Tapes From The Crypt #7 -- Idle Hands(1999)

in horror •  2 months ago

Idle Hands (1999)

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YES YES YES

.. and more YES!! This movie fucking ROCKS. DO NOT read the reviews. They are silly, biased and are only looking for mass acceptance.

But isn't that the point of having a STEEM blog? No. I hope my cult horror fanbase is somewhere out there on this site. And if not, maybe it will be someday. Also, notice how I didn't call it a "Steemit" blog? I have been using Steempeak.com the past few days almost exclusively and I love it. Another user(I can't remember who, I'm sorry) brought it up recently that maybe if we're looking for more traffic on the platform-- maybe Steemit.com shouldn't be the platform we advertise to new users. Unless they want to start working on some developments, of course.

Anyways! This movie is extremely entertaining. The movie follows a group of teenage friends who pretty much do nothing but smoke weed. Like, actually. That's all it seems like they do. I guess that this is a good point to mention that I consider this movie, 100%, to be a comedy. If anyone goes into this film expecting to be scared they will be sorely disappointed. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the low ratings the film received were due to the fact that many people did expect this to be a horror movie.

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This is a movie for you cult horror fans out there. And even within the cult horror community; a special, kind of dorky stupid section. That I could spend all day in. I guess I should put a "spoilers" alert in here somewhere; so here's the brief synopsis first:

Anton(played by Devon Sawa of *Final Destination) is high as fuck and finds his parents murdered. This is the most recent in a string of killings all around the area. Astounded, Anton shows his friends Mick and Pnub, played by Seth Hill and Elden Henson, respectively, the bodies. Once his hand starts uncontrollably going after his friends, however, Anton realizes that his hand is possessed by another force and is committing the murders, previously unbeknownst to him.

Even without seeing how playfully the director(Rodman Flender(GREAT NAME)) lays this all out for us, you can imagine how goofy it is already. Even Fred Willard makes a brief appearance(you might know him best as Ed Harken in Anchorman) as Anton's father, before being murdered. The movie also pays some respects to older cult films; including being shot in the same town as John Carpenter's Halloween(one of my all time favorite movies). And if you need any more name-dropping to inspire you; Jessica Alba plays the love interest. In terms of vibe; just imagine the most stereotypical portrayal of the 90's you can imagine. And it's corny as shit. If all of that sounds fun to you, I suggest you go watch Idle Hands right now!

Spoiler time!

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After the classic 90's thriller intro complete with ambiguous flashing background images with darting titles floating around, the movie opens with Anton's parents going to bed. After they turn off the light and snuggle up in bed, the mother screams as she sees written on the ceiling, "I'm under the bed". This obviously leads to the two of them dying, after Fred Willard comically looks at his wife in horror as she asks him to investigate. Of course, as the mother is frantically calling for Anton's help, he is nowhere to be found.

After this intro we're brought into the life of Anton- or the main plot line. In classic 90's teen style, Anton awakens still wearing his giant headphones. He throws off the stationary bedside headphones, and grabs his walkman with another pair, to put on the exact same song as he leaves his "cool kid" attic room and head downstairs to yell for his mom about what groceries are needed.

Upon no response, Anton flops over the couch, lights some incense and turns on the TV. Here, Flender really pushes the point that Anton is lazy and oblivious as shit, as the TV news station talks about a series of murders occurring while Anton continues to listen to music on his headphones and smoking pot out of the inhaler he wears around his neck. He only takes off his headphones when he switches the channel to some cartoons before calling up his friend looking for more weed.

He walks across the street in a nice robe and slippers kit, and climbs through one of those small basement windows, to drop down into his friend's "cool kid" basement zone. We're immediately shown that Pnub and Mick are no less lazy stoners than he- they make a couple of really crude bad jokes(bad, even if intentional) and Mick is just kind of holding a bong for no reason. When asked if Anton has any goals or ambition, he replies:

Yeah. I mean, my dream life would be to lie around all day in bed and watch TV while some hot bride brings me food and shit

I think a lot of this lazy shit is to demonstrate just how "idle" Anton's hands really are. If you want a message, I guess there is one, lol. Anyways, Anton then reveals he hasn't seen his parents in days. When his friends joke that maybe they were murdered, Anton is surprised to learn that there was a serial killer on the loose that had already racked up a body count of 4 in their town.

