My friend and fellow Drive-In Asylum contributor James C. Greening suggested this late 90’s comedy horror film a few weeks back and I hope he likes this! If you want to relive the end of the last century — and listen to lots of pop punk — I figure this is the movie for you.
After Anton Tobias’ (Devon Sawa, Final Destination and Stan in the Eminem video) parents (Fred Willard and Connie Ray) are killed on Halloween, things only get worse. His hand has become possessed, gaining the voice of Robert Englund and the handwork of magician Christopher Hart, who also played Thing in The Addams Family.
Anton’s hand goes on to kill his best friends Pnub (Elden Henson, who played Foggy in Daredevil and was in The MIght Ducks) and Mick (Seth Green) and turn them into zombies. The hand also allows him to finally get closer to next door neighbor Molly (Jessica Alba), a girl he’s been pining over forever.
Then there’s Debi LeCure (Vivica A. Fox), a druid priestess who has been hunting for the spirit in Anton’s hand as it kills people all over the country. Now that his hand is severed, it’s on the loose and attacking people at a school dance. Will Anton survive? Will his hand? Will his new girl? And why would his friends give up on going to heaven? I can tell you that answer: smoking weed.
This film was delayed after Columbine when all teen movies were being monitored. Plus, an elaborate swimming pool sequence with a wall of hands and hell hole was the original way the film would end, but it didn’t work with the rest of the movie’s tone. This further delayed the movie by several months.
Idle Hands has some cool location trivia for horror movie buffs. It was filmed in the same neighborhood as the original Halloween and the high school gym where the dance is filmed was also used in the movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jawbreaker.
Music fans — well, if you like 1990’s kinda punk — will be happy to see The Offspring show up, as well as former Blink-182 guitarist and current UFO researcher Tom DeLonge.
Idle Hands is already in motion before the film even begins and just careens its way through its tale. It’s a pretty goofy little movie that I’d never seen before and probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t suggested as part of our second horror comedy week. Perhaps if I were a teenager in the late 90’s I would have enjoyed it a bit more. It’s not bad by any means though.
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Thank you so much, Sam, for featuring this flashback movie for me! One of my first jobs was in a custom car shop…you know where we put in killer sub systems, lowered cars by cutting leaf springs, and painting drops of paint on them…and this was a favorite film in the shop. We would have it playing in our waiting room all the time! Brilliant review, and thank you for the horror film location trivia. I just fell more in love with this corny, but beloved film!