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Coffin Baby is the main antagonist from the 2004 horror film Toolbox Murders, and its sequel TBK: The Toolbox Murders 2. He is disfigured and supernaturally empowered serial killer.

He was portrayed by Christopher Doyle, who is also known for portraying Leechman from The Return of the Swamp Thing.

History

Origins

He was a coffin birth, fighting his way out of his mother's womb as she laid in her casket. The mourners heard his cries, pulled him out.
~ Charles "Chas" Rooker on Coffin Baby's origins.

Very little is known about the deformed madman simply known as Coffin Baby. According to the Lusman Arms' oldest resident Charles "Chas" Rooker, who had lived in the building since the 1940s, Coffin Baby was born from an unnamed woman who shortly after her death. During the dead woman's funeral the child clawed his way out of his mother's womb as she lay in her casket. His cries were eventually overheard by the mourners who managed to rescue the strange child.

It is also implied that Coffin Baby, along with his strange birth, is very much a supernatural force as well as a physical one. The very structure that he resides in was built under a powerful spell that fuels Coffin Baby's existance and gives him immortality. The original builder of the Lusman Arms, Jack Lusman, was a known practitioner of the occult and a group that attempted to mix science with magic. Jack Lusman built the structure, which is named after himself, under the intention of using it as a hotel and getaway for all the actors and actresses who shared his affinity for the occult. As the structure was being built, a powerful spell was etched into its very foundation, with a hidden townhouse at its center. All thorughout the building's construction, the site was plagued the mysterious deaths of its workers.

It is unknown whether or not the workers were murdered by either Coffin Baby, Jack Lusman, or the cult that he was a part of in order to fuel the dark spell that enshrouds the structure or something more sinister. Whatever the case may be, Jack Lusman vanished without a trace several years after the building's completion amidst rumors of his occult practices and the deaths surrounding the Lusman Arm's construction, taking the answers with him.

For over 50 years Coffin Baby resided within the Lusman Arms complex, with an untold number of innocents who came to reside there dying horrific deaths at his hands. All of his victims would be stored within the walls of the complex, making trinkets from their teeth and other body parts.

At one point, resident Charles "Chas" Rooker learned about Coffin Baby's existence, but decided to stay in spite of its dark history. The two forming a mutual tolerance of each other as the years went by.

Toolbox Murders

Toolbox-murders-hammer

Coffin Baby preparing to murder Daisy Rain in her apartment.

In 2004, the complex underwent renovation, with many of the old walls being torn down. This seemed to enrage Coffin Baby who embarked an a killing spree throughout the complex, covering up. The first to die was Lusman Arms resident Daisy Rain, who was brutally beaten to death with a hammer while inside her apartment.

Coffin Baby later attacked Saffron Kirby with a nail gun while she is in her apartment. Her screams alert new resident Nell Barrows who calls security. However, before they managed to open her apartment, Coffin Baby pined the still living woman to the ceiling, sewing her mouth shut so she couldn't cry for help. After they left, Coffin Baby then finished her off, storing the woman's corpse within the walls like all the others before her. Several days later, Julia Cunningham was attacked and brutally murdered with an electric drill which Coffin Baby forced into her head. Unbeknownst to him however, Julia's death was recorded by teenage resident Austin Sterling, who had secretly installed a hidden camera inside her apartment in order to spy on her.

Nell had previously befriended Julia, so she grew concerned with her friend's disappearance and started looking into what might have happened to her. Rooker, who had developed a friendship with Nell, attempted to help Nell by hinting the existence of the secret townhouse and the true nature of Lusman Arms. The walls of the building were thin, and Coffin Baby overheard Rooker's attempts to help the young woman. Feeling betrayed Coffin Baby abducted the old man, brutally beating him unconscious and leaving him deep within the townhouse. He then turned his attention towards the building's residents, murdering another resident Jennifer. Handyman Ned Lundy would also fall victim to Coffin Baby's rage, as the deranged killer brutally sawed off half of the man's head. This latest murder was overheard by Nell, having now discovered one of the entrances into the townhouse. Coffin Baby soon became aware of her presence when she accidentally bumped into a spare pipe, sending it clanging down the stairs. Removing his mask in order to better see her and revealing his horrifically disfigured face, Coffin Baby quickly spotted Nell and quickly scaled the rafters of each floor in pursuit of her. After several close calls, Nell was able to elude him much to his frustration.

