"April Fool's Day" is yet another one of those holiday themed slasher films that emerged in the wake of the "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" successes. You know all about them if you follow the genre in any substantive way--movies with names like "Mother's Day," "Graduation Day," "My Bloody Valentine," and "Silent Night, Deadly Night." O.K., the last two don't specifically refer to dates, but it doesn't take a genius to infer that the two films play on Valentine's Day and Christmas. The slasher genre never died out thanks in large part to the billion plus sequels in the "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" franchises, but their poorer cousins did fade into obscurity until DVD resurrected them. All I can say about that is thank goodness! I'm the first to admit that some of these films fail to rise above mediocrity, but several of them are quite good. "April Fool's Day" definitely falls into the latter category. The film doesn't contain a lot of gore we stalk and slash lovers have come to know and love, but the central plot of the film and its amazing twist ending makes the movie well worth watching. There is no other way to say it--"April Fool's Day" is actually a spoof of the entire slasher phenomena, and it spoofs the genre years before "Scream" appeared on the scene.
What makes "April Fool's Day" so different from the other slasher films? You won't notice anything amiss for most of the film. The plot is quite basic: a gang of college students accepts an invitation from a rich classmate to spend a few days at her opulent house on a remote island. The girl inviting all of her friends, Muffy Saint John (great name, eh?), is a bit of an oddball. She's rich, though, so all of her pals don't hesitate to accept the invite. Besides, who wouldn't like to spend some time rambling around a huge house out in the sticks? It could be fun. Trouble rears its ugly head from the start. An accident on the ferry trip out to the house, the result of a prank gone horribly wrong, seriously injures a local and causes some heavy guilt amongst Saint John's guests. The tension never lets down once the group arrives at the house, as Muffy shrewdly installed a series of April Fool's type gags in the various rooms of her guests. Even worse, subplots in the main story reveal relationship problems and uncertainties about the future among several of the visitors. The whole vacation teeters on the edge of total disaster before plunging into an abyss of murder, mayhem, and sheer insanity.
The next morning after the young adults arrive something sinister happens to Muffy. She appears to assume an entirely different personality by changing her dress, her mannerisms, and her relations with the guests. As if that's not bad enough, some of the youths start to disappear. It becomes obvious very quickly that a killer is on the loose in the house and on the grounds. No one is safe from this crazed wacko, not any of Muffy's friends or any of the locals unfortunate enough to venture onto the property. As people disappear one by one, two of the guests begin to uncover the madness behind Muffy Saint John's house and her private life. The picture isn't pretty; it appears that Muffy had a twin who went stark raving mad as a child, and now BUFFY Saint John has returned to wreak bloody havoc on her sister and her friends. It could very well end up that no one will escape the wrath of this warped sibling. As the surviving pair attempts to get away from the house, they finally come face to face with Muffy's alter ego in a conclusion that is sure to get your goat. Perhaps you will be one of those astute viewers who saw it all coming before it happened, but I didn't. Then again, I'm one of those sheep who blithely accepts nearly everything I see on the screen at face value. I did not see this ending coming at all, which is ridiculous considering the title of the film.
"April Fool's Day" is a fun movie even if you don't enjoy watching horror movies. The gore is mostly non-existent, the characters are lots of fun, and the conclusion will have you hitting yourself upside the head in "Gee, ain't I stupid" glee. I liked most of the actors, especially the always beautiful and enjoyable Deborah Foreman in the role of Muffy Saint John. Foreman has a real girl next door quality that I find irresistible. The movie plays on that quality to deliver a few shocks towards the end of the film as her character threatens her surviving guests. The look on her face--a look of cold, detached murder--was downright chilling to watch. The other actors and actresses did a good job as well. Look for Griffin O'Neal playing a troubled young man (what a stretch there!), Thomas F. Wilson as the group cut up (he played Biff in the "Back to the Future" trilogy), and B movie fave Ken Olandt as one of the survivors who battles Saint John in the end (he starred opposite Jennifer Aniston in the first "Leprechaun" film).
