Coffin Baby 2013…
Coffin Baby (aka Coffin Baby – The Toolbox Killer Is Back) is a 2013 American horror film written and directed by Dean C. Jones and starring Bruce Dern, Brian Krause, Clifton Powell, and Ethan Phillips. It has been represented as a sequel to 2004’s Toolbox Murders, but is not. The majority of the footage in the film was shot for Toolbox Murders 2, the sequel to the 2004 film in which the eponymous toolbox killer, Coffin Baby, resumes his gruesome killing spree from the first film. Actor Christopher Doyle reprises his 2004 role as Coffin Baby. However, distribution of Coffin Baby has been stopped by agreement between Dean Jones and the producers of Toolbox Murders 2.
I have a confession to make. I saw the Toolbox Murders when it first came out on DVD. Thought it was okay. I only recall the very basics about it because Juliet Landau was in it and any self respecting Buffy fan knows who she is. At the time I started watching Coffin Baby last night, I had no idea it was intended to be a sequel to anything and I had no recollection that the TBK in the first film was named Coffin Baby. I mean, the name of the first movie was, Toolbox Killer why in the hell would he have two names? So, I can honestly say that my review of Coffin Baby is not based on the merits or lack there of the first film. I will suggest that if you’re going to find Coffin Baby maybe watching The Toolbox Murders from 2004 first will somehow make Coffin Baby a better film.
Coffin Baby is gory. The special effects aren’t amazing or ground breaking but they will be good enough to make the average person squirm a little. The acting isn’t great but I think that has more to do with the director using bad takes. I am sure the film had a tight budget and it was a shoot and go set. So, it’s understandable. What bothered me were the, poor character decisions, stereo typical police detectives and Bruce Dern’s character.
Our heroine Samantha Forester played decently by Chauntal Lewis did some some really stupid things. The main mistake was that after being asked by one of the detectives to go with an officer to the station, she decides, while being driven to the station, that she just has to be taken to the crime scene instead. Of course the idiot cop driving her gives in to her whines and says okay. Had she just shut the hell up and done what they nice detective asked, none of this would have happened. Such as life. Let that be a lesson kids, just do what the cop says and chances are you will live to see another day.
Another stand out and yet another horrible cliche is always assuming the killer is actually dead after you think that you killed him. How many times do we see our film hero stab, shoot, or beat to death the killer only to have the killer come back to life while our hero is standing near by contemplating the tragic events. Well, this movie is no different.
Then there was Bruce Dern’s characters. A religious nutjob who would rather stand and pray than run away. His character was a true hypocrite. Telling others they need to take the righteous path and then when faced that choice himself, he fails miserably. I don’t even think that was intentional by the film makers, I think it was just bad writing. This guy asks someone to risk their life to go find this creepy little girl and like an idiot the person does. Later the two of them are together looking for the creepy girl, they find her but the killer comes around the corner and the first fucking person to say we have to get out of here and starts running away, leaving the little girl, is Dern’s characters. It was hypocrisy unnoticed. It wasn’t acknowledged in the film therefore I am positive the writer didn’t even get what he did.
One thing I want to mention is Chauntal Lewis as Samantha Forester again. Her performance her isn’t bad. As I said, I think there just wasn’t time for a lot of takes in the budget. That being said, her descent into crazy town I thought was pretty good. My problems lie with the writing. She’s going to crazy town in a hurry, arrives and then all of sudden without reason, she’s back in action and not acting crazy anymore. One scene she’s having a conversation with her decapitated boyfriend, kissing him and shortly there after she’s plotting her escape and acting completely sane. Just not very well written but that shouldn’t be taken out on the work done by Chauntal Lewis. She made the very best of weak script in my opinion
If you’re looking for some gore, some torture and what could have been a really interesting story with a little better writing than get this movie! And, if you’re a stoner, I can only imagine the fun you will have watching this movie if you are in fact stoned. But, if you’re looking for an intelligently written movie that doesn’t insult your intelligence, this movie will just frustrate you all the way through it. But, then again, if you’re are looking for an intelligent horror movie, why would you be watching something called “Coffin Baby”.
Cast of Characters:
Bruce Dern as Vance Henrickson
Brian Krause as Detective Chad Cole
Clifton Powell as Detective S. Jackson
Chauntal Lewis as Samantha Forester
Christopher Doyle as Coffin Baby
Ethan Phillips as Coroner B. Jones
Ron Chaney as Detective L. Wehage
Isabelle Freitheim as Sabrina Forester
Allison Kyler as Amy Weinstein
Whitney Anderson as Winter Jones
Dean Jones as H. Bogart
Mychal Thompson as Rodney W. Smith
Douglas Tait as CB double