Tuesday, September 25, 2012

REVIEW: Idle Hands (1999)

After my last few reviews involved a psychic killer penis, a hungry, vengeful vagina and man-eating boobs, I was really wondering where I could possibly go from there…I mean, these are really hard to top. So what am I left with to end this little saga on? A half-assed stoner comedy/horror about a kid whose hand is possessed by the devil? And it’s directed by that idiot who made The Unborn and starring the doofus from the first Final Destination movie?! Seriously, how does that even compare?

Director: Rodman Flender
Starring: Devon Sawa, Jessica Alba

It doesn’t. It doesn’t at all. In fact, it leaves so little of an impact that I’m pretty much grasping for straws even trying to review it. This movie is the equivalent of the actual real life stoners who do nothing but sit around on their asses all day eating potato chips – there is no cleverness or wit at all to be found here. So let’s fire up the fumes of reviewing and get this stinker over with before our brain cells turn to mush.

We start off with an overly long scene of a middle aged couple in bed talking about how their idiot son doesn’t help them with Halloween decorations and just sits around doing nothing all day. They’re about to go to bed and turn off the light when they see blue neon writing on the ceiling telling them to look under the bed. How did that get on the ceiling? Never explained…apparently the killer just utilizes ladders to their full potential.

"Honey, did you let a serial killer into the house AGAIN? I'm gonna freakin' kill you for this..."

And for that matter, why bother writing anything on the ceiling to warn his victims in the first place? He’s just giving them more time to escape or foil his plans unknowingly. Imagine if he did that to a house where the people went out all night and partied, never turning off the lights or seeing anything…he’d just be sitting under the bed waiting for hours, for no reason. What a dumbass. I wouldn’t trust this guy to be the star of my slasher movie…

Then the mother is killed off while apparently, the father is axed offscreen, because offscreen deaths are just terrifying when you can’t see them and don’t know what happened! The next day we meet their son Anton, played by future Final Destination survivor Devon Sawa. I actually think he seems to have more fun in this than his later flop…at least here he gets to go all Keanu Reeves and make bug-eyed over the top stoner expressions.

He keeps this expression ALL. THROUGHOUT. THE MOVIE. Seriously, kid, maybe it's time for you to take a visit to Narcotics Anonymous!

We also meet his two buddies Mick and Pnub, played by Seth Green and Elden Henson, neither of whom were sober during the filming of this, I’m sure…they sit around all day smoking and eating cheese balls and chips. They throw Anton’s cat out a window for some reason and then his hand, which has been possessed by the devil and moves on its own now, forces him to pick up the fallen journal of hot chick Molly (Jessica Alba, who he has a crush on) and give it back to her. She ends up starting a relationship with him and somehow they have really hot sex in her room later on:

Uh, yeah, no. Doesn't happen. Not buying it. Definitely not.

His hand is all over her, groping and everything – luckily he found the one girl in the universe who wouldn’t just throw him out the second he started with that shit. She’s so stupid she actually just sees everything he’s doing as charmingly delightful and sexy…in reality he acts like a spaz and does crazy things for no reason. Are her standards really so low? Maybe the weed fumes emanating off him just infected her too somehow.

But OK, so I guess he eventually discovers that his parents are dead, what, 30 minutes into the damn movie? This is really supposed to be our hero? Even Bill and Ted would be like “dude, you’re really an oblivious ass!” His hand then somehow forces him to murder Mick and Pnub with broken beer bottles, so he buries them in his backyard and gives a eulogy speech that even a four year old could do better.

Somehow, Mick and Pnub come back to life – because “the gates of Heaven were too far away.” I’m so glad this movie affirms a positive Christian agenda and the idea of Heaven existing…if only it actually elaborated on that, we might have a good joke. But nope. Just like in Rock n’ Roll Frankenstein, the characters react to these two becoming undead zombies like it’s nothing to worry about at all, never even questioning it. I know marijuana can be pretty potent, but c’mon. It’s ZOMBIES. If this had been made ten years later, the movie would have just stopped right here and gone into full Zombieland mode…maybe that would’ve been better actually.

ZOMBIES!!!! Just regular every day stuff when you're high.

