US (dir. Fred Walton)
Cast: Jay Baker, Pat Barlow, Lloyd Berry, Deborah Foreman, Deborah Goodrich
Synopsis: A group of nine college students staying at a friend’s remote island mansion begin to fall victim to an unseen murderer over the April Fool’s day weekend.
Review: “April Fool’s Day” is a fun, holiday themed slasher from the 1980s. It’s one of those rare horror films where the potential victims are well off college students… and I’m not talking well off as in one or two of them own a secluded lakeside mansion where the killings will inevitably happen (i.e. “Kill Theory”, 2009’s “Friday the 13th” etc.), I’m talking mega millionaire well off, as in many of them probably already own their own companies. The great thing about this (otherwise I wouldn’t even be mentioning it) is that despite their wealth and privilege, the teens are awesomely funny, ready and willing to make fun of themselves and each other at the drop of a hat, and best of all (rare for a horror movie as well), they are likable. Combined with an interesting set-up (one that was popular at the time and is now pretty much done to death), a fairly solid script and some great performances, “April Fool’s Day” is a charming little 80’s slasher that reminds me a lot of my beloved “Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives” in its intentionally comedic undertone and that it is just downright fun.
Can a movie in which Amy Steel (the heroine from “Friday the 13th Part 2”) and Edward Cullen himself make an appearance leave you bored? Doubtful!
Seriously though, the guy playing Chaz in this movie is a dead ringer for Edward Cullen. Hot!
Anywho, the movie moves along at a nice pace and never leaves you bored or feeling like you are being forced to get to know any of the characters. Each character’s quirkiness and their pechant for unusual humour makes you want to get to know them right away. An added bonus is that none of the teens have any serious/heavy-handed grudges against each other. In fact, two of the guys seem to even have some sort of creepy bromance going on where they borderline flirt for the duration of the movie and even joke (well I think it was a joke…) about playing hide the sausage while frolicking in bed. Homosexual undertones aside, the teens also drop some funny quips about Muffy’s name (i.e. Muffster, Muffdive etc.) and take direct stabs (pun intended) at each other’s social status and sordid past histories. In fact, in addition to the whoopee cushions, dribble glasses, collapsible chairs and fake doorknobs Muff’n’such leaves around her mansion to tease her guests, there are also props intended to remind each guest of some part of their past whether it be bondage material, drugs paraphernalia, newspaper clippings from a horrible car accident or audio recordings of a crying baby. Not exactly your standard April Fool’s Day gags.
Alas, all the tom-foolery comes to a halt when the teens start getting killed off one by one in your fairly standard 80s slasher way… however *spoiler alert!* no one dies! All the killings were staged by Muffy and company as part of a murder mystery bed and breakfast hotel she was planning on opening up. Well, they fooled me with all the fake severed heads and genital mutilations.
So really, “April Fool’s Day” is not your conventional slasher film by any means, but it does do its namesake holiday justice! It’s a fun horror film that’s just a tad light on the actual horror. But what a great poster anyways!
In retrospect, the Butcher Brother’s remake of the same name looks like shit in comparison. I’d rather watch this version any day! April Fool’s or not!