A group consisting of Nell's husband Steven, current landlord Byron McLieb, and doorman Luis Saucedo had also uncovered one of the secret entrances into the townhouse and were attempting to find Nell. As the group searched the area, they came across Ned's partially decapitated corpse. Taking advantage of the chaos, the deranged killer abducted Luis, strapping him onto one of the torture racks within his lair. He then proceeded to pour a bottle of acid onto the pleading man’s face. Coffin Baby then watched in glee as the acid ate away at his face, giggling in excitement as the dying man screamed in agony. After Luis had expired from his wounds, Coffin Baby then returned his attention to the group who had just reunited with Nell. Appearing out of the darkness behind Byron, Coffin Baby impaled the building’s current landlord upon a pair of wire cutters. As the Nell and her husband fled, Coffin Baby slowly drove the convulsing Byron deeper onto the wire cutters. The process proved to be so painful and slow that Byron defiantly told Coffin Baby to kill him already, which he happily obliged by cutting the landlord in half.

After the bloody deed was finished, Coffin Baby once again continued his pursuit of the Barrows. Hiding underneath the pile of old, mummified corpses of his previous victims, waiting to patiently until it was time to strike. He didn't have to wait long however, as the couple had run into a badly beaten Rooker, who then tried to help them escape. Lunging towards the group from underneath the pile of corpses, the Ski-Masked Killer came face to face with his old acquaintance, who tried desperately to protect the group by repeatedly punching him. Unfazed by this, Coffin Baby coldly tossed the old man aside, his body slamming against the wall, which him instantly. Before he could finish off the group however, he was beaten repeatedly with a crowbar by Steven until he fell to the ground unconscious. As the couple mourned the loss of their friend, Coffin Baby quickly revived, stabbing Steven in the gut with a screwdriver before abducting Nell, taking her to the torture chambers within his lair.

Strapping her down onto one of the torture racks, Coffin Baby then etched one of the occult symbols onto her forehead using some kind of oil. After this task was completed, he then uncovered the large table saw that he had positioned between her legs, much to Nell's horror. Observing the look of horror on Nell's face, he then started up the saw, watching with apparent glee as the blade slowly moved towards the screaming young woman which would shortly begin to cut her in half. Before this could happen, he was viciously attacked by Steven, who had recovered from his injury. Taken by surprise, Coffin Baby was completely defenseless as the young man proceeded to brutally beat him to the ground with the crowbar that he had previously used to knock him unconscious with. As Steven continued to beat him, the crowbar became caught on a nearby shelf, which then toppled onto the fallen killer.

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Coffin Baby attempting to finish Nell off.

At some point during the ensuing chaos that followed shortly after the arrival of the police, Coffin Baby revived and managed to escape from underneath the pile opf debris. Enraged that he had been bested and hungry for revenge against the ones who had hurt him, Coffin Baby arrived at the Barrows' room, where Nell was in the process of packing. Launching himself through the window, tossing Nell around the room, he then attempted to strangle her with an electrical cord from one of the nearby lamps. Nell managed to temporarily stun her attacker, who retaliated by punching her in the face. As he was about to finish her off, Nell held up her arms in defence, revealing the occult symbols that she had previously written on them. This seemed to disorient her attacker as Coffin Baby tried again to finish her off but was quickly overwhelmed by the magical symbols that in part, fueled his existance. Just then the complex security, who had been alerted by the commotion. The police then opened fire, causing him to topple out of the broken window. Unfortionately, during his attack on Nell, she had wrapped the electrical cord around Coffin Baby's neck when she temporarily stunned him. As he fell from the window, the cord tightened around his neck, hanging him from the window. Coffin Baby desperately tried to remove the coard from his neck, but to no avail and he soon "expired", his body twitching as it hang from the cord. As the police went over to check on an injured Nell, Coffin Baby once again revived and managed to free himself from the cord. When the police went to look out the window, Coffin Baby was long gone.

Personality

Separation between life and death is not the same for him... He was born of death.
~ Charles "Chas" Rooker on the nature of Coffin Baby.

Coffin Baby is a brutal, remorseless, and completely psychotic serial killer whose very existence is dictated and sustained by violence. He is for the most part completely mute, never speaking throughout the entire series.

Utterly remorseless and extremely sadistic, Coffin Baby thrives on the pain and suffering of others, preferring to use slower, more painful methods to dispatch his victims. He is shown to enjoy the pain and suffering that he inflicts upon his victims to the point that he will deliberately extend the length of time he takes to kill his victims. This is exemplified when, at one point he began giggling in childish glee as he brutally murdered one of the employees by pouring acid on his face. He is also known to occasionally cannibalize the remains of some of his victims. Coffin Baby has also been shown to enjoy psychologically torturing his victims, at times taunting them with the weapons he intends to kill them with.

