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The Late '90s Seth Green Horror-Comedy Flop That's Still Worth Checking Out

They say that idle hands are the devil's workshop, which is really just a fancy way of saying that laziness and sloth tend to breed bad ideas and motivations. Of course, when talking about a horror film, this concept can be expressed in many different tropes and plots, especially in films from the late 20th century. It is easy to picture the stereotype of the lazy stoner or slacker that scampers off to be alone, only to be killed for their actions, often in a hazy cloud of smoke and shock.

Several movies may come to mind when mentioning the name of Seth Green and the 1990s. According to IMDb, Green appeared in many television shows and films like "The X-Files," "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," "Enemy of the State," and "Can't Hardly Wait." However, there is one film within Green's catalog that sees him lean into some of the comedy that he is known for in his later works like "Robot Chicken," and he shares the screen with some very prolific 90s actors, as well Jessica Alba in one of her earliest roles. So what is this mystery movie that may have been unjustly ignored?

Idle Hands is an entertaining mix of comedy and horror

Released in 1999, two years after "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," "Idle Hands" blends elements of horror, comedy, and marijuana into an entertaining romp involving druidic hunters, possessed hands, murder, and parties. Predominately following the clueless slacker Anton (Devon Sawa), "Idle Hands" picks up with the murder of Anton's parents, which Anton doesn't even notice in his idleness till much later in the movie. In typical stoner-flick fashion, Anton realizes he has run out of marijuana, which sets him on course to meet his two friends Pnub (Elden Henson) and Mick (Seth Green).

Unfortunately, it is revealed that Anton is actually partially responsible for the death of his parents on account of his one hand, which is now possessed with a murderous spirit that has plagued the world for quite some time. Once this fact dawns upon Anton, several events occur that sees the "Idle Hands" become more and more deadly and ridiculous, which is highlighted in the trailer over on YouTube. What isn't entertaining about zombie friends, killer hands, and the band The Offspring?

Idle Hands was originally a critical and financial misfire

Much to the detriment of horror-comedy fans in the late 1990s, "Idle Hands" utterly bombed at the box office. As reported by The Numbers, "Idle Hands" had a production budget of $15 million, but the movie failed to make even that back, with the movie's total box office haul around $4 million globally. These results should have been buoyed by names like Seth Green, Devon Sawa, and Jessica Alba, but the critical response at the time may have had some affect on the financial success of "Idle Hands."

Over on Rotten Tomatoes, "Idle Hands" has a scathing critical score of just 15%, though the audience score of 58% highlights a clear divide between the general public and film critics. The Globe and Mail said in their review of the film, "Its mixture of slapstick humour and gore — produced by the flying fingers — gives new meaning to the phrase digital effects," while Cinema Crazed had a slightly different view, writing, "Offers some great splatter along with hilarious dialogue that will keep Sam Raimi buffs anxious for more." Despite the schism between the general public and critics, it seems as if some horror fans remember "Idle Hands" quite fondly, suggesting that those who haven't seen the movie give it an honest and tempered look.

Some social media users vehemently defend and support Idle Hands

On the Reddit forum r/movies, u/Cakes2015 started a thread about how "Idle Hands" is an overlooked horror-comedy, and wrote, "I don't understand how this movie has a bad Rotten Tomatoes score (16%). Sure, it's not original by any means but has fun with the genre it's ripping off. There are some truly quotable lines between Seth Green and Elden Henson and some of the gore effects are a lot of fun. A seemingly forgotten movie that deserves more attention."

Others also felt the same way about "Idle Hands," with many also bringing up fond memories involving the film. Several like u/CrossEyed-FishFace, u/wannabattlecat, and u/2galifrey all enjoyed quoting the movie, while u/Voliminal92 mentioned that they had seen the film when they were much younger, and that the movie pops up into their head every once and awhile, though they don't understand why they haven't re-watched "Idle Hands." Both u/jasonamonroe and u/FlippingandDipping wholeheartedly agreed with this statement, and echoed similar feelings. u/PabloIceCreamBar even joked, "The only thing I remember about this movie is Seth Green yelling 'Look at me, I'm Leatherface' while running with an electric carving knife and pulling it out of the wall, ending in a disappointed look."

In other words, it seems as if a critical and financial dud like "Idle Hands" isn't without its proponents, and those out there looking for a slice of campy comedy-horror from the late 1990s would do well to check it out.