Idle Hands [1999]

Despite all the pot-smoking in Idle Hands, the message here seems to be that too many bong hits will take you on a one-way trip to the devil's playground. That's what happens to Anton (Devon Sawa), a wasted teen who's so perpetually zonked on weed that he doesn't notice his parents have been slaughtered by an evil force that then possesses Anton's right hand, taking on a wildly homicidal life of its own after Anton chops it off with a butcher knife. The first victims are Anton's pals Mick (teen-movie stalwart Seth Green), who gets a beer bottle embedded in his skull, and Pnub (Elden Henson), whose head is lopped off by a rotary saw blade, and later reattached with a barbecue fork and duct tape. (Did we mention that Mick and Pnub turn into undead jokesters? It's that kind of movie.) This unoriginal idea is little more than an excuse for gross-out effects and easy one-liners, and then Vivica A. Fox appears as the demon-buster who knows how to kill the hand once and for all. It's fun to a point, and certain to be a popular Halloween hit with its intended teenage audience, but you can't help wishing this movie had tried harder to be something more than a collection of crude and gory gags. --Jeff Shannon

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