It's heavily implied that Lusman Arms Complex itself is built around a spell that sustains Coffin Baby and grants him immortality. Survivor Nell Barrows theorized that Coffin Baby needs death and the Lusman Arms itself in order to continue existing. As such, he functions as a sort of guardian over the building, protecting it from those who seek to destroy or ruin it. During the horrific murders he commits, he displays an almost feral rage towards his victims to the point of completely mutilating his victims even after they are dead.

In spite of all this, Coffin Baby has a soft side. For years he left Charles Rooker alone, developing a sort of kinship between the two, as he tolerated the old man's presence at the complex and Rooker even defending. When Rooker revealed to Nell Barrows about Coffin Baby's existence, he appeared to feel betrayed by this and murdered the elderly man in retribution for this.

In the second film, Coffin Baby develops feelings for one of his victims (Samantha), whom he kept alive within his lair. For over a week, he physically and psychologically tortured her by forcing her to watch him murder people in front of her, and forcing her to eat cooked pieces of their flesh.

Description

Coffin Baby is a tall, brutish looking man covered in grungy, tattered clothes such as a dark overcoat, and fingerless gloves. His face is also covered with a combination of bandages and a black balaclava or ski-mask. Unmasked, Coffin Baby is shown to be in essence a living corpse and is severely deformed. His pale flesh is pulled over his face in folds and held together by screws and two metal braces screwed onto both sides of his head. The flaps of skin are pulled over his face so tight that both his nose and his lips are practically non-existant, with the former represented by two vertical slits where it should be, and the latter exposing his teeth in a permanent grin. He also has red eyes that almost seem to glow with intense hatred. Coffin Baby is partially bald with his long stringy grayish-white hair, a hint of his true age, receded towards the back of his head.

In the second film, Coffin Baby is completely bald, and his skin is darker in color when compared to his appearance in the first film.

Powers and Abilities

Abilities

  • Super Strength: Coffin Baby has superhuman strength, capable of lifting and pinning a full grown man with almost little effort, and at one point rapidly scaling the rafters of each floor in pursuit of a potential victim.
  • Intelligence: Coffin Baby has been shown to be quite intelligent, managing to stay undetected within the Lusman Arms complex for over 57 years, hiding his victims within the walls and cleaning up after the killings. He is also shown to be tactically efficient, at one point hiding underneath a mound of corpses in order to ambush a group of survivors.
  • Stealth: Coffin Baby relies on stealth when stalking and dispatching his victims so as not alert any of the building's residents of his presence. Although there have been occasions where his victims have managed to alert the other
  • Weapon Proficiency: Coffin Baby is capable of wielding multiple tools as weapons with great proficiency.

Powers

  • Immortality: Coffin Baby is kept alive through the continued existence of the Lusman Arms complex. As long as the building stands, Coffin Baby will continue to exist, thus granting him a sort of immortality.
  • Invulnerability: Due to his supernatural ties with the building where he resides, Coffin Baby can only be harmed through the destruction of Lusman Arms. Any other means is ineffective at killing him. As a result, he cannot be killed or harmed by any conventional means. He has survived being shot multiple times, beaten repeatedly with blunt instruments, and hanged. Each time he manages to escape, ready to start killing again.

Weaknesses

  • Occult Symbols: Partially a supernatural entity, Coffin Baby is therefore sensitive to occult symbols and spells which make up for part of his existence. When attempting to attack Nell Barrows, Coffin Baby became disoriented by the runes that she had previously drawn on her arms once he waw them. These were the same runes that were spread throughout the building.
  • Lusman Arms: Coffin Baby's greatest weakness is the Lusman Arms itself. The very building is, in essence, a massive spell that is embedded within its walls. Whatever dark rituals its founder Jack Lusman performed over the building sustains Coffin Baby, keeping him alive. If the building were destroyed, then Coffin Baby would die as he depends on the building to continue existing.

Gallery

Toolbox Murders

Toolbox Murders 2

Trivia

  • Coffin Baby's name is never mentioned in the first film, and is only credited as "Coffin Baby" in the end credits.
  • In the original film, the killers were Vance and Kent Kingsley.
  • The remake was directed by the film director Tobe Hooper, the original creator of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
  • According to director Hooper, the character Coffin Baby was based on a group of murderers from Pasadena
  • Daisy Rain, Coffin Baby's first victim in the film, was played by Sheri Moon Zombie, who also portrayed Baby Firefly in her husband Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses and its sequel The Devil's Rejects.
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