Idle Hands (1999)

‘The touching story of a boy and his right hand.’

Anton Tobias (Devon Sawa) is a stoner and a lazy one at that. Then his hand becomes possessed and starts killing people of its own accord, his family included. Will cutting the hand off help? I’m guessing not….

This is another example of a horror comedy which is done well. Sawa makes for an affable lead and is ably supported by Seth Green, Fred Willard, Jessica Alba and a host of other familiar faces. The main thing this movie has going for it is the fact it seems well aware of its own ridiculous nature. Rather than trying to make sense of the odd premise, the film embraces the carnage.

As a result, we get stoned zombies, hands exploding in microwaves, asthma inhalers being used as pipes and a vision of the afterlife which primarily involves massive bongs and beautiful women.

I’ll be the first to admit that this is a fairly juvenile attempt. The humour isn’t exactly going to change your life or make you think deeply. If you have a goofy sense of humour, it may well make you laugh, however.

I should also point out that this film is probably the high point of Jessica Alba’s career (with the possible exceptions of the The Killer Inside me and the two Machete films). Now, many people may disagree with me on this (Jessica Alba included no doubt) but I’m sticking to my story. I was a teenager when this film first came out and may have become temporarily obsessed with the beautiful, slightly dull lead actress…so perhaps I’m biased. But hell, it’s a funny, stupid little film and has endless ‘rewatch’  value. I can’t think of too many projects she’s been involved with since that deserve the same praise.

Devon Sawa has fared even less well in the years since the film’s release. Final Destination came out the following year but after that there were some dodgy enough projects for the actor who once played Casper the Ghost. He’s been doing a bit better for himself recently so who knows…maybe we’ll get an Idle Hands 2 someday. For those of you imagining what it might be like if another body part were to become possessed as opposed to the hand, shame on you. Also, I believe that movie is called ‘One Eyed Monster’, stars Ron Jeremy and has a budget that makes Idle Hands look like Avatar.

Anyway, Idle Hands is harmless stoner fun. It may not change your life but it’ll put a smile on your face for ninety minutes or so and that’s enough.

Reviewer: Dave Coughlan

Courtesy of Giovanni Romero (Flickr)

Courtesy of Giovanni Romero (Flickr)

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