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Jessica Alba then enters the picture as Anton's neighbor and long-term crush. She happens to drop her "lyrics book" off her motorcycle as she's returning home and Anton promptly borrows some pants from Pnub and heads off to be her night in shining armor by returning the book. Instead, however, he shoves the books into her hands and she tries to thank him and awkwardly runs off while she tries to get his attention.

Anyways, we're then brought to Beaver, UT, where we meet Viviva A. Fox(Kill Bill), posing as "Sister Debbie Liqueur". Our fake nun meets an inmate, and is clearly dismayed by his withered hand, yelling, "It's gone! Shit!" and storming out and ripping off her nun outfit. She enters her camper, the walls of which are filled with things like news clippings, maps and cloves of garlic. She puts together that the names of all the towns start with the letter "B" and then notices a very vague pentagram pattern on her map of "x's" and she flips out and takes off for Bolan(the town of our protagonist).

We jump back to Anton, who is confronted by some bully cops that turn out to just be kids from a few grades ahead of him in high school. They have a pretty funny interaction, and end up citing Anton with a $200 littering ticket after they tossed an empty bag they found in his pants on the ground. Still not having weed when he gets home, Anton remembers his friends' earlier advice about smoking nutmeg and oregano together, and rolls some up in his littering ticket and goes to town.

Ok, he doesn't actually "go to town". He takes a single toke and almost pukes, runs his mouth under the sink with dish soap, and then makes a really disgusting looking mayonnaise and baloney sandwich. He notices when he sticks the bread knife(hahahah) back in the mayo jar that it is covered with "blood", although it is UNDOUBTEDLY jelly(see image below). He looks to the floor to see his kitty snackin' on an eyeball, concludes that the killer must be in the house, and hugs his dog.

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After frantically running around the house for awhile, Anton eventually knocks over the two mock halloween decorations they have up and lands between them. The jack-o-lanterns topping what were previously scarecrows exploded on impact, revealing the rotting corpses of his parents. He finds his friends outside, who assume that Anton is having a bad reaction from the oregano/nutmeg they jokingly suggested he smoked earlier. When they see his dead parents, they think he's having a really bad trip.

So then his friends try to figure out what to do and here we go, Anton kills Mick by thrusting a broken beer bottle into his head off-screen. As Pnub tries to escape, and is eventually decapitated by the blade of a circular saw, we understand that Anton genuinely has no control over his right hand.

So his hand starts having a lot of fun with him. We see him struggling hand to hand over the remote, and then the hand drags him over to Molly's(Jessica Alba) house and rings the doorbell. During their conversation his hand repeatedly lunged at Molly and he has to fight it off in a very comical way.

Incredibly sexy Molly is apparently pretty into his awkward little quirks, though, and invites him up to her room, where he continues to battle his hand. This leads to a really funny moment where he ends up tying his own hand to the metal frame of her bed. When her parents come home, Molly asks Anton to leave, saying:

We'll have to pick this up later, babycakes, because my parents might take offense to some dirty bloody boy banging their daughter

Anyways, with Fox on the way in her camper to kick evil's ass, the two plan to go to the dance the following night; the only way for the teens of the town to escape the curfew put in place due to the killings. Anton returns home to bury his friends, and delivery a eulogy that starts with "dearly beloved, we're here today because you're all dead" which is just fantastic. I've quoted the movie three times already, which is not something I commonly do. Halfway through the eulogy, however, he hears moaning, and digs his friends back up. They come back to life, discolored and one headless, and Anton passes out.

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When he wakes he at first assumes that it was all a crazy dream or a result of the spices he smoked, until he finds his friends in the living room looking as they do above. When asked how they came back from the dead, they said that there was a light at the end of a tunnel with angels singing, beckoning for them to enter heaven; but instead they figured "fuck it" and came back.

