When IDLE HANDS came out in 1999, it was one of the last of a dying breed: an unapologetic, no holds barred, nineties movie. By the eve of Y2K, everyone was tired of that $#*!, and the film was met with revulsion by critics and audiences alike (it sports a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes and barely made $4 million at the box office).
But when does the statute of limitations run out and we start to appreciate how indicative of the nineties IDLE HANDS was? IDLE HANDS is relic of the past, from a time when everyone and their mother was trying to capitalize on the SCREAM franchise, and we were about to usher in the age of BLAIR WITCH PROJECT copycats. It’s been 13 years since the nineties, and I say that time is now. As luck would have it, Image Entertainment and RLJ Entertainment has brought the film to Blu-Ray, so we can rediscover the blissful 90′s confection that IDLE HANDS is.
IDLE HANDS is a bad movie, but it’s one of those hyper enjoyable ones (I’d say it’s a guilty pleasure, but I don’t feel guilty), with some great and awful dialogue, and a cast that has since gone in fascinating directions.
This cast includes Seth Green at the height of his powers, with BUFFY and AUSTIN POWERS under his belt (the specter of DADS a long ways off), Jessica Alba when she could almost realistically live across the street from you, and Vivica A. Fox when she could pass as a nun for even a moment. Believe it or not, Devon Sawa was seen as the next big thing. While IDLE HANDS bombed, he became the star of FINAL DESTINATION and SLACKERS, not exactly showcasing range, and only recently resurfacing on NIKITA. Everyone in the cast has managed solid and varied careers, including THE MIGHTY DUCKS’ Elden Henson, who’s bounced around and is somehow a part of THE HUNGER GAMES franchise.
IDLE HANDS has Sublime’s “Santeria” in the soundtrack, for Pete’s sake, as Anton and his pals yuk it up, smoke weed, and talk about girls… until Anton’s hand becomes possessed by the devil, a modestly clever conceit because the guy’s so lazy. It’s not a classic, but it’s a great White Elephant gift, and the perfect movie to watch with your friends on a Friday night and see how much has changed… or how so very little.