Idle Hands (1999) – Review

2 Stars

Idle Hands‘ theatrical marketing plan and release date were muted in the wake of the Columbine massacre. In the wake of the tragedy, the media was deemed to be the immediate scapegoat and violent movies, music, and TV shows were looked upon negatively. Now, two decades removed from those harsh assessments it easy to see the film for what it is; a gory horror comedy with a routine concept and little else. The physical acting by star Devon Sawa and amusing co-starring turns by Seth Green and Elden Henson are gone to waste.

Anton Tobias is so busy getting stoned that he barely notices his parents have been slaughtered by a demonic force that’s possessed his hand. But when Anton chops off his evil appendage, the disembodied digits go on a bloody killing spree. Murdering his two best buddies, Pnub (Elden Henson) and Mick (Seth Green), who return to life as wise cracking zombies. In addition to killing those closest to him, Anton’s evil hand significantly craves the lovely neighbor Molly (Jessica Alba). Meanwhile, Debbie Liquor (Vivica A. Fox), a dedicated hunter of demons, is tracking Anton down to kill him and his hand.

Idle Hands was, perhaps, a victim of circumstance but it’s hard to imagine that a large audience would have taken to this dark material even without the real-life incident in Colorado dominating the news. The writing is exceedingly sloppy so the actors are forced to work much harder to carry the movie on their collective shoulders. Vivica A. Fox overplays here character while Jessica Alba underplays her role to the point of looking visably bored. Idle Hands is clever in the effects departments but lazy in terms of storytelling.

Director Rodman Flender
Stars: Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Elden Henson

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