The only problem I had with the movie was the DVD version. The extras are non-existent. Too bad considering the price of the disc, but the film has such a neat ending it hardly mattered. I remember when this one came out and unfortunately I was not old enough to see it (and still hesitant to attempt a sneak in at the theater). At least the DVD gives us a nice widescreen picture transfer with good audio. Give this one a shot if you love slasher flicks. You'll like it!
on September 25, 2003
Finding an inexpensive copy of this DVD in the Amazon Market Place, I figured 'What the heck?' and picked it up. The movie begins with a familiar theme, a group of college kids on their way to an isolated location (queue foreboding music). Apparently this group was assembled by a common friend to spend the weekend at spacious house on an island whose only access is by ferry, which only runs during the week, so they are basically stuck there until Monday. Through the use of a video camera, we are introduced to the various guests and they seem like your typical group for an 80's horror movie.
After an eventful trip on the Ferry of Death, they arrive on the Island of Death, and are greeted by their Hostess of Death (sorry, I'll cut it out), Muffy St. John, played by Deborah Foreman, probably most recognizable as Julie from the 1983 movie Valley Girl. Muffy leads them to the secluded house, which is more like a mansion, and we find out that this house will be part of her inheritance when she turns 21. After a number of practical jokes, which Muffy set up, every turns in for the night, except for Skip, Muffy's cousin, who is still upset about an unpleasant event that happened on the ferry. Alone and visible drunk, he wanders down by the boathouse, ventures inside, and, as you can guess, the murderin' begins.
The next morning no one really seems to miss Skip (I know I didn't, as I thought he was kind of annoying), and a couple breaks off from the rest of the group and proceeds to go down by the boathouse to screw around. Their horizontal tango is cut short as the girl catches a glimpse of Skip's body floating under the boathouse, which, I guess, killed the mood as the couple goes running back to the house in a panic. Relating what happened, the dead body part, not the sex part, to the rest of the group, they think maybe Skip is pulling a prank, so a few of the guys go off searching for him in the woods around the house. This leads to another murder or two, which spoils the festivities altogehter.
After a few more murders, and a couple of revelations, the movie finally spills its' proverbial guts, and what appeared to be your typical slasher type movie shows itself as something else. Actually, I sort of caught on about halfway through. I'm no mental goliath, no Sherlockian powers of deduction here, but the clues were there, and I didn't have to strain too hard to get in on the 'know'. There were some pretty large plot holes, certain elements that didn't jibe, but it didn't ruin the movie. There was some suspense, but I was never really on the edge of my seat. Overall, a fun movie, but probably wouldn't hold up too well to repeated viewing. Nice wide screen presentation with good audio, but no extras.
Oh yeah, watch for the character of Rob near the end as he gets locked in a pantry closet and nearly starts crying and stuff as his girlfriend is being chased around the house and terrorized. As flimsy as that door was, I could have been out of there in like a minute with a kick or two. Heck, my old granny could have gotten out of there with relative ease. What a nitwit...or is it a witless nit? Whatever...
on September 2, 2002
When the trailers first came out for April Fools Day, they were accompanied by the song "Momma Told Me Not To Come" by Three Dog Night. I wasn't sure if it was a slasher movie, a comedy, a comedy-slasher movie, or even a frat-party movie. All I knew for sure was that Deborah Foreman (Valley Girl)was in it and in the mid-80's I thought she was so hot you could have cast her in a high school driving safety video and I would have paid admission.
Foreman plays Muffy, a rich college kid who invites a bunch of friends to a secluded island owned by her family for a weekend (an April Fools weekend) of fun and pranks. The island is only reachable by ferry and this is the last ferry until monday. An accident happens and the kids are shaken.
Here is where the mind games start. Not many of the young people know each other. All are supposedly friends of Muffy, but most of them don't know each other directly. April fools pranks are played non-stop. Dribble glasses, collapsing chairs, and newspaper clippings about dark events. Wait a second...newspaper clippings? Is someone playing a joke, or is this real? There is the hook.