They then go to Randy(Jack Noseworthy) to learn more about the devil. Randy is a lifted F-series driving, cut off t-shirt wearing, tribal tattoo having douchebag that listens to the same Motley Crue song over and over. Randy obviously doesn't have much info for him, other than to keep his hands busy because "idle hands are the devil's playground". So Anton goes home to hang out with his two undead friends and put his hands to work knitting, thinking that would solve all his problems.

But instead, the cops shows up due to a noise complaint and after quite a bit of confusion upon seeing the living dead, and after a standoff involving Anton trying to turn himself in but refusing to stop knitting, the cops end up dead and his friends applaud him as he continues to bug out. Anton decides that the only way to solve it is to chop his hand off. He at first tries a bagel cutter but obviously that goes nowhere. Then Mick grabs the electric knife and wields it around the kitchen shouting "look at me I'm leatherface!" in another one of my personal favorite moments of the film, before the knife unplugs so for some reason they drop the idea rather than plugging it back in.

He finally gets the job down with a meat cleaver while Pnub bites down on his rogue hand, and Mick singes the wound with a clothing iron. His dead friends leave to get antiseptic and burritos and Anton is left alone, or so he thinks. He notices that his hand isn't done, and leaves a message for him:

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Molly shows up as he's trying to wrestle his hand into the microwave, which he eventually succeeds in. After it's in there for not more than 30 seconds he decides that the job is done and he takes off with Molly to the dance, under the guise that his bloody stump was part of his Halloween costume.

Back at Anton's house, Pnub and Mick return with promised bandages, antibacterials and burritos. After helping Pnub fasten his head back to his body, Mick accidentally lets the hand free from the microwave as he's going to microwave his burrito. It flies through the window, presumably to the dance. Meanwhile, Anton has told Molly to go ahead to the dance while he goes home and "cleans", and also calls her babysnakes, which is dope.

Anton gets home to Pnub and Mick eating burritos, the filling of which is oozing out between Pnub's head and body. Anton loses it when he realizes that the hand is gone from the microwave, and Mick's response is "sorry there were only two burritos".

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Finally, Fox's character returns as she visits the local bowling alley to investigate some hands and fingers and the like. Douchebag Randy immediately spots her and drops some dumb pick up lines. It is during their conversation that we learn the true origins of Liqueur; that she comes from a long line of druid priestesses who fight a certain evil, that kills all many people as it can before dragging a soul down to hell. She reveals that a hand would be possessed, and Randy informs her that Anton came up to him freaking out about a possessed hand. So, together, they set off towards Anton's house.

Anton, however, has figured out that the hand is going after Molly, and sets off from the house towards the dance after his changing-his-life speech is cut off by Mick saying "no Kevin Cosner speeches". They steal Randy's Ford, almost accidentally killing Liqueur, who's caught up to them, in the process.

In the parking lot of the dance, the hand is hard at work, killing a high school couple hookin' up in the car before heading inside. Just as the couple dies, the gang pulls up in Randy's Ford, which is still somehow playing the same song. In CLASSIC 90's fashion, they have The Offspring playing at the Halloween dance. Mick and Pnub enter the dance, but the hand is over in the principal's office, ripping the man to shreds as he tries to call a phone sex worker.

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Anton hears the murder and finds the dead principal shortly after. He then runs out into the hallway, where finally, Liqueur catches up to him. She explains that she knows what's going on and that she can make it all stop, and when Anton asks how with a breath of relief, she pulls out a crazy fucking curved dagger and starts trying to stab him with it. It's pretty fucking funny!

Once Anton's made it clear to her that he was no longer the "host", since he had cut off the hand, she cursed him out for letting it loose and explained to him that in six minutes the hand was going to take Molly to hell; at midnight, "druid time". The three of them(Randy was there talking about his truck) sprint into the dance and Anton rushes the stage, stealing the mic from Offspring vocalist Dexter Holland to announce the presence of a "psycho killer". After Anton gets boo'd off the mic, and in another frame we see the hand breaking the lock to the door, Holland regains the mic, only to be publicly scalped by the hand.

