Movie Review:“Idle Hands” – My Guilty Halloween Pleasure

Written by Angela October 31, 2013

Idle Hands 1

In my previous review, I went against the grain and panned an otherwise well-received film. This week, I shall once more dare to deviate from the conventional standard by publicly admitting my love for what has been largely deemed one of the stupidest horror movies of the 90s, which is saying a lot when one considers such counterparts as “Urban Legend” (1998), and “Leprechaun” (1993). Director Rodman Flender’s “Idle Hands” (1999) is a Halloween horror comedy comprised of lame burnout humour, mediocre scares, and plagued with the unavoidable presence of Seth Green. And, for no true rhyme or reason that I can really put my finger on, I adore this piece of shit film. May the Film Review Gods have mercy on my pathetic soul.

“Idle hands are the Devil’s playground.”

So the plot of this slop is this: Anton Tobias (Devon Sawa) is a teenaged Gen-X-er known for his ability to sit on his pot-smoking ass and not do much else for days on end. All this epic laziness (because surely no other teenager has skipped school to smoke up while his mother cleans after him) earns him the curse of a demonically-possessed right hand, just in time for Halloween. With the help of his two undead buddies (Seth Green and Eldon Henson), Anton must fight to resist the homicidal inklings of his naughty appendage.

Laziness Abounds

There’s so much wrong here. Jessica Alba’s character of Anton’s stupid and scantily-clad neighbour is hugely insulting to the film’s female audiences, as is that of Vivica A. Fox’s depiction of a druid priestess on a mission to eliminate handsy evil. Both female figures serve merely to embody ridiculous cliched male fantasies, and thus alienate any potential viewers other than the very specific demographic of white American males aged 12-20. The jokes are as lazy as Anton, too often citing dated pop culture of the 90s to construct a feeble punchline. Does anyone today even remember Baywatch or Enya? The story itself is scattered from setting to setting and jumbled beyond comprehension; details are treated as more of an annoyance than a necessity to ensure the momentum of the plot. All that seems to matter is that mayhem is obviously going to ensue at the local high school Halloween dance, just as it is apt to do in almost every high school movie dance in history. “Idle Hands” is as thoughtless, crass, and offensive as every other awful teen movie from the era, with a touch more violence and a sprinkling of jack-o-lanterns across the screen.

Idle Hands 3

“As Usual, Marijuana Saves an Otherwise Disastrous Day.”

Yes, this movie sucks. I am fully aware of all its flaws, including its disastrous script and god-awful characters. But I implore you to consider the notion that perhaps it is its terribleness that can potentially make it an appealing film. The overall movie is immature but it’s fun, if only from a nostalgic standpoint. I mean, come on, The Offspring makes a cameo in this movie. If the sight of Dexter Holland getting scalped by a detached hand doesn’t make you feel a bit fuzzy for the good old days of cargo pants and Music World then I don’t know what will. As far as the consumption of illegal substances goes, you gotta give this movie a tiny bit of credit for discouraging viewers against becoming self-indulgent scumbags. Anton even has a character arc when he decides to take responsibility for his actions and make an effort to clean up his own bloody mess.


While these are really the only two points I can come up with to defend this movie, I still think it makes for a great Halloween classic, although perhaps it is better suited for an older audience who can actually stomach its rancid 90s flavour. You’re most likely doing a ton of other unhealthy things this weekend, what with the alcohol and the candy waiting to be consumed. Why not go all out and complete your Halloween celebrations by curling up with a bowl of hoarded treats and giving “Idle Hands” a go. Being slothful on a regular basis is a sin, but I’m sure letting loose just this once will be forgiven.

 Overall Rating: 2/10 (but still worth the watch)






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Angela

Angela McInnes is an English major and up-and-coming horror film aficionado. To her, happiness is a bottle of rum and a creature-feature on a Saturday night.

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on Movie Review:“Idle Hands” – My Guilty Halloween Pleasure. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment