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Since I started the website I've done a Slasher marathon every summer. This time I thought I'd start things off in the first week of...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

April Fool’s Day (1986)




After Cheerleader Camp I decided to go back to a slasher that I remember liking quite a bit. Though like Cheerleader Camp I haven’t watched it in years, or at least I don’t remember doing so. The copy that I watched was the old bare bones DVD that I picked up years ago. Not sure if the movie has a better release or not. Regardless let us dive into April Fool’s Day.

Muffy, portrayed by the lovely and prolific ‘80s actress Deborah Foreman, has invited her friends to spend the weekend in an isolated house that she is about to inherit. We meet the guests as they are hopping the ferry to the island. Of course, there is some horsing around and an April Fool’s Day prank. Being a slasher movie this leads to a terrible accident with a member of the crew being hurt. That leads to the only boat on the island being used to rush him to the hospital stranding the guests on the island for the weekend. Soon after arriving Muffy’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic and the guests start disappearing. When their bodies are found in the well it is clear someone on the island is a killer! Is it Muffy or does it have to do with the accident? Possible neither!

It's all fun and games until someone puts an eye out!
In my review for Cheerleader Camp I mentioned how mainstream audiences dismiss Slasher movies as being dumb and just an excuse for gore and nudity. April Fool’s Day tosses that assertion in the trash bin where it belongs. Here you have an intelligently written movie that respects the genre and the audience. The opening scene on the ferry goes a long way towards establishing the characters and the roles they will play as the plot progresses. The characters that normally would be the comic relief get very serious after the accident on the ferry. You see the friends trying to have some fun afterwards at the house, but it is subdued. Then the pranks and other bad things start happening. Their first reaction is to call the police! Okay here we have a slasher movie filled with characters that act like real people in a screwy situation.

The cast is solid with the previously mentioned Deborah Foreman as well as Amy Steel as our two female leads. Amy Steel is every bit as good here as she was in Friday the 13th part II, starring again as the “final girl”. The gore is subdued as all the kills are off screen with us only seeing the bodies after the fact. Like most good slasher movies not in a franchise the identity of the killer is kept in doubt until the very end. When it is revealed it is a huge surprise. Can’t say much more without spoiling things.

I know that a lot of fans don’t like April Fool’s Day. Mostly it is because of the big reveal at the end. This movie came out in 1986 long after the formula was established. Instead of just cranking out another in the line of same stories they did something unique and fun. I think it works really well and recommend everyone give April Fool’s Day a chance.

Next up in my Slasher marathon Girls Nite Out


© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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