Idle Hands

“There is evil out there, and I’m gonna kick its ass!”

The Scoop: 1999 R, directed by Rodman Flender and starring Devon Sawa, Seth Green, and Elden Henson.

Tagline: The comedy that gives horror films the backhand.

Summary Capsule: A lone hand wreaks terror in some other dimension.

Justin’s Rating: Stop the temporary insanity!

Justin’s Review: As I launch into a rant on our latest review, Idle Hands, please keep in mind that I have a pretty open view of movies. I am more than willing to suspend disbelief far enough to buy product placement and nominate Pauly Shore for Best Actor. But when a film sets up some rules, I expect it to follow them. Not conveniently forget said rules and then just start playing with the fabric of reality to boot.

Idle Hands is a quaint folk tale about a boy’s hand that is possessed by a demon or something. The hand starts killing, although our hero doesn’t really notice since he’s high on weed most of the time. After he kills his parents, best friends, the cops, and random members of the MPAA, Mr. Ingenious blatantly rips off Evil Dead 2 and chops off the evil member, only to have it kill more and attempt to woo our hearts. Since nothing else in this review is going to be positive about this flick, I will say that Seth Green (Dead Zombie #1) has maybe two good lines. If that’s enough to motivate you to watch this catastrophe of a horror comedy, then by all means light a match to your money at the video store.

ARGHHH!!!! Was anyone else brought to the point of shouting at the screen when Mr. Hand started defying the laws of physics? It went from mildly amusing to mildly irritating to hoovering all the joy of life out of my soul. Ok, I can accept the concept of a possessed hand, but let’s examine what exactly is possessed. THE HAND. The hand ain’t going anywhere if the arm won’t let it. This film, after all, wasn’t titled Idle Arms. The opening scene of the movie would have us believe that Mr. Hand managed to kill two people while its owner was asleep. Can someone explain the logistics of this? Each finger must have the strength of those hydraulic lifts that move the large bore cannons on battleships in order to drag the large being it’s attached to, then kill two hefty folks, then drag them into a ridiculous position. Possible? In some weird level of hell, I suppose.

I thought perhaps this was a minor fluke in an otherwise superb film. Alas, this was a cultural high spot in comparison to the following events. You wouldn’t believe how many people this one-pound hand kills. It even scalps the lead singer of Offspring! But at the climax of the film, Mr. Hand makes two devastating mistakes to its integrity. It overpowers a woman (ok, the film industry does have us believing that females in horror films are less effective than Stormtroopers in Star Wars), then proceeds to drag her to a garage, throw her ON TOP of a car, then TIES HER UP! Have you ever tried tying a knot with one hand? Then, as the hand is somehow pulling down on a lever to crush her, the good guys blow some marijuana smoke in its direction which causes Mr. Hand to lose its grip. From what I learned in anatomy class, hands are somewhat lacking in (1) lungs to breathe, (2) brains to think, and (3) eyes to see.

It’s extremely hard to like a movie when logical errors glare out at you, running you down on the highway of incredulousness, and making you cinematic roadkill. If the filmmakers had put a little more thought into Idle Hands, well, I won’t lie. It probably would’ve still stunk.

Just… How?!

Intermission!

  • One review I read said that the Idle Hands experience is much enhanced by emulating the lead characters’ example and smoking pot. While I can’t personally vouch for this attempt, it does seem like the only approach to watching this film that would make it enjoyable.
  • Which hand is the evil guy (answer: right)
  • Len P. writes in: “You do know that Tom DeLonge from blink 182 is in this movie”

Groovy Quotes:

Debi: There is evil out there, and I’m gonna kick its ass!

Mick: We were staring down this big tunnel of white light.
Anton: And then what happened?
Mick: We were like, forget that, man, it’s too far.

If you liked this movie, try these:

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