Severed heads, rattlenakes, and Muffy's slow transformation from college beauty to frumpy borderline personality disorder mix evenly with dirty tricks and foolish pranks. What is real? How much danger is everyone in?
There is no argument that April Fools Day was riding in on the wave of 80's slasher films, but that is where the similarity to other genre movies ends. You really have to think at this one. They really want to you ask yourself "is this all a joke?" and "could anyone have actually survived that?"
I have to give some credit to the music for setting up some great tension. It adds to the feel without taking you out of the moment.
If you have not seen this film but you have a friend that has, don't let them tell you any of it's dark secrets. Enjoy.
on February 3, 2016
1986 - an infamous time in horror movie history. The slasher boom of the early 1980s had more or less completely curdled by this point, but nobody had come up with anything to replace the long played-out template which had very little influence beyond initiating the replacement of tired stories about sexually neurotic psycho killers with tired stories about sexually neurotic psycho killer monsters.
And yet, in despite of this widespread creative anemia, if not indeed because of it, 1986 produced, April Fool's Day, one of the savviest examples of slasher film self-commentary in existence, It says quite a lot at how ingenious the movie is that I can't quite figure out what to call it, even; a parody without jokes, maybe, a movie so stone-faced and unblinking in its satiric aggression against the subgenre that until it pulls back the curtain in the second-to-last scene and tells you what it's been doing all along, there's really not even any reason to regard it as anything at all but a wholly straightforward example of the form, with snappier, smarter writing and considerably better acting than most other slashers.
Then again, the title is April Fool's Day, which might have been all the tell that an especially sophisticated viewer would have needed.
And, going back and looking at it with the eye of a seasoned viewer, there are some things that seem off. The very first shot is a first-person interview shot on video, an off-kilter opening gambit that already has introduced a touch of unpredictability and confusion into the first scene; "confusion", because as it turns out, the girl being interviewed is lying and playing up to the camera anyway.
Soon enough, we jump back to find ourselves in a group of young people waiting at a ferry dock, and it is a sign of how quietly intelligent Danilo Bach's screenplay is that I was able to keep track of every character in a nine-person pool of Expendable Meat, by name, from the 15-minute mark onward; compared to movies that don't bother to name some characters until after they are dead, this is an expository triumph of the first order. For the record, we have Nikki (Deborah Goodrich), the somewhat brittle and entitled Rich Woman who was being inter-viewed (and yet even as the Rich woman, she has more shading than the stock slasher character usually receives); Kit , a much friendlier girl, but a bit of a wet hen; Kit's boyfriend Rob (Ken Olandt), who has the least personality of the whole cast; Chaz (Clayton Rohner), a sort of oily rocker type; Arch (Thomas F. Wilson, a stocky frat-boy meathead (he and Chaz are weirdly okay with pretending to be gay lovers for douchey college boys in a 1980s movie) - these are the core of friends, who don't quite know what to make of three newbies. Those being Nan (Leah King Pinsent), a quiet and bookish girl given to making "look at my freshman education!" literary references; Harvey (Jay Baker), who prefers "Hal", though nobody calls him that, a gland-handling rich Southerner; and Skip (Griffin O'Neal), the previously unmentioned cousin of the woman hosting the party to which this diverse set of college students. That woman, we pick up, is a certain Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman), the heiress to an island and the huge manor house thereon, and for the reasons of her wealthy and unendurably WASPy name, we obviously expect her to be an airy Queen Rich woman of the highest order. But that's not the case, when we cut over to the island where she is still alone, to meet her; she's a bit addled, in fact, and has an apparent April Fool's prank-related trauma in her youth, which is perhaps the reason that she has gathered everyone together for a weekend party heavy on practical joking.
The jokes start off before the ferry even leaves the mainland for the island (and if you suppose that the ferryman, played by Lloyd Berry, makes a point of mentioning that this is the very last ferry run for the next three days, and the kids will be hereafter isolated, I salute your grasp of the self-evident), with Chaz and Arch in particular living down to our immediate assumptions of their stock characters by making jokes about flies being open, and faking a death, and being the sort of charmers that you can't wait to see die violently. As a matter of fact, April Fool's Day has an unusually well-stocked cast of annoying twerps and assorted frat guys, though they are exceptionally well-written and natty twerps and frat guys - Nikki gets the absolutely killer line, "On a clear day, you can see the Kennedys", registering both her envy and disgust at Muffy's age-inappropriate wealth. This turns out to be part of the movie's strategy: ramp up the stock characters and stock situations, playing on our knowledge of how slasher movies do what they do and expecting us to start connecting the dots in advance. You can barely find a latter-day review of April Fool's Day that doesn't use a variant of the phrase "a slasher movie for people who hate slasher movies", and I think that has something to do with the conspicuous lack of gore or blood, and the way that the ending subverts the expectations we bring to the table regarding slashers, . April Fool's Day really does work best, I think, when it's situated firmly in the context of 1986 and the kind of slasher movies that had been produced by the carload for the prior six years; it's a slasher movie for people who are absolute maniacs for slasher movies, that is, although those people tend to be awfully unforgiving about being made the butt of a joke. But again: the title! There's no reason to expect anything else than a good solid punking.
there's an accident that leaves us with the ideal disgruntled and newly-disfigured old man (Mike Nomad) with the perfect motive to go hunting irresponsible young people, while on Muffy Island, the various folks drift off in the way of people who all have one friend in common but don't really gel with each other; they find in the process that Muffy has booby-trapped their bedrooms with practical jokes that cut rather nastily close to the bone in some cases. It leaves most of the party in a sour enough mood that nobody quite notices the next morning that Skip isn't around; we, though, have a fairly good idea that something dreadful has happened, given that we last saw him very drunk and very angry at the world and Muffy in particular, and very unaware of the shadowy figure stalking him all the way to the boathouse in the woods surrounding the manor. It's only when Kit and Rob go off to have sex in the same boathouse - they make it a lot, making it a nice, and characteristically subtle subversion when they turn out to be the Final Couple - that Skip's pale, dessicated body is discovered, though it has quite unsurprisingly gone missing when the other six partiers show up.
And the rest of the running time is given over to mystery-solving: people running around the island trying to find a killer or evidence of bodies, and then going missing and adding to the pile of missing corpses. Meanwhile, Muffy is acting so transparently guilty that we all figure out that something else must obviously be going on, though it takes a lot of murders until anybody figures out what that is.
Boilerplate stuff, though it's done awfully well: there's not a weak performance in the batch, with Foreman's ambiguous murderess as the clear standout (I also rather liked Pinsent and was sorry she was among the first to go; the men are weaker on the whole, though I admired Baker's performance of Harvey quite a lot, maybe the cleanest satire of Reagan-era rich adolescent venality in the film), and Bach's screenplay is a miracle of understatement, letting us figure out plot points for ourselves (for example, there's an abortion in one character's backstory, and a fatal car crash in another's, and the filmmakers trust us enough to figure this out without a big thing being made of it), and the way it's pieced together by director Fred Walton looks awfully like every other post-'84 slasher movie, though in retrospect it's frequently nothing less than amazing how perfect the editing and camera work together to misdirect the viewer in key places.
It's well ahead of the curve for effective, intelligent slashers, then, in despite of its intense sqeuamishness about gore, and that's when we get to the twist. There's no way to not discuss it, and I don't want to spoil it for a soul: I, myself, was taken in by it, and while I'm not in the habit of deliberately trying to outguess mysteries, I think the movie does a good job of keeping us in the dark. Now, the complaint that is levied by some is that April Fool's Day is, after all, a slasher film without a single death; and that does seem to be a bit like a dirty trick. But it's sort of ingenious, in the way it makes this, effectively, we're so distracted with how the characters are treating each other, we don't stop to think that the movie is doing the same thing to us. One thing worth observing, straight out: the movie isn't absolutely fair about its twist. I shall readily admit that there's not a single moment, on reflection, where it lies: the editing and the otherwise-inexplicable lack of gore make sure of that. It does, however, play fast and loose with human psychology: surely, out of the six people who are stalked and caught by Muffy, and then informed that they've been part of an elaborate trick, one of them would have been angry enough to blow the whole thing apart, right? And even if that's not the case, some of them - especially Nikki, who I'd think would be the hardest one to convince, anyway - would barely have enough time to grasp what was happening and agree to play along.
And then, there's the matter of whether this makes any sense in the first place: Muffy's explanation is shockingly coherent, for a twist-based movie, but if the point was to test the validity of her murder-mystery weekend scenario, wouldn't the more authentic test be to tell everyone what was going on beforehand? Of course people are going to find it more thrilling if they think they're actually in danger of being murdered! The only possible answer is that Muffy is just really that meanspirited - which the abortion tape certainly suggests is a real possibility - but that brings us back to the question of why every single one of her victims agreed to play along.
I'm also really damn confused what the final scene is all about: it's the most egregious example of many in which a scene is played for the audience's benefit, rather than the characters' - surely Muffy could tell the difference between having her throat slit and having a prop knife squirting prop blood onto her skin, which makes her look of pain and fear absolutely inexplicable. Besides the which, it's just paying off the early flashback scene that the movie has done absolutely nothing useful with to this point, anyway.
That doesn't change the fact that in the aggregate, April Fool's Day is a profoundly smart trick on the audience, using the very obviousness and predictability of the slasher films it looks just like - again, an oddly literate slasher movie, and one that's well-acted, but it still hews quite closely to the most formulaic structure - then to surprise and either delight or outrage the viewer, and only in retrospect draw our attention to how the whole affair only works as well as it does because slasher films are so rediculous and predictable. This is revealing the bankruptcy of the slasher in 1986 by wallowing in its most ludicrous, obvious pandering, and then revealing that it was not either ludicrous or obvious in the way we expected, and indeed laughing at our gullibility and the insipidity of the movies that led us to that point. It's not hard to see how this could infuriated and alienate exactly the people best-equipped to find April Fool's Day ingenious; particularly since the moment of the reveal is, itself, the most effectively scary part of the film, with Kit's disorientation rendered by showing all of the "victims" talking without sound. And, of course, it's only scary because we're just as slow on the uptake as Kit, it's not very nice; but practical jokes aren't nice, and there's no reason not to be a good sport about this particular one.
All of this can't hide the one fact that April Fool's Day is, at heart, a gimmick. A sublimely executed one. And there are plenty of moments that rank among the best touches in American slasher history: the giallo-esque discovery of dolls mimicking the dead bodies; the room of silent conversations that I mentioned in the spoiler-bar part, for y'all who hung out in the spoiler-free text; the glimpses of Skip's white body beneath the slats of the boathouse floor; the painting with moving eyes, which isn't even as unnerving as the same painting with blank eyeholes. But it still feels a lot like a machine, however elegant that machine undoubtedly is, I'm still terrifically pleased by the movie, and nothing can take the sizzle out of the best lines of dialogue, but it is what it is: the cleverness that is its best point of distinction ends up limiting it somewhat as a horror film
Body Count: 7 or thereabouts; the twistiness of the plot makes it awfully hard to say outright.
April Fool's Pranks: 13, counting all of the "your fly is open" tricks as one.
on April 11, 2015
This is a classic 80's horror flick that is different, but it is great. I love it when people see it for the first time, and there reaction at the end is a camera moment. It has several of knows in it, Amy Steel from Friday The 13th Pt. 2, and Ken Onlandt, plus the guy that plays Biff in Back To The Future. The rest are unknowns, but don't let that full you, it is a great movie from the 80's with some twists and turns in it.
