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Idle Hands (1999)

This is a film I first discovered in my local Blockbuster as a kid, I always remember being desperate to see due to the striking green and yellow colour of the box art. It wouldn't be until many years later before I would first get the opportunity to watch this, and if I'm being honest, I'm glad I had to wait. Experiencing this film in my teenage years made this film so much more relatable to me. I find the casting in this film to be almost perfect. Devon Sawa plays lead protagonist Antone, and gives a very genuine performance, his 'mime artist' like ability to use his hand as an almost separate entity is very impressive and extremely convincing. Along with Sawa, we are introduced to Mike played by Seth Green and Pnub played by Elden Henson. The character dynamics between the three of them is extremely relatable for me, I have grown up with friendships like this and some of the scenes in this film featuring their interactions are very reminiscent of a great time in my life. My only criticism with the casting is Jessica Alba as Molly, she over acts this role and I'm not sure if she is at fault or, the writing of her character is to blame. The most enticing element of this film is the soundtrack, this is literally the soundtrack to my youth. Featuring big hitters such as 'Blink 182', 'Zebrahead', 'Motley Crüe' and even featuring an on screen cameo from 'The Offspring'. One of the biggest things this film did for me musical however, was introduced me to the incredible talent that is Rob Zombie. There is a scene that features the music video for Zombie's 'Dragula' that opened up a whole new world for me and introduced me to a genre in music I had never experience. Director Rodman Flender has a rather limited back catalogue when it comes to big feature films, specialising more specifically in sitcom TV shows. His combined direction and cinematography from Christopher Baffa is by no means perfect. That being said, it has a certain amature charm to it that makes it a delightful viewing experience. The lighting is filled with ominous red and green tones and paired with some creative set designs really captures the essence of Halloween, making this my go to every time the spooky season is upon us. 'Idle Hands' does some incredible things with its visual effects work, both practical and CGI. There is one scene in particular that always stands out to me as amazing and that is where Antone microwaves his hand, causing the skin to bubble and blood spurt from the fingertips. This, along with with the scalping of 'The Offspring' lead singer Dexter Holland in the closing act are just a few of the scenes that display perfectly how great the practical effects are in this film. There is some slightly dated CGI but, for the time of release I still think it holds up fairly well. One of the more visually creative aspects I found on my latest rewatch is the innovative ideas this film had with green screen work, mostly involving a post decapitated Phnbs and Antone's free roaming hand. This element of 'Idle Hands' is flawless and I would say looks more impressive than similar green screen work produced 20 plus years later. 'Idle Hands' is a stoner comedy at heart that infuses horror elements seamlessly into its narrative. It's by no means a perfect film and if I'm being completely honest I'm not particularly fond of the closing act. That being said, this is a film I have mass amounts of nostalgia for and a regular revisit for me. It introduced me to a world of incredible music and always reminds me of a simpler time in my life. This for me is the perfect 'switch your brain off' movie and comes with the highest of recommendation from me.



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