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Idle Hands review - an underrated horror gem


Directed by: Rodman Flender

Written by: Terri Hughes Burton, Ron Milbauer

Starring: Seth Green, Devon Sawa, Jessica Alba and Elden Henson

Throwback Film Review by: Rachel Pullen


Film still from Idle Hands
Idle Hands

Idle Hands (1999) Film Review

The spooky season is upon us once again, pumpkin-spiced everything and Uggs apparently are a thing, but while all the white women do their white women things, I like to think about all the underdogs of the Halloween season, the underrated horror gems that are overshadowed by the big shiny Hollywood productions. And so, as the night rolls in and the seasonal sadness takes a grip, I am here to give you an underrated horror gem in the big lead up to the season of Halloween…and this week, the one, the only, 1999 classic Idle Hands takes centre stage.

Idle Hands make the devil’s plaything right? The film tells the tale of the laziest boy ever, a typical suburban teen who does nothing more than sit in his parent’s basement and smoke weed all day and wear those big Jenco jeans, classic teen bants.

Our lazy lead man Anton (Devon Sawa) soon finds himself unable to control his hand, and not in the lonely teen pumping fist too much way, but more in the stabby killing kind of way. He kills his parents, throws his cat over a fence, ties his hand to a bed in a kinky sex move and bones his hot neighbour, and while that all seems like a standard American teen summer, he soon kills his two best stoner pals and is all sad.

But never fear, they are not dead, and without any explanation from the script they are able to come back to undead animation (but the folks don’t, so hey screw them) and aid Anton in his zany quest to keep porking his new lady and get rid of his bad hand.

They help him cut it off, he puts it in a microwave, the stoners then let it out when they want to make microwave burritos and the hand goes on a killing spree at the local prom…of course, but no worries help is here, some lady who knows about this stuff comes to save the day, she has an old book, which always helps.

She saves the day, they are all high fiveing and bone each other, the hand is dead…the end….and we never know what happens to the parents, ever, like why didn’t they get to come back to life? And what happened to the cat he threw? Ah man the questions.

But hey this is a 90s black comedy, what do you expect?! This movie was never going to be the next Godfather, and that’s cool I’m on board, but what makes this worthy of my underrated horror gems you may ask? Well, Idle Hands comes in fast with some awesome special effects, some gross but fun body gore, and a storyline that although is riddled with plot holes and unanswered dead parent locations, still has that cute 90s charm that comes with the teen horror trend of the time.

So in the lead up to Halloween, you may not want to be balls deep in the serious suspense and gore that a lot of films lay on thick, and if you have seen Tucker and Dale vs Evil too much and are looking for a little more light-hearted fun...but with death, then look no further, for Idle Hands encapsulates the campy, gory, horror vibes we all sometimes crave.

So, this week we must remember:

  • Dead parents are forever, even if your friends come back.

  • Once you lob a cat, it’s gone forever.

  • And if you cut off your hands, it won’t rid you of masturbation desires.



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