Monday, April 2, 2012

APRIL FOOL'S DAY!!!! (1986)

April Fool's Day (1986)
Rating: ****1/2
Starring: Deborah Foreman, Griffin O'Neal and Clayton Rohner

One day, Muffy St.John invites her college friends to her parents' secluded island home for one last gathering before living a life of jobs, sex and middle age mediocrity. Her friends, your would-be stereotyped gang of surprisingly decent looking and most realistic set of teenagers I've seen in a slasher (featuring none other than Amy Steel from Friday the 13th Part 2), finds out that the island home can only be reached by boat and, on board, they play elaborate pranks on one another as that day's April fool's day. Unfortunately, one bad prank gets off to a bitter end when it caused one of the boat's crew members to fall off and have half of his face shredded on the boat's propeller! As soon as they reach land, said crew is taken to the nearest hospital, never to be heard of again...or will he?

The gang, though indeed bitter about the accident, continues with the gathering and discovers that the house is rigged with more pranks like exploding cigars, rolling-chairs and even holed drinking glasses. But soon the jokes go from fun to disturbingly personal: newspaper clippings, tapes of babies crying, hollowed eyed paintings with a figure watching them, someone is playing with them and they're playing it rough. Soon, people starts to disappear and reappearing as corpses. It's April Fool's Day and what was once a day of fun is now a run for survival.

Basing the movie on the classic Agatha Christie whodunit And Then There Were None (or also known as Ten Little Indians), the film closely follows the book's plot of a group of people fished to a small island, only to get killed off by one of them who is secretly insane. In here though, the plot is mixed with a pre- Scream "self-satire" which is made clear once we get to see the final twist. Until then, April Fool's Day plays as a downright straight 80s backwoods teen-kill with an extremely tame violence.

Surely, if one had done his/her research on this film, you may have an idea or two about this film's little "secret" and why it's so underrated among some of our slasher fan brethren. I wouldn't blame them, the movie was an enjoyable run as, pranking aside, the cast here are well acted and their characters are far from annoying. Yes, they have sex and they like to party, just like any other teen meat waiting in line to be slaughtered, but these kids here are a likable bunch as you can tell they're really close and they're a bit more complex than your average sluts and jerk-jocks. It's quite a change but really workable as once the shit hits the fan, you can really feel for them.

I can't really say much about this film without giving away the twist; once you see it, it will all depend on how well you could take the joke and how loyal you are to the slasher genre. It was the late 80s and audience demanded new takes on their beloved horror sub-genre and April Fool's Day took a risky yet fairly underrated attempt. But looking at its production, some good story angles and (despite offscreen) some delicious killings going so well with its build-up, I have to say this film deserved more than what it is getting right now. The Butcher Brothers (who also directed The Hamiltons and The Violent Kind) thought so and decided to remake this film in 2008, but they ended up doing a shit-hole movie that I'm more gladly to piss on together with 2008 Prom Night remake. Appreciate the deeds, mates, just not there yet.

What else can I say? Relax, have fun and


(Fun idea: watch this back to back to back with Slaughter High, Killer Party, Pandemonium, Scary Movie and Student Bodies for an APRIL FOOL'S DAY HORRORTHON!)

1 male found dead under boathouse
1 male decapitated, head found
1 male found with throat slit
1 male found castrated
1 female killed, later found bloodied
1 male found hanged
1 female head found
1 female throat cut with knife
Total:  8


  1. This film had a twisted twist to it! :P

    1. and the real question remains: do you hate it or love it?

    2. I don't hate it but I don't love it! It's in between!

  2. Glad you like it that much! It's a wonderful and extremely entertaining 80s classic. Definitely one of the best late-80s slashers.

    1. it took some time adjusting to it, but yeah, I'm glad I looked into this! XD

  3. Believe it or not, I have not seen it. I know, I know, I'm ridiculous, but 80s slasher have never been my cup of tea. They ll feel the same to me. :)

  4. Well, I can guarantee one thing for George - this one would definitely be unlike any other 80's slasher - but guess he'll never watch it to see that. Saw this one in the theater, had much the same reaction that you did on your first viewing. Haven't seen it since - but if you and Maynard enjoy it that much - might have to watch again soon!

    1. oh I have hope that he'll catch it soon! And same goes to you~!