary Graver, and producer Tony Didio
• I GOT NAILED IN: THE TOOLBOX MURDERS - interview with actress Marianne Walter (16:9; 8:07)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:19)
• TV Spots (16:9; 0:32)
• Radio Spots (2x at 0:31 each)
• Poster and Still Gallery
• Cameron Mitchell Bio

DVD Release Date: September 30, 2003
Amaray

Chapters 23
 

Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

 

Disc Size: 21,563,871,271 bytes

Feature Size: 20,217,845,760 bytes

Average Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by actress Pamela Ferdin, cinematographer Gary Graver, and producer Tony Didio
• I GOT NAILED IN: THE TOOLBOX MURDERS - interview with actress Marianne Walter (16:9; 8:07)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:19)
• TV Spots (16:9; 0:32)
• Radio Spots (2x at 0:31 each)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: January 26th, 2010
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 23

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Although THE TOOLBOX MURDERS was an early Blue Underground release, the single-layer disc seems to have been taken from the same master as their new Blu-Ray. Naturally, the Blu-Ray has the edge in detail. Unlike some of their early Blu-Ray releases, Blue Underground has included the original mono mix along with the Dolby Digital EX and DTS-HD 7.1 upmix. Since the original mix has been included and most of the extras ported over from the SD release (other than the poster/still gallery and Mitchell bio), the Blu-ray is the clear choice.

Eric Cotenas

I concur with Eric - not only is the A/V Predictably improved,  with a higher level of grain, on the Blu-ray but it's actually cheaper than the DVD at the writing of this comparison.

 - Gary Tooze

 


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Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)
 

 


 

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Screen Captures

 

(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Blue Underground
Region
FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

 




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