Idle Hands

Collector's Edition

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Details At A Glance

Category Horror / Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 2.0 
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City
Year Released 1999 Commentary Tracks Yes, 1 - Rodman Flender (Director), Seth Green (Actor) & Elden Henson (Actor)
Running Time
88:23 minutes
(not 92 minutes as stated on the packaging)
Other Extras Featurette - Behind The Scenes
Deleted Scene
Film-to-Storyboard Comparisons
Talent Profiles 
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (52:39)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director Rodman Flender 

Columbia Tristar
Starring Devon Sawa
Seth Green
Elden Henson
Vivica A. Fox 
RRP $39.95 Music Graeme Revell et al

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement
Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision ? Smoking Yes
Subtitles English
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    "Crap" is how I would describe this film in a nutshell. A young man wakes up to find that his right hand is possessed, has a mind of its own, and goes on a killing spree. This is the premise, and if you can imagine how convoluted the story would have to be to flesh this plot out, you are on your way to understanding why it took me so long to review this disc. The only saving grace of the movie is Seth Green, who can always be counted on for some inspired comic relief. Oh, and maybe some nice eye candy. Apart from that, the movie itself it rubbish, regardless of how good and clever the director thinks it is! A stinker, and not worth your time.

Transfer Quality


    Being an ordinary movie we can apply the inverse film-to-DVD-quality law as postulated by most observers, and conclude that this will be a brilliant transfer. And we would be right - this is essentially perfect in all areas, and I must award it near reference marks.

    Right from the "Seven" inspired opening credits we find very sharp detail, and this carries throughout the entire movie. The sharpness is uniformly high, and a tad higher than the norm for Columbia TriStar. Shadow detail is very good for the most part, and only falters slightly a handful of times in some very dark scenes. There is no low-level noise, surprising given the high detail, and nor is there any edge enhancement visible.

    The standout of this transfer is the colour palette. Rich, vibrant and fully saturated primary colours give the movie its surrealistic style. We have deep reds, blues, greens, oranges - and all are handled perfectly. Having recently had to suffer through an unrelated VHS tape, colour purity is something which I sometimes take for granted on DVD. This transfer reminded me just how good colours can and do look.

    There are no MPEG artefacts of any kind on this transfer, absolutely none. There were no film-to-video artefacts, and only the occasional film artefact. This is a pristine print, and clearly much care has been taken with the transfer.

    This disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change occurring between chapters 16 and 17, at 52:39. This is not an intrusive spot, since it occurs during a natural scene break anyway.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD, being English Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1 and an English Audio Commentary in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround. I listened to both the English soundtrack and the Audio Commentary.

    I was particularly impressed with the clarity and detail exhibited by the dialogue; it being always clear and easy to understand. There were no instances of lip-sync errors.

    The soundtrack was always rich and full sounding, making extensive use of stabs of voluminous sounds to highlight dramatic moments (or at least, attempted dramatic moments). There is nothing particularly remarkable about it, and it was standard run-of-the-mill fare for this genre of movie.

    The surrounds got fairly hefty use, offering ambience and discrete split sonic cues. Again, much as you would expect.

    The subwoofer was particularly well integrated into this mix, which always pleases me. There is a lot of bass energy during this movie, and we get a taste for it during the opening credits. I suggest securing all free items in your listening environment!

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    As if the great transfer wasn't enough for this arguably ordinary movie, this movie is also given the special edition treatment. Why? Who knows, but here's what you get (all in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, non 16x9 enhanced):


    Fairly dull and with no enhancement of any kind, it is clear and easy to navigate.

Scene Selections (28)

English Audio Commentary

    I enjoyed watching this movie with the commentary playing  far, far more than with the soundtrack, given that I didn't enjoy it at all otherwise. We have director Rodman Flender, Seth Green and Elden Henson (otherwise known as Elden Ratliff) basically going for it, with no real direction other than what they see. The result is often very funny, with Seth stealing the show. He likes to tear the director down and basically point out faults or strange things, and his line "what if this analogue turned into Mystery Science Theatre" had me in stitches. It is interesting to hear him refer to the commentary as "the analogue" track on a number of occasions - a throwback from the old-fashioned laserdisc days when the commentary was held in the usually unused analogue track since they went digital. Rodman also makes many references to other commentary tracks he has heard, and you really feel they are all doing their best to do one for our benefit. The result was a very welcome surprise for me, and almost makes this disc bearable.

Theatrical Trailer (1:56)

    In Dolby Digital 2.0 surround, this is an unusually high-quality trailer, at least visually.

Featurette - Behind The Scenes (6:00)

    Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, this was little more than an extended trailer, with limited behind the scenes snippets.

Film-to-Storyboard Comparisons

    Two scenes are given the split-screen comparison.

Deleted Scene (9:19)

    Director Rodman Flender awkwardly introduces this deleted scene in his editing room, stating that it did not have the right "tone" compared with the rest of the movie. Since the scene is fairly long, you get the option of a running commentary, and I laughed when he commented on his own introduction saying, quite correctly, that he  looked like a "hostage reading a prepared statement." The movie loses nothing by missing this, not that it has much to lose anyway.

Talent Profiles

Dolby Digital Trailer - City

R4 vs R1

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;     If you must have this movie, the region 4 version is the one of choice given the superior PAL video quality.


    A really ordinary horror comedy with some truly poor writing. I would recommend this only if you are a die-hard Seth Green fan. Other than that, there is little going for this one.

    The video transfer is superb (of course, since the movie sucks!).

    The audio transfer is also very good.

    Why does this movie deserve Collector's Edition treatment? Anyone?

Ratings (out of 5)

© Paul Cordingley (my bio)
24th April, 2000. 
Review Equipment
DVD Panasonic A360 (S-Video output)
Display Pioneer Rear - Projection SD-T43W1 125cm Widescreen 16x9
Audio Decoder d t s 5.1 & Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD Player internal decoder)
Amplification Sony STRDE-525 5x100 watts Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver; 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ
Speakers Centre: Sony SS-CN35 100 watt; Main & Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders; Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive