DIRECTOR: Dean Jones
When a series of strange and grisly murders start taking place in Hollywood, it leaves Tinsel Town on edge. When a young woman is kidnapped and held prisoner after her sister's brutal murder, her boyfriend is the main suspect in her disappearance. Little do the police realise that a supernatural killer is the one committing the murders and is subjecting the kidnapped woman to the atrocities he is committing. She must try and bond with her kidnapper if she hopes to escape.
Reading up on the very troubled production of Toolbox Murders 2: Coffin Baby. It does explain a lot about this apparent sequel to the 2004 remake. It's believed that a lot of footage was shot for a sequel to the remake but during production, the distribution of the film and a breakdown between the director and producers stopped all that moving forward. It does give us an indication of why this film feels very fractured in the way this movie looks and feels. I think there were a lot of issues on what the vision should be and it shows in this sequel.
The only real connection that this movie has to the remake is the villain, Coffin Baby. Other than that, the movie feels completely different to Tobe Hooper's remake. While Coffin Baby continues to kill people using tools from his toolbox, this is an extremely low-budget production that relies more on extreme amounts of torture porn and gore. All the fun has been completely drained out of this dark and mean-spirited film. This is where I think you get a sense of what was happening behind the scenes.
Instead of giving us a story that focuses on Coffin Baby who had escaped at the end of Tobe Hooper's remake. This movie goes and shifts the focus onto our main victim Samantha. An annoyingly loud and stubborn woman who is kidnapped and subjected to copious amounts of torture. She has just discovered her sister was murdered and then she is suddenly kidnapped by the same killer. Cue an extremely long hour and forty minutes of a woman being put in a cage and forced to watch a killer hack people up. She also suffers some grievous bodily harm. This honestly feels like The Toolbox Murders meets Martyrs. Just nowhere near as great.
The story is all over the place in this film. We have multiple subplots throughout the movie that doesn't end up making any sense. The main one involving our victim, her boyfriend and another woman involved in a three-way relationship. The drowning of a baby that is in no way connected to Coffin Baby himself. A murder spree that involves a car full of gangsters who try to take on our killer and are murdered and lastly, the one where Coffin Baby falls in love with his victim yet cuts her hand off and tortures her which results in some serious Stockholm Syndrome.
I think they really missed an opportunity to go into the story of Coffin Baby's birth and maybe give us a prequel or at least delve into that idea. I think if they would've tied his horrific birth into a story set now where they show his reason for killing and him maybe continuing his killing spree in a new apartment block, this may have been a lot more enjoyable. This is a movie that leaves me with more answers to why it was even made as it feels so far removed from the original and even the remake. We also don't get any further explanation into the symbols that made an appearance in the remake. It's found on a mirror early on in this film but never brought up again.
Now, we also have to talk about the terribly laughable dialogue. One scene that had me rolling on the floor laughing, was when Samantha bursts into her murdered sisters apartment and asks the police and coroner why her sister is in a plastic bag? I found that she is so bratty and annoying all the way through this movie that it makes all of her dialogue-heavy scenes feel like nails down a chalkboard. The filming is also poor. I get that this is low-budget movie making but this was amateurish at best.
The acting is woeful in this film. The one person that I felt really sorry for was Bruce Dern. I think the man signed onto this movie when he believed he would be starring in a Toolbox Murders sequel. As the production went on and the movie became more convoluted, he probably had no idea what the finished product would be as his small 'cameo' scene is towards the end of the film. I bet he did his thing and went onto the next project without ever seeing the dailies. I also feel pretty sorry for Brian Krause from Charmed. He plays the detective in this film and he is left to do nothing much at all besides sit in an interrogation room.
Lastly, the one thing about this movie that I can recommend is the gore. This is pretty gruesome stuff. It's an hour and forty minutes of people being tortured and maimed. People are subjected to all kinds of mean-spirited and nasty stuff. This feels more in line with the brutality of Martyrs than the remake of The Toolbox Murders. I feel that most of the budget went into the makeup fx and blood. I can't say much about the rest of the film but if you love to see people being tortured for close to two hours, this will be right up your alley. I think they at least successfully get the bloodshed right.
DEATH TOLL: 11
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A man's face is sliced clean off.
- A severed head is thrown at a woman.
- A homeless man's head is cut off with a saw.
- A woman's hand is cut off with a saw and her stump is cauterised.
- The killer saws off a woman's leg.
- A man's head is smacked in with a metal pole.
- A woman is shot in the head.
- A woman's eyes, lips, tongue and nose are sliced off with a box cutter.
- A man is torn in half with a table saw.
- Two men are gunned down.
- A woman's skin is scraped off with a rock.
- A woman's skin is burnt with a blowtorch.
- The killer carves up a woman's leg, cooks and eats it.
- A woman is repeatedly hit in the head with a hammer.
- A man's head is sawn off and intestines are pulled out.
Toolbox Murders 2: Coffin Baby is a convoluted mess. Gone is the fun of the remake and replaced with a dark, mean-spirited bit of torture porn. Running at what feels like a very long hour and forty minutes. We are subjected to so much brutality that it just becomes complete overkill. With multiple subplots that end up making no sense, bad acting, amateurish direction, and laughable dialogue. This movie is by far, the worst film in the Toolbox Murders series. Let's hope that if there is ever a follow-up, they return to the likes of Tobe Hooper's vision and not this horrible sequel.