IDLE HANDS

3 Stars
Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 90 minutes
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Were you expecting a teen remake of “The Hands of Orlac”? Don’t hold your breath. This film’s a little closer to “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey”. There’s a murderous demon loose in this country, and Voodoo priestess Debi (Vivica Fox) is out to find it. It won’t be easy though, as the demon can possess the laziest bastards in existence.
Enter Anton Tobias (Devon Sawa), 17-year-old stoner. As Anton has certain uses for his left hand, his right takes on a life of its own when its owner is asleep, which is most of the time. Anton is so blitzed, he doesn’t even know there’s a murder spree in town. He doesn’t ever realize his parents are missing, until he stumbles on the bodies, in the living room, two days after he’s killed them. He then meets the tenant of his right hand, much to the chagrin of his two equally stoned friends, Mick (Seth Green) and Pnub (Elden Henson). Now the fun begins.
This is not so much a horror film as an extremely gory comedy. The meat of the film (pun intended) is in all the funny stuff that happens along the way. Mick and Pnub don’t really become major characters until after they’re killed since they’re too lazy to take the trip to the afterlife. (This scene is in the trailer, so no spoiler whining). At this point, Green, who seems to get top billing, nearly dominates the film as a sort of bastard son of Anthony Michæl Hall and Alex Winter. The movie is compelled to include a romance between Anton and the sexy girl across the street, Molly (Jessica Alba, given little to work with). At least this aspect doesn’t drive the film so we are left with a little respite from the plethora of teen romantic comedies that have dominated the year. Hey, it’s not “Gone With the Wind” or even “Nightmare on Elm Street”, so don’t expect a masterpiece. You get a little nudity, a lot of gore, Seth Green doing his ironic commentary thing, and an easy way to kill a couple of hours. In the end, it’s not “Entrapment”, and that just might be enough.



Posted on April 26, 1999 in Reviews by
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