May 4, 1999

Another rip-off teen horror film. Another retelling of ‘The Hands of Orloc.’ Another trendy ‘potsmoking is cool’ film. But this one is missing something that the recent crop of teen slasher crap (Scream 1 & 2, I Know What…, Disturbing Behavior, Urban Legends, The Faculty, ad nauseum) have – picture perfect teens getting sliced by horrible villians and/or the people they trust (mostly parents and teachers) – THANK GOD!

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Scream and all, but as for the rest of them, I have a hard time believing that they are anything but ‘a very special Halloween episode’ of Dawson’s Creek or Party of Five or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or whatever teen melodrama. At least that is what the cast list is like. It seems like the first thing even mentioned in the commercials these days are ‘Jennifer Love Hewitt, star of TV’s Party of Five,’ or ‘Brandy, star of TV’s Moesha’ or ‘every single fucking person from Dawson’s fucking Creek!’ OK, I admit that Seth Green is in TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so no film is safe from pernicious, pretty faced TV dork syndrome. End of rant.

I laughed my ass off while watching Idle Hands. It was almost as funny as Bride of Chucky. But it was also fairly scary. The beginning of the film was like vintage John Carpenter. No, it really was a throwback to the old Corman flicks, because it didn’t know whether it was a horror or a comedy or both, but I think that comedy won out. Even though the music was back to old fashioned scary sounds (of course – it was done by Graeme Revell) – and I was really shocked when people got killed – very violently of course. Idle Hands was also not afraid to go for the gross-out. There were ears, eyeballs and goo everywhere, not to mention the nastiest bologna sandwich I have ever seen in my life. Of course it is partially a tribute to the Evil Dead films. Now that Sam Raimi’s doing serious stuff like A Simple Plan, someone has got to fill the void.

Devon Sawa is stoned and covered in blood for most of the film, but somehow still appealing. Jessica Alba is cute, but she has a bad habit of pouting and mugging for the camera. Hopefully, that is a result of direction and not her acting style, because if she keeps it up, she’ll be relegated to doing shampoo commercials forever.

Very funny, almost scary film. Definitely not from the same mold as the last round of teen flicks…and it had the guy from that show ‘Dead at 21’ – am I the only one who remembers that show?

Year – 1999
Rating – R
Runtime – 90 minutes
Genre – Teen Horror
Director(s) – Rodman Flender
Writer(s) – Terri Hughes, Ron Milbauer
Actor(s) – Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Elden Henson, Jessica Alba, Jack Noseworthy
BOB Rating – Four BOBs
Favorite Quote – "If you want a piece of Linda, go back and get one." - Mick (Seth Green)