Hand, The (1981)

“Mandro doesn’t think.”

Hand Poster

Synopsis:
While arguing with his wife (Andrea Marcovicci), a comic strip artist (Michael Caine) loses his right hand in a car accident, and soon comes to believe that the severed hand has taken on a life of its own.

Genres:

Review:
Written and directed by Oliver Stone, this hokey psychological horror film about a necrotic, dismembered hand taking on a life of its own — guided by, or guiding, the will of its original owner — was apparently viewed as simply a paycheck-opportunity by Michael Caine, who nonetheless turns in a surprisingly invested (if occasionally overblown) performance. With just a couple of exceptions (i.e., Caine’s shower knob morphing into a metal hand), the special effects are laughably shoddy — which, interestingly enough, Stone himself acknowledges in the refreshingly candid, detail-filled commentary provided on the DVD release. Indeed, one’s opinion of the movie may alter somewhat after listening to Stone’s humble reflections; knowing some of the issues he faced (including lack of full creative control) gives one a bit more compassion for the end result. Regardless, this one is really only recommended for diehard horror fans, Caine completists, and/or those curious to see Stone’s early work.

Note: This is often cited as a remake of Robert Florey’s horror classic The Beast With Five Fingers (1945) — but all the two films have in common is a disembodied hand wreaking havoc, and a man going slowly insane because of it; the storylines are otherwise completely different.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • A committed performance by Caine
    Hand Caine
  • Atmospheric cinematography
    Hand Cinematography

Must See?
No; you can definitely feel free to skip this one.

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