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On April 30, as a somber nation debated the impact of violent entertainment on teenagers in the wake of the Columbine massacre, Columbia Pictures released Idle Hands, an irresponsible slasher film with a diseased sense of humor.
Young Anton's (Devon Sawa) right hand becomes possessed by an evil spirit set on committing grisly murders (people are scalped, decapitated, electrocuted, run through with knitting needles, shredded by fan blades, etc.). His parents are the first to go. Then Anton watches, horrified, as his "hand" kills his two closest friends—fellow slackers who smoke pot, listen to raucous music and spend hours exercising the TV remote (his two buddies rise from the dead and toss one-liners back and forth through most of the film).
Anton cuts short his career as a serial killer by chopping off the renegade hand. But the homicidal member takes on a life of its own. After much gratuitous, gory, often sexualized violence, the hand meets its match in a Druid priestess who has been following its trail of carnage.
Sound stupid? It is. It's also frightening to think that Idle Hands could develop a cult following among members of the Scream generation. Sick, gruesome images aside, the filmmakers practically consider marijuana its own food group. Add obscenities, lingering nudity, sexual situations, faulty theology, a cavalier attitude toward death, the prospect of a human being sacrificed and sent to Hell, and a desire to eliminate authority figures (parents, police, the school principal), and families have ample reason to keep kids away from this perverse parody.
Jessica Alba plays Anton's love interest, a nymphet neighbor and secret crush who wastes no time taking charge sexually and fulfilling his adolescent fantasy. She says of this film, "I want whoever sees this film to want to go and see it three or four more times because it has such energy." God forbid. Idle Hands is indeed the devil's playground.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Elden Henson, Vivica A. Fox, Jessica Alba
Rodman Flender ( )