Idle Hands Movie Review

If the director, the writers, the actors and the lobotomized studio execthat greenlighted "Idle Hands" were to spend every day of therest of their lives being dunked head first into mountains of fresh manure,it wouldn't be punishment enough for making this movie.

Yet another clumsy, shapeless teen horror-"comedy,"about a teenage boy whose possessed hand drags him along on a gory killingspree, "Idle Hands" is wholly devoid of taste, wit or even asingle creative or interesting moment. The only way this flick could seemany worse would be if, say, the studio had locked themselves into a releasedate that happened to fall a week after an actual teenage killing spreethat horrified the whole country.

Oops.

Devon Sawa ("Wild America") -- who apparently left his actingskills in his other pants -- stars as a dope-fried, high school sofa slugwith devil-spawn digits that kill his parents and his two best friends(Seth Green, Elden Henson), and he just can't make them stop.

Sawa spends the entire picture wrestling with his hyperactivehand like a dinner-theater hack aping Peter Sellers in "Dr. Strangelove."

He tries to prevent the appendage from killing anyone else,especially the eyelash-batting bimbo with plunging cleavage in place ofpersonality (Jessica Alba, "NeverBeen Kissed") who lives across the streetand has been his prefered fantasy material for years. Failing that, hetakes a hatchet to his forearm, then the hand is on the loose and makesfor high school Halloween dance where it can wreak the most havoc.

Meanwhile, Vivica A. Fox turns up as a Druid priestess(?!?) who knows how to stop the hand, and Green and Henson come back fromthe dead as dim-witted, wise-cracking zombies to haunt -- scratch that,hang out with -- Sawa as he tries to cover up his crimes.

Under the pathetic and haphazard direction of Rodman Flender(a Roger Corman protegee), each of these previously proven actors turnsinto a numbskull who can barely read cue cards. The talents that made unforgettagleimpressions in "Austin Powers" (Green), "The Mighty" (Henson) and "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" (Fox) are nowhere to be seen.

Full of moronic loopholes (why is Sawa's 21-year-old neighborgoing to the high school dance?), missteps in judgment (a realistic makeshiftmemorial to the dead reminds us how unfunny mass murder really is) andentire scenes that serve only to set up fizzled jokes (getting the handhigh on pot), "Idle Hands" is never even once funny or scary.

(You may think a movie featuring a possessed hand is, bydefinition, incaplible of genuine terror or laughs, but Sam Raimi pulledit off to perfection in "Evil Dead 2.")

When this picture bombs (and it will), the gruesome murdersin Colorado last week will probably be used as a scape goat by the producersso no one will lose their careers over this pitiful excuse for a movie.But make no mistake, even under the best of circumstances there's nothingredeemable here.

Comments

Idle Hands Rating

" Zero "

Rating: R, Friday, April 30, 1999

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