The Hand (1981)
Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Michael Caine, Andrea Marcovicci, Bruce McGill
In the past day or so, my wife and I watched this movie and Fatty Drives the Bus. Normally, you'd see me reviewing Fatty while she takes on the more "highbrow" stuff. Oh not today my friend. She took the honors on reviewing Fatty here, while I dig into some pre conspiracy lovin' Oliver Stone.
I sort of remember seeing this movie around 1983 or '84 on one of the pay channels. That would make me around 6 or 7. Obviously a good age for someone to be watching a movie about a killer severed hand. No wonder I'm so weird.
Michael Caine plays Jonathan Lansdale, the creator of the popular comic strip Mandro (or Mondro...I'm not sure). An argument with his wife in the family car ends up costing him his right hand. Life goes on, and he gets fitted with what looks like a cross between Luke's hand in Return of the Jedi and part of the Terminator. Shockingly, his wife starts showing signs of having an affair with some touchy feely yoga douchebag despite having a cyborg for a husband.
While the wife and kid stay in New York, Lansdale goes to California to teach at a small college. He buddies up with another teacher there played by D-Day from Animal House and starts boning the supermarket checkout girl. But unbeknownst to him, his severed hand decided to tag along like a devoted pet and help kill those who have wronged Jonathan.
When Jonathan's wife and kid come down to visit, the marriage falls apart and the hand gets pissed. It'd be like if Thing from the Addams Family decided to strangle the kid who kept wanting his two dollars instead of just flipping him off.
I think this film is pretty underrated as far as horror/thrillers go. It's not Stone's best work, but he shows that the talent was there, even when the box office wasn't.
Six Things I've Learned From The Hand
1. While Michael Caine is a charming almost handsome man, he should get the lifetime award for having the worst hairstyle of any leading man alive.
2. I was very disappointed that Michael Caine didn't grab a cup, crush it with his metal hand, and say "Groovy". I expect too much from my movies I guess.
3. Look, if you don't want people putting dead bodies in the trunk, then you shouldn't make trunks the perfect size to put dead bodies in. I'm just sayin'.
4. I got to admit I was a little disturbed to see Annie McEnroe play a hot young woman gleefully whipping off her clothes. Not that I minded, hey she's got nice hooters, but I wasn't expecting to see Kay Culver from True Stories getting nude here.
5. Apparently, classes at small colleges are held in somebody's attic.
6. I'm going to spoil this 32 year old movie and tell you that there's no severed hand...it's Jonathan gone crazy and killing folks without him realizing it. But why does he go crazy? His wife. She tries to pass the truck on the road on a curve and ends up getting the man's fucking hand cut off and shot into a field. Gee, a cartoonist without a hand is like a fluffer with morals...completely worthless. On top of that, she starts bringing this touchy feely asshole yoga instructor to their apartment. And let me give you ladies a Protip here...no matter how much you say how great the guy is, we're never going to like him because we know he either wants to or IS tapping your ass. So don't try.
Anyway, she brainwashes their kid to call the guy "Uncle", the codeword for "Mommy's Boyfriend". So Jonathan is distraught and goes across the country to get away from her. Yeah, he ends up having an affair of his own, but then he finds out the girl he's sleeping with is going off to LA to bang Bruce Fucking McGill. God damn Jonathan Lansdale can't fucking win for trying. So he snaps and kills them both, not realizing he's doing it. He tries to kill his wife, but that damn kid stops him.
His damn wife ruins his life and we're suppose to feel sorry for HER? Fuck that noise. SHE made him a killer and I hope she spends the rest of her fictional life realizing that if she hadn't been a bitch and just told him she wanted a divorce instead of playing chicken on the road, maybe Jonathan wouldn't have turned into a fucking looney tune.
I need a drink.