APRIL FOOL’S DAY (1986)
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This is an OK horror that, like it’s inspiration Halloween, takes a popular holiday and builds a slasher flick around it. A group of friends gather at the remote island home of Muffy St. John (80s fixture Deborah Foreman) on the weekend of April Fools Day. Obviously pranks and jokes are the name of the game, but the games turn deadly and the laughter turns to screams, when someone starts killing off the guