Director – Fred Walton (When A Stranger Calls, Alfred Hitchcock Presents)
Starring – Ken Olandt (Leprechaun, Summer School), Amy Steel (Friday the 13th Part 2, Quantum Leap), and Deborah Foreman (My Chauffeur, Waxwork)
Release Date – 1986
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Tagline – “Guess who’s going to be the life of the party?”
When I was in middle I was flipping through the channels as Halloween approached when I landed on a horror movie marathon on some random channel I never watched before. I think the channel at the time was IFC but I could be wrong. The marathon had Boogens, a random Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, April Fool’s Day, and two other slashers that skipped my mind at the moment. This was my first time for most of these except MBV and the Friday the 13th film.
When April Fool’s Day came on I found myself fascinated with it. It starred Ken Olandt from Leprechaun, which was a childhood favorite of mine, along with Friday the 13th Part 2’s final girl Amy Steel. When it was over I turned to eBay and found a cheap VHS of it and since then I’ve bought the movie several times on DVD. When Scream Factory announced a blu release I knew I had to jump on it. I fucking loved it that much. Once again I want to thank Scream Factory for sending this one my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Muffy who just inherited a giant mansion and decides to throw a party for some of her friends. What they don’t know is that someone has it out for the group and one by one they are being murdered.**Spoiler Alert**
I know several horror fans dislike this particular slasher due to the ending twist but I love it. Sure, it makes previous scenes not have the impact they had as the film was progressing but it does deliver something different while keeping with the theme of the holiday. I think that is one of the many reasons I like this one so much.
The acting in this one is solid but reminiscent of other slashers from the time frame. The cast is extremely overdramatic at times but this is what makes slashers so much fun. Watching the cast overreact and over sale the danger is one of the defining qualities of slashers. The cast works very well together but some of the characters are rather cliched and generic especially for a slasher from 1986. I will say that the character of Muffy and Buffy does stand out which makes the performance more memorable than the others.
The story for this one follows like most slashers. We follow a group of young people as they are systematically picked off one by one by an unknown murderer. This works for the film’s theme but the biggest turn on/off for most horror fans is the ending. The April Fools jest works for me but I can see why some people find it disappointing. We have solid pacing and the horror splits up the rather boring dialogue.
Finally, this slasher doesn’t focus on the kills themselves but more on who is dying. We do get some after the fact shots but for the sake of the story they are far from perfect. Overall, April Fool’s Day is not for everyone. Some hardcore slasher fans may not find it in good taste but I absolutely love it. I often recommend it to many horror fans looking for something outside of the Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm St. series. The blu is beautiful and a must for horror fans. Check it out.
NEW Horror with A Twist: Fred Walton on APRIL FOOL’S DAY; Part I
NEW Horror with A Twist: Fred Walton on APRIL FOOL’S DAY; Part II
NEW Well of Lies: Deborah Goodrich Royce on APRIL FOOL’S DAY
NEW Looking Forward to Dessert: Clayton Rohner on APRIL FOOL’S DAY
NEW Bloody Unforgettable: Composer Charles Bernstein on APRIL FOOL’S DAY
NEW The Eye of Deception: Charles Minsky on APRIL FOOL’S DAY
Original TV Spots