Hi recyclers! Remember me? I’ve been hard at work on A Year With Kate over at The Film Experience (now almost complete!), so I’ve been out of touch these last few months. But I could never pass a holiday without sitting down for a good beer and a bad movie with my good friend Gabe Feinberg. Unfortunately, I’ve been running around like a zombie with its head cut off, so I’m only now writing my review. Everyone please thank Gabe for his unending good humor, and for not cursing me with demonic possession or stabbing me every time I said “I’m almost done!” Truly he is a patient man.
This year, our choice for a bad movie was Idle Hands, a 1999 film that combines two very popular late 90s genres: stoner comedies and slasher comedies. This is a very 90s film. Continuing our pattern of seeing surprisingly famous people in surprisingly bad horror movies, Idle hands features a young Jessica Alba (one year before Dark Angel), Seth Green (probably at the height of his mainstream popularity, but before his animation/geekery second career), Vivica A. Fox (also probably at the height of her mainstream popularity), Fred Willard (underused), and Devon Sawa (overused). It’s a veritable Where Were They Then!
The premise and name of the film are based on the adage “Idle hands are the devil’s plaything,” which I honestly thought was about the sin of masturbation or playing pool. Turns out, at least in the case of this movie, it just means “don’t lie around smoking weed and couch surfing all day, or an unspecified demon will possess your hand and murder everyone you know.” Basically, it’s that amazing scene from Evil Dead 2 where Ash fights his own hand, without Bruce Campbell or Sam Raimi or really anything that would make you want to watch it. There are a lot of jokes about weed and some egregious examples of Genre Necessary Stupidity. (Dear Jessica Alba, if a guy shows up covered in blood and missing a hand, run away. Do not invite him in for sex.) That said, it’s a very colorful movie, which is a strange thing to bring up, but since most horror films now are done in grayscale, it was oddly welcome. Mostly, Idle Hands just made me want to binge-watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and burn my old Offspring cassettes. Ah, 90s nostalgia!
As for the beer, I’ll leave that up to Gabe. As always, I was grateful for Gabe’s beer and his company. Check out his review of both beer and movie here. Until the next major holiday, have a happy Halloween, and keep your hands busy!