Trailer Terrors: Idle Hands (1999)
The comedy that gives horror films the backhand.
As one of the
only two films I can recall ever seeing by director Rodman Flender (turns out he also did Leprechaun 2), Idle Hands is one of the most under-rated (and fun) Halloween flicks to come out in the past decade. I truly forgot just how much I loved this film until our club member of the month Devin brought it to my attention again (he was even kind enough to send a copy for this review).
Hearkening back to 1999, Idle Hands is jam-packed full of 90s goodness from a pre-Robot Chicken Seth Green in an acting role to a guest appearance by The Offspring. It’s even the first film that I recall Jessica Alba making the transition for being a kid actor on Flipper to a real teen hottie (thank you puberty). As expected, there are also plenty of references to drug usage and sex throughout – it even has some nudity.
The movie stars Devon Sawa (SLC Punk!, Final Destination) as Anton, a lazy stoner who is generally oblivious to the world except when it comes to scoring drugs or his hottie neighbor (the aforementioned Alba as love interest Molly). Anton is SO lazy in fact that his right hand has become possessed by Satan – or an equally malicious demon – filled with murderous intent. Anton’s “best friends” Mick and Pnub are soon drawn in just in time to become his latest victims and horrific hilarity ensues and since the entire story is set on Halloween there’s TONS of little nuances that the film’s crew threw into this production.
Idle Hands also features Vivica A. Fox and Jack Noseworthy in supporting roles as a monster hunter and metal head respectively who team up to take down Anton and/or his possessed appendage. Its a nice layer of subtext to the main storyline that insinuates the events shown have happened once before or could potentially happen again (a unrealized sequel perhaps)? Either way it goes to show that no character is wasted in this film, not even Molly’s friend Tanya (Katie Wright) who makes it into the film just in time for a splatterific demise.
Much like Scream (1996) and Scream 2 (1997), Idle Hands sought to turn the horror genre on its head by keeping all of the fright while amping up the funny. Mission accomplished. For those who haven’t seen Idle Hands before, don’t be fooled. While the film does have a sense of humor, its a far cry from something like Scary Movie. In fact, there are several scary moments throughout the movie – especially in the opening credits in which someone or something slaughters Anton’s parents.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I chose to use the European film poster because I believe it kicks 10x more ass than the one found on the DVD cover. The version shown above was also used for the film’s official CD.
This article is part of the Countdown to Halloween blogathon, a month-long blogging marathon dedicated to honoring the Halloween season. For more information and a full list of participating sites, please visit www.countdowntohalloween.com.