Another teen horror film whose creators hoped to garner a few drops from the lucrative post-HALLOWEEN slasher-flick fount of the 1980s, APRIL FOOL'S DAY is surprisingly a cut above many of its contemporaries. The film contains relatively little graphic gore, no actual nudity, and some pretty good actors, thereby going against the cookie-cutter recipe and, instead, concentrating on the development of likable characters, eerie atmosphere, and some genuinely effective spook-show scares.
The plot unfolds at a sequestered island estate, familial home to wealthy college student Muffy St. John. Having the big house to herself the weekend of April 1st, Muffy has invited some of her fellow ivy-league students to spend a few days partying with her. Get a bunch of college kids together on April Fool's Day and, of course, the practical jokes abound. But this is a slasher flick, remember, so it isn't too long until the kiddos start turning up dead. But who's responsible for the bloodshed? Hostess Muffy? The boatman who ferried the group over to the island? One of Muffy's remaining guests? Or is there some other secret hiding behind the doors of the old family mansion?
APRIL FOOL'S DAY offers a successful combination of mystery, horror, and humor, and the talented young cast delivers both the suspense and the laughs without taking it too far over the top. The film's subtle scares and toned-down gore make it more akin to older psychological spook films like THE HAUNTING (1963) and THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) than to typical slasher fare, and this, combined with the good writing and good acting, make it stand out above many of the other teen horror flicks of the 1980s. Admittedly, the twist ending might be a letdown for some horror fans, and those gore hounds who watch slasher flicks solely for the blood and guts will probably find the entire film too tame. But true horror aficionados who enjoy the entire range and history of the genre should at least give APRIL FOOL'S DAY a once-over.
Avid filmgoers will enjoy seeing the film's familiar faces from the 1980s and 1990s. Deborah Foreman, who plays Muffy, is probably best known for her roles in comedies like 1983's VALLEY GIRL, 1985's REAL GENIUS, and 1986's MY CHAUFFER. Film fans will no doubt recognize Clayton Rohner from his appearance in the comedy JUST ONE OF THE GUYS (1985), as well as from genre films such as THE RELIC (1997) and SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK...FOR MORE (1999). Hardcore genre fans will be delighted to see Amy Steel, known for her appearances in some of the FRIDAY THE 13th films, and SF fans will get a kick out of spotting Thomas F. Wilson, who is probably better known as bully Biff Tannen in the BACK TO THE FUTURE film series.
As with many DVDs from Paramount, the disc is short on extras. However, it offers a beautifully crisp and clean digital transfer in anamorphic widescreen at the film's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. And at the very reasonable amazon.com price, horror fans can easily afford to add this one to their growing DVD collections.
on September 20, 2013
Muffy St. John invites a group of college friends over to her parents isolated island for fun and games. Unfortunately bodies start popping up and they find out it's another "Ten Little Indians" all over again. Can they solve the mystery and end up with a happier ending than the Christie story?
Frank Mancuso, Jr. (Friday the 13th 2, 3, 4, 5, Stigmata) was the producer of this little gem so we should know right off he knows how to work a slasher. Fred Walton was the director (When a Stranger Calls, When a Stranger Calls Back) so we hope there's going to be some good suspense.
The movie begins with the ride over to the island using the ferry. We get a feel of the characters enough to know they are basically the stereotypical type characters. It's kind of obvious who will be sleeping with who, which will keep to themselves as the shy loner types, and which will die....or is it??? This movie thankfully pulls a few punches of its own and makes the deaths a little unpredictable...sometimes.
Action starts right off with a tragic accident on the boat - a rather gory and painful incident where a man is ran over and loses an eye. A character, Skip, has the most trouble getting over this disaster but the others soon lose themselves in the spirits of the weekend. They take turns playing tricks on each other, and sometimes the jokes can get a little cruel. Throughout the movie you're wondering if it's just another nasty trick skimming the surface, or the blade of the killer.
