Tuesday, 24 July 2012

April Fool's Day (1986)

Hmmm, April Fool's Day is just one of those movies that you still can't help liking even while the realisation dawns that it's completely and utterly rubbish. It really is dire but it's dire in a goofy and endearing way.

Deborah Foreman stars as Muffy, a young woman who invites all of her friends to stay with her at her isolated island home for a weekend. It's the weekend of April Fool's Day and her friends need little encouragement to take things further anf further. They love playing pranks on one another, something that is clear from almost the very beginning of the movie. Door handles fall off, glasses full of drinks are rigged to leak, knife blades are retractable, etc, etc. Yep, there's never a dull moment at Muffy's place. And it's about to get even more interesting when a killer is added to the mix.

Written by Danilo Bach and directed by Fred Walton, April Fool's Day takes a risky premise and largely fumbles it by populating the movie world with a number of irritating characters and keeping everything surprisingly bloodless. Yet it does have humour in spades and the audacity of the whole thing is something to either go along with and enjoy or just allow to ruin your day.

The cast aren't great but Deborah Foreman is entertainingly over the top as the eye-rolling Muffy, Thomas F. Wilson is fun to see in a non-"Biff" role and Tom Heaton, Griffin O'Neal, Leah Pinsent, Pat Barlow, Mike Nomad, Clayton Rohner and the other actors make up the numbers and do what is asked of them.

April Fool's Day definitely becomes more interesting when you consider the context of the movie and not just the final result that ended up onscreen. The early to mid 1980s say the horror market completely oversaturated by the slasher subgenre. Spoofs had already appeared but the humour in this movie is more in line with the cool subversion of the Scream franchise. The fact that it doesn't quite work doesn't detract from it being one of the more interesting mis-steps in the field of slasher movies.

Worth watching if you're a fan of this kind of film from this decade but do be prepared for the ending to either make you smile or make you want to put your foot through the TV screen.




  1. This fell just a little flat for me. I did have expectations of it being a classic though.

  2. Yeah, it's one of those many slasher movies that you can end up hearing a lot about before you ever see it. Which doesn't help because this movie just doesn't live up to any level of hype or expectation.

  3. Glad to see I'm not the only one who found the whole thing rubbish. When I first saw it, however, I was completely enraged. HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO MEEEEEEE. Now, I just think it's rubbish and retain the sort of good-natured approach that you seem to have here.