Idle Hands (1999)
By: J.R. McNamara on May 4, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Columbia Tristar (Australia). Region 2 & 4 PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, German DD 5.1. English, German, Dutch, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Turkish Subtitles. 88 minutes
The Movie
Director: Rodman Flender
Starring: Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Elden Henson, Jessica Alba, Vivica A. Fox
Screenplay: Terri Hughes, Ron Milbauer
Country: USA
Idle Hands shouldn't work…actually horror/comedies shouldn't work. Horror and comedy are at two complete opposites of the emotional spectrum. Comedy, obviously, is the lightest of light, whereas horror is the worst of the worst, the sense of impending tragedy, especially when one's own life is in peril. Some would say that the Scary Movie series have, in general, been funny, but that is the point. They are comedies spoofing the horror genre, and are exempt. Some horror movies with light elements, such as American Werewolf in London or The Lost Boys, work, but they don't purport to be anything other than a horror movie, and the comedy comes from the touches of levity that actually makes the horrible more horrible.

Idle Hands is a horror/comedy…in spades. Anton Tobias (Devon Sawa) is the ultimate slacker. Constantly stoned, never goes to school, and can't even be bothered talking to the hot chick, Molly (Jessica Alba) who lives in his street. He is so lazy, that he can't even be bothered to use two hands…which gives something evil an opportunity to take over. Along with his friends Mick (Seth Green) and Pnub (Elden Henson), neighbour Randy (Jack Noseworthy) and assassin of evil Debbie LeCure (Vivacia A. Fox), Anton needs to find a way to get rid of the evilness hiding within his body.

If you feel like watching something a little Evil Dead 2, a little Buffy the Vampire Slayer or a little Cheech and Chong (there is a lot of dope smoking in this movie), this is your hot pick. There are heaps of references to other horror movies in this film, and many guest appearances by people from the music world (Tom Delonge and The Offspring come to mind). It is not heavy, is very funny, and has some inventive deaths (which should satisfy the horror head), and is just a perfect popcorn movie. It was never going to bring in a new legion of horror fans, or be a dawning of a new golden era of horror but there are worse ways to spend 92 minutes. Besides, Jessica Alba is in it.
The image on this disc is great. There are no apparent faults or artefacts which gives a pretty clean palette for Flender to paint on, and the depth of tones with this film are wonderful. Mind you, the horror aficionado will marvel at how many color schemes have been 'borrowed' from Dario Argento
The soundtrack to this film is as eclectic as the film itself. From subtle Argento-ish incidental music, to kick ass rock, this 5.1 track sounds great. By the way, The Living End has managed to squeeze a track into this movie, so Australian fans take note.
Extra Features
The director's commentary is the best one ever. Performed by Director Rodman Flender, and lead actors Seth Green and Eldon Henson, this commentary covers everything from the lighting style to Devon Sawa's over and above performance of Anton. The three of these guys could do stand up comedy together.

Behind The Scenes Featurette (5 minutes 55 seconds) is a generic 'making of' that offers no actual making of info, other than a few sound bytes from cast and crew and a couple of behind the scenes shots.

Deleted Scene (9 minutes 20 seconds) shows an 'alternate ending', with director Rodman Flender hosting in a 'Troy McClure' styled fashion. This can be watched with or without the director's commentary.

There are two 'Storyboard Comparisons for this film. They show two scenes from the film in a 'split screen' fashion with the top showing the movie and the bottom showing the storyboards. The scenes selected from the movie were the Sawblade scene (1 minute 13 seconds) and the 'Cuff Me' sequence (1 minute 49 seconds). As usual, this sort of thing is only interesting if you have an interest in the art of filmmaking.

Talent Profiles are text profiles of director Rodman Flender and performers Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Vivica A. Fox and Jessica ALba

There is the theatrical trailer as well (1 minute 57 seconds).
The Verdict
Imagine if you made a mix tape of your favourite horror films, and then strung the scenes together with a loose Weird Science styled comedy storyline: welcome to Idle Hands. That is not a bad thing, the collection of inspirations and homage's are a cornucopia of horrible fun. The non horror fan will enjoy the flick, but the horror fan will get so many nudge nudge wink wink's that he'll think the film has a nervous tick.
Movie Score
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