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April Fool's Day

4.1 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews

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DVD
(Sep 03, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Excellent Horror Movie!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Deborah Foreman, Griffin O'Neal, Clayton Rohner, Jay Baker, Pat Barlow
  • Directors: Fred Walton
  • Writers: Danilo Bach
  • Producers: Frank Mancuso Jr.
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: September 3, 2002
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000069I05
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,108 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "April Fool's Day" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on March 24, 2004
Format: DVD
"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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: DVD
***SPOILER ALERT***
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.
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