But no, instead we're just stuck with bullshit devil-possessed hand story with stupid stoner characters. Like this one scene where he’s facing down these two cops who are trying to arrest him; he’s knitting because, you know, “idle hands do the devil’s work,” and knitting is the first thing he can think of just because the movie thinks it’s funny…and he can’t stop knitting because otherwise his hands will kill the cops. So they start screaming at each other and chaos breaks out and it’s really, really unfunny – like, to extremes only a bad comedy film can reach. I mean, did they have any jokes? Where's the humor? You have a potentially funny situation, movie, but the jokes...are just not here. Instead all we get is dumbass slapstick. Because, you know, that's the best kind of comedy, right? Wrong.

Then Anton gets the brilliant idea to cut off his own hand, and after he does that, he barely feels anything at all, and is able to continue to going on like he just got a paper cut. I guess the joke is that he’s so high, he didn’t even feel the pain, but given this movie’s track record for obliviousness, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just lazy writing. After that, the severed hand can still move and now goes on a warpath to kill Jessica Alba because…….because.

Chalk up one more for the goofy horror facial expression club...

Oh, and did I mention there’s another plotline in this movie involving this druid woman who apparently put together that because a thread of murders forms some kind of pentagram shape in which Anton’s town is at the middle, that means the devil has possessed someone and is about to do something evil. She also somehow deduces that he’s possessed the laziest slacker around – dunno how, or how that pentagram thing works for that matter, but I guess that’s because I’m not high as a kite.

And really? We’re supposed to take this five-minute plotline seriously at all? Even when the character is so stupid that she runs out in front of a big truck backing out of a driveway when she could easily just run alongside it? Yeah, real genius, cool character you got there, movie…

"Hur hur hur, I love running in front of random cars when they're backing out! Almost as much as I love sticking my tongue in electrical sockets!"

At the school while trying to kill Jessica Alba’s character, the hand of course can’t just, you know, DO THAT RIGHT AWAY. No, it first kills a principal who is in the middle of a phone sex hotline call in his office…random…and then the lead singer of a band. Both of these scenes are overly long, pointless and add absolutely nothing to the film.

Meanwhile, the zombified Mick and Pnub hit on girls at the dance who can’t tell they’re dead, because you know, being dead wouldn’t make your BO off the charts or anything…good thing this movie takes place at Halloween, or else everything in it would completely fall apart. Lazy screenwriting 101, just throw everything under the bus with a cheap holiday gag.

Uh, yeah, no. Doesn't happen. Not buying it. Definitely not...and seriously, wouldn't anyone smell the stench of ROTTING DEATH on these two peons?

Then Jessica Alba and her random friend we didn’t know until five minutes ago escape the hand by crawling up into an air vent; yes, crawling up into an air vent. Couldn’t just escape on foot from the tiny hand that’s about 1/15th the size of you, could you? I guess that would make too much sense. They come across a giant fan and somehow stop its blades just by jamming them with one of their high heels. Uh, yeah, no. In real life that thing would be shredded to a cinder…oh, why am I even bothering anymore?

The hand kills the friend and kidnaps Alba, tying her in a full-body bind to the top of a car…yeah, how did that little hand subdue her that much without her resisting? It just makes no sense. You’d have to be a total pansy to let a hand tie you up that much! Anton and friends come in and rip her dress off leaving her in a sort of bikini…OK. It is pretty hot I guess.

Let's be honest, a mostly naked Jessica Alba tied to a car is the only reason any of you ever watched this film.

After that, they somehow stop the car by smoking weed through a giant car engine thing – once a burnout loser, always a burnout loser, I guess. Then they kill the hand by throwing a knife at it; yes, that’s really all it took to kill the demonic hand that could subdue a fully grown human being and tie her down to a car roof. What a letdown. I haven’t been this disappointed since my hopes of this turning out as a good movie died in the first three minutes of the film!

Idle Hands just sucks. The jokes are terribly unfunny, and you won’t laugh even once. The characters are all wastes of perfectly good script paper that could have been used to roll more joints. The plot is a mess of stupidity that seems to think it can get by simply because its audience is presumably too high to see what a godawful piece of hack work it really is. And really, that’s all it comes down to with Idle Hands. It’s not the worst ever, but really, how much less effort could you put into a movie than the makers of this one did? This is crap made for a bunch of stoner morons and nothing more.

None of the images in this review belong to me. They belong to their original owners. I got them off of the YouTube free movie.