Chaos breaks out in the gymnasium, and in the midst of it the hand claims a few more victims. Before either the hand or Anton can get to her, however, Molly's friend convinces her to escape through a vent. Their vent leads to a dead end, however, providing us with the only actually suspenseful moment in the film; as they descend a rope through a giant jammed fan blade. It's hard to explain, but it is actually the only moment in the film I could consider the slightest bit scary. Either way, Molly makes it down, but the hand catches up to them before her friend can and she is simultaneously hung and chopped to pieces by the fan.

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The hand knocks Molly out with a ceramic vase in the art room and shortly after battles Anton in the same room, hiding inside a series of different puppets. Of course, right as Anton has the upper hand and is about to fuck up the hand, his friends climbing around above him bust open the vent and knock him over, letting the hand escape.

The hand straps Molly to the top of a car, draws a pentagram on the roof of the garage, and starts to lift the car in a manner to push her through the symbol. As the three friends struggle to overpower the hand operating the lift, Mick finds a bong. In a moment of pure brilliance(hahah), Anton takes a large rip of the bong, exhales into the puppet the hand is inside, and gets the hand so stoned it relinquishes it's grip on the lever, just before Molly is crushed.

So of course, the hand comes back briefly, and right as it does, Randy and Liqueur step into the room and she chucks her dagger at the flying hand, catching it perfectly and pinning it to Mick. The hand then just poofs, Mick is disappointed in the lack of theatrics, Liqueur says "my work here is done, time for the ritualistic sex", and Anton cuts Molly's ties and frees her from the roof of the car, and they kiss. The movie seems pretty much all wrapped up until Mick drops the lifted car onto Anton, crushing him, and the garage door opens, beckoning the three again to heaven. This time, Anton stays behind to hang out with Molly, and in his hospital bed Mick and Pnub come to visit him as his guardian angels. They paint "I'm under the bed" on the ceiling of the hospital room before leaving, and the movie ends.

So, yeah, that's that. I fucking love this movie!! I strongly recommend it to anyone who likes corny, satirical, stupid 90's comedy. It's by no means the best movie in the world but it is wildly entertaining. And the cast is pretty ridiculous as well. Thanks for reading this stuff.

My rating: 7.5/10

Controversial opinion lol. I'll be doing more goofy movies like this but after doing these last two I have to do something really, really good for the next one.

Love the shit out of you all!

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I'm sold! I just skipped the spoiler section for now, but the next step will be tracked this down. Do you know any readily available sources?

I love when horror is very serious and focused (old boy comes to mind) but revel in the campiness that so many in the genre only dip a toe in before barreling into the gore. Tucker and Dale vs evil kept the camp quite high throughout. Hooray tapes from the crypt!!! Love the shot outta you! ;*

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I have a large VHS collection, mostly horror, and it's among the tapes I've found here and there throughout the years. However, I did do a quick google search and this seems to work. It's one of those players where the first few times you try to click play it opens a new window but once you get past the advertisement clicks it seems to work fine. No promises, though, as I only checked to see if it was actually the movie :)

In this one, even the gore is over the top corny. But it's still a lot of fun! I don't know if it's as good as Tucker and Dale.. that one is amazing!! I think at some point I'll write up something about that one. I have to do a more serious one next though, and I think you'll like it! :)

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MVP right here.

I love the main actors in Dale and Tucker from other work, but I was so entertained by that movie; it became my "bedtime story" for a while. The gore may not go over the top but scenes like the wood chipper were awesomely absurd. Your taste has been fantastic thus far, can't wait to see your next offering and watch Idle Hands! ;*

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Thank you :) And yes! I love the wood chipper scene.. so funny. I have my own little "bedtime stories" too- it's hard for me to get some sleep without them. I can't remember for sure but I feel as though there have been many a nights I've drifted off during Tucker and Dale haha


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