Tuesday, October 23, 2012

As usual, marijuana saves an otherwise disastrous day!: Idle Hands (1999)

Idle Hands (1999)
rating: ***1/2
starring:  Devon Sawa, Seth Green and Elden Henson

Before he was a doomed psychic boy running from Death itself, Devon Sawa was Anton Tobias, a lazy slacker whose life revolves around his parent's couch, junk food and weed. He basically wastes his life with his stoner friends (Elden Henson and *gasp* Seth Green!) but all that's gonna change when his parents mysteriously disappears (killed actually) and his right hand begins to act with a murderous mind of its own, killing his two bestfriends in the process. Worse, he also unwittingly asked his hot neighbor girl (completely unaware of the murderous hand) out for the Halloween dance and, further complicating all of this, there's a groovy chick with a magical dagger out to destroy the evil that seems to be possessing hands.

Now guided by his zombified buds who came back to life for reasons that the distance of "the light" is too far (and comes with uncool music that sounds like "Enya"), Anton must find a way to stop his possessed hand from killing everybody else, which should had been less of a burden if it remained attached to Anton. Guess cutting it off was a bad idea...

Idle Hands is a stoner movie done as a horror comedy that defies a singular sub-genre. We got dabs of Satanism, possession, zombies and a delicious slasher movie that proves not all killers must be seven feet tall to be threatening.

Idle Hands is often disregarded by many critics as a flopfest of a horror flick; the movie really felt like a feature length version of the Evil Dead II scenes involving a similarly possessed hand in a torture and killing spree. It had tries the slapstick approach around the first and second act wherein Anton, with the evil hand is still attached, tries to control it from murdering anybody at arm's length but it never had the same kind of looniness and gory mayhem Ash had with his own. There's also a hint of Beetlejuice in it, where Anton's two bestfriends came back as the pot-smoking dead who seems to have no real problem adjusting to their new undead state and remain nonchalant about Anton's killer hand. And to top the movie's disregard to any sense of realism, we also had a young Jessica Alba playing a character who our hero had been crushing on since, falling for the wiggling hand antics of our hero. (and they had sex! what the hell?!)

So does these little imbalances really make Idle Hands a bad movie? Oh hell no! Let's try to remind ourselves that we have a possessed hand here killing people, we're not talking about a historic re-telling of the Nazi Holocaust of Lord Christ's final judgement, we're talking about a horror-comedy here. Idle Hands may fail as a tribute to some better horror/ horror comedies out there, but as its own, its pretty okay. It got the teen slasher gig rolling with quite an effect, the jokes and gags is laugh worthy and well written when it hits you right, and the gore effects are a real eye candy. It also has one of the wildest party crash ever, with a rather nasty head scalping.

The final set-piece of the movie is where all the crazy factor goes to when we have our killer hand disguise himself with a hand puppet that goes evil on us, Alba is stripped to her lingerie, a death trap involving a car being raised to a ceiling with a pentagram, and a more heroic use for marijuana. Clearly. not. to be taken seriously.

Idle hands is definitely a movie made to be a brainless yet fun horror comedy, though there are moments where the two genres are a little uneven in distribution. The movie's entertainment value varies among taste, cuz I'm pretty sure not everyone has a tolerance for dumb stoners, anyone with a taste for bloody grue and gutsy laugh will find a good time with this movie as it never actually takes itself seriously, despite the blood and gore, and surely enough anybody with a good sense to realize this is a horror-comedy should at least know what they'll be expecting. (So stop your whining big shot critics, learn to laugh for a while!)

So grab a bag of popcorn, open up a few beers and light that cannabis! When the day's Halloween and you want a good laugh, why not try five sharpened fingers worth of laughs and shocks that is Idle Hands?

1 male stabbed with bread knife offscren
1 female eye gouged, killed
1 male broken bottle to the head
1 male decapitated by thrown buzzsaw
1 male knitting needle through the ears
1 male tazer gun to the face, electrocuted
1 female neck crushed
1 male bludgeoned
1 male groin crushed
1 male scalp torn off
5 victims crushed by falling stagelights
1 female hanged and sliced through a fan
total: 16
And since you guys sticked around until the end of this review;
here's a boob shot! 


  1. I waited a long time to see this but finally checked it out on DVD - I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

    1. Cuz nothing in the world would beat a movie with a stoned evil hand puppet! That I say!