Director – Rodman Flender (Leprechaun 2, Scream: The TV Series)
Starring – Devon Sawa (Final Destination, Casper), Seth Green (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Guardians of the Galaxy), and Elden Henson (Daredevil, The Butterfly Effect)
Release Date – 1999
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
Tagline – “The comedy that gives horror films the backhand.”
Middle school was when I was coming into my own. Horror became a huge part of my life when I was in the 4th grade but the movies that shaped my tastes in the genre were the movies I discovered when I was in middle school. It was this time that I really got into the films of Sam Raimi, George A. Romero, and classics like Return of the Living Dead, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and big budget releases.
Idle Hands, along with Return of the Living Dead and Halfbaked, was my go to movie. I would often rotate those three tapes to watch before and after school. I watched it so much that my dad threatened to burn the tapes because he was tired of hearing them playing in my room. Once that tape stopped working I drifted away from the film. I bought the DVD while in college but never did revisit this blast from my past until recently. Scream Factory announced their blu release which was a perfect time to revisit this one.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows stoner Anton (Sawa) who discovers his parents were murdered. He tells his two friends but it’s too late. They all discover that his hand is now possessed and will kill at will unless he stops it. It kills his two friends but they were too lazy to walk into the light so they come back as the undead to help Anton. In a blind fit of rage he cuts the hand off setting it loose to kill anyone at anytime now that it is no longer anchored to Anton. **Spoiler Alert**
I was concerned that this one did not age well but after just a few minutes of it playing I was hit with that wave of nostalgia that many of us crave. As a product of the 80s and raised in the 90s I often find myself searching for those classic movies and shows that I grew up with. This Scream Factory release was perfect and really took me back to a time when I wasn’t stressed over bills, work, being the father my children deserves, and politics. It was just me and a highly entertaining film.
The acting in this one is nothing amazing by film standards but I’ve always loved the characters. Sawa plays one hell of a convincing stoner while Seth Green and Elden Henson work perfectly as the undead comedic duo. Their chemistry is great together and most of the people my age wanted a friendship like this. My favorite character will always be the metal head Randy portrayed by Jack Noseworthy. To this day he is still the most bad ass character in any horror movie.
The story for this one is a comedic alternative late 90s approach to the devil possessed sub-genre. I enjoy a good stoner comedy and you can bet your ass I’d break my own neck to see a horror stoner comedy. I really like how this one just tosses so many things in a blender and it still works. Halloween, a devil hunter, weed, a little love story, zombies, and all the humor. So much is going on but it doesn’t make it feel cluttered. It works for what it is and the pacing is smooth. You never find yourself becoming bored or overburdened.
Finally, the film has some blood and great make-up effects but those of you looking for a gory masterpiece will be surely disappointed. The kills we get work for the film and the make-up effects are top notch. With that being said, the visual effects we get did not hold up over time and look rough. Overall, Idle Hands is my favorite release from Scream Factory. Hands down (pun intended). The blu looks great but the special features we do get is a bit of a let down. I would have loved a retrospective or a reunion/interview with some of the film’s stars over the supporting cast. Still, well worth adding to any horror fan’s collection.
Making of Featurette