Hands Of A Stranger

OCTOBER 1, 2007


The thing about movies like Hands Of A Stranger is that they are all more or less the same. Guy gets new body part, at first he’s all excited, then things get weird, and sooner or later he’s killing folks. Part of why I like Body Parts is that it actually had the original owner come back for his appendages (though this was introduced so late into the film it felt very awkward).

This one also takes quite a bit of time to get going. The sympathetic people take far too long discussing whether or not the guy should be given new hands. Since there would be no movie if he didn’t, it’s sort of a waste of everyone’s time to spend like 10 minutes debating the matter. Hilariously, the sister of the eventual killer even points out that she fears the hands will be those of a psychopath and thus her brother will turn into one as well. I guess she’s seen some of the other movies (though I should point out this one pre-dates all the others I know of, such as Oliver Stone’s The Hand).

But there’s some good stuff here and there. One of the first victims basically dies of her own clumsiness, knocking over a lamp and causing a fire. And then, as she becomes engulfed in flame, her body immediately turns into a lump of ash and collapses in a heap on the floor. It’s hilarious.

Also, there’s a child murder, always a plus. And the kid is so goddamn annoying, you gotta figure the guy would have killed him regardless of whose hands he had. The guy tries to play piano, and does miserably, leading the kid to say “Wow mister, you sure do stink!” or something. Fuck you, you little brat!

The film’s ending is also worth a chuckle. After the jerk killer is killed, the cop and the doctor who performed the surgery look into camera for a full minute or so, barely emoting at all as they say their “What a shame” style offerings. We are then told, for whatever reason, in full screen letters: “What is past is prologue!” ....True?

What say you?

1 comment:

  1. I was surprised by the child murder too, which was actually very well done and disturbing. One of the only things I thought was well done in the movie, however, though there was some interesting production design, and the intense relationship between the brother and sister borders on the interesting without actually ever crossing over.

    "What's Past is Prologue" is a Shakespeare quote, though its application here is questionable. I mean, I dig Shakespeare as much as the next guy...more, probably...but I just don't see how it fits the story.

    And this is not the first psycho-extremities flick by a long shot. I believe that honor belongs to the excellent 1935 Peter Lorre vehicle Mad Love. Which you should also see. Any flick where Lorre actually gets to speak the line "They do not know...It is I who am mad!" is a winner.


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