It's been about eight years since I saw Tobe Hooper's remake of The Toolbox Murders, and I don't really remember that much about it. I remember Angela Bettis, Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sheri Moon Zombie were in it, and that the maniac was a creepy looking fella with lots of skin and teeth for a face. Oh, and there was something about runes.
Anyway, it turns out Coffin Baby is the sequel.
It also turns out that it's a bit crap.
The killer from the first film (the titular Coffin Baby) kidnaps a girl and keeps her alive, tormenting her by mutilating, torturing and killing lots of people in front of her.
And by letting her watch TV and giving her popcorn.
There's a back story of course - one about a three-way relationship and a dead baby to be exact - and the film basically follows Coffin Baby's captive and her descent into madness as she talks to people who aren't there (Bruce Dern) and tries to rescue her dead daughter from the nutter with the nail gun.
Somewhere in Coffin Baby there's a really good film trying to get out, but as it stands, a severely misplaced over-confidence in the director's own limited abilities hinders it at every turn. From the arty/blindingly awful grainy black and white filters and the poor framing of every shot to the persistent use of extreme close-ups for virtually every conversation during the first hour. Not to mention the random slipping in of some recognisable actors (Brian Krause, Dern, and Ethan Phillips) just because the director has obviously been able to call in some favours.
Still, there are graphic eviscerations, amputations and general bits and pieces being pulled out of people all over the place (in fact, there are probably too many as by the end desensitization has crept in), and there's quite a nasty sliced eyeball scene near the beginning.
Yet none of these mutilations compare to the horror that masquerades as a script and the painful acting, largely down to the detective at the beginning and Charmed's Brian Krause. Utterly f**king terrible. He was more believable in Camel Spiders. I defy anyone not to watch the interrogation scene without bursting out laughing after just a couple of minutes.
They didn't nail it.