April Fools Day (1986)


I don’t remember how I came across my copy of “April Fools Day” exactly, but it was part of a two pack and two sided DVD with the original “My Bloody Valentine.” One gets what they pay for and I didn’t pay very much for this set. If it was part of the horror movie grab bag from the Tower Record closeout years back (and I think it was), I paid next to nothing.

Either way, I was expecting a little more from a horror movie that built its premise around a holiday synonymous with pranks and practical jokes. You’d expect to see any and every manner of killer traps and jokes, right? Maybe a twist on the whoopee cushion? Maybe booby traps that would make early Wes Craven gems such as “Last House on the Left” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” seem a little tame? It is, after all a 1980’s slasher movie entitled, “April Fools Day.”

There were all the bad hair, fashions, soundtrack and gratuitous sex jokes and scenes that are part of that genre, but it did not deliver. Cute and perky Muffy St. John, played by Deborah Foreman, invites her college friends to her family estate located on a small island for Spring Break.

The trouble starts with a ferry accident, and shaken but still blase, maybe drunk or stoned given the performances of some of the actors, our scooby gang enters the estate, drink some top shelf booze and find little jokes like a dribble glass here, heroin supplies there and randomly scattered articles about accidents and the possibility that sweet Muffy may be a touch insane.The group dies off one by one, but in pretty ordinary ways.

I was expecting a gory twist on April Fools Day and not only did it fall short in that department, but the ending was all too inane and goofy. I will say that Amy Steel was a decent Final Girl, but she did a much better job in “Friday the Thirteenth: Part 2.” Overall, great gimmick and premise, but terrible follow through.


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