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Idle Hands (1999)

MPAA Rating: R

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EW's GRADE
C

Details Rated: R; Genres: Comedy, Horror; With: Seth Green and Devon Sawa

The right hand of Anton (Devon Sawa), a high school stoner, gets inhabited by an evil spirit in this dumb, blood-soaked, undeniably kinetic teen Guignol bash. Just about every ghoulish joke in Idle Hands has been lifted from another movie: The hand-out-of-control gimmickry rehashes Bruce Campbell's mad slapstick conniption fits in Evil Dead II, and the wisecracking buddies (Seth Green and Elden Henson) who get killed and return as marble-skinned zombies (but remain jokey nerds) recall the best parts of An American Werewolf in London and Re-Animator. By the time the hero amputates his murderous extremity, which goes on a rampage, we're in terrain that has been exploited with far more grisly panache in Oliver Stone's 1981 B movie The Hand. That said, Dawson's Creek director Rodman Flender has whipped it all to watchable levels of splatter-happy delirium. C

Originally posted May 07, 1999 Published in issue #484 May 07, 1999 Order article reprints