This movie has several twists and ends up being a fun horror-mystery with a high body count, a decent splashing of blood, some built-up tension, an original script, tight pacing, great acting and an unforgettable ending. Paranoia in movies always works and the fingers definitely start pointing here and there as more of their friends turn up missing or dead.
Amy Steel from Friday the 13th appears as a big role; I love this gal and would have liked to see more of her in horror. She's a strong character and has good material to work with. Muffy (Deborah Foreman - Waxwork) is stunning. She's also a major character and while Amy is light haired and fun, Muffy's brunette and moody. When they get to the island, fun and airy Muffy turns into some weird former self. She begins walking around in her housecoat, not brushing her hair, and acting twisted. Later on hints are dropped about this plot leading us to believe some really far-fetched scenarios involving her. All the rest acted well - Jay, Nikki (Deborah Goodrich), Chazz (Clayton Rohner), Rob (Ken Olandt), and a really serious quiet type of girl.
We don't get to see graphic death details but a lot of after effects. Many of the killings resemble Jason kills in that we see a quick glimpse of the weapon going for the throat and the characters reaction. One particular scene where a body comes up is when two are making out on the floor of the boathouse and a corpse floats by underneath them. Some nice blood and gore involved.
This movie was intriguing from the start but the ending, while original and not expected, was pretty...different. I wasn't let down but a lot of people were. For one thing if horror has a good enough plot I'm satisfied without the worst having to come true. The wrap up seemed to be ideal for the rest of the flick's theme and I turned off the tube feeling overall happy.
Some things that didn't work were that I would have enjoyed seeing more involved with the April's Fools' Day pranks. Get to know the characters a bit more (although they are explored well), especially the brainy blonde girl's whole story deal. Did Muffy know the reason the tape recorder would affect her that badly or was it just sheer bad luck on her part?
There's a pretty good chance you won't see this ending coming. For some good kills, a fun cast, and any slasher fan -- check this one out.
on February 22, 2016
This is in my top 3 fav horror movies ever. I have watched this movie a bloomin' 2 hundred times and can never get tired of it. It has the perfect mix of humor and horror all in one and an awesome and surprising end that you do not see coming. Every 80s horror lover should own this one!
on November 13, 2015
Before the likes of "Scream" and "Cabin In The Woods" turned slasher movie tropes on their heads, "April Fool's Day" -- a trojan horse of sorts -- did just that, all while operating in a vein similar to the popular holiday-themed stalk n' slash flicks of the era like "My Bloody Valentine" and "New Year's Evil."
Rich and slightly aloof Muffy (Deborah Foreman) invites a group of her friends to her private island for a weekend of good times. Incidentally, they also arrive on April Fool's Day, which means the line between goofing around and getting gutted is more than a little blurred, as a series of pranks turns into a deadly game of survival, with a little who-dunnit thrown in for good measure.
Produced by Frank Mancuso Jr. -- who helped birth many of the "Friday The 13th" sequels -- "April Fool's Day" shares a bit of DNA with similar films of its era. But whereas the average slasher flick of the time opted for gore over story or tension, "April Fool's Day" keeps most of its violence off-screen and/or implied, giving the film its own look and feel. At times, it gives off a slight Hitchcock-ian vibe that suits it just fine. Among the cast, genre fans will be pleased to find Amy Steel of "Friday The 13th Pt. 2" fame as well as the indispensable Thomas F. Wilson (Biff from the "Back To The Future" films) leading the unusually likeable group of victims. While "April Fool's Day" appears to be all-too familiar on the surface, it really is a unique experience unto itself. Don't be fooled by its somewhat tricky presentation; this one is a real treat indeed.
on November 23, 1998
I actually saw this movie when it first came out in theatres over 10 years ago. I disliked horror flicks immensely, but found myself really enjoying this movie. The ending is so good and such a surprise. I enjoyed the heck out of it, even with some of the corny jokes and unbelievable gags. It scares you, makes you laugh, and keeps you guessing. It is a little outdated now, but I think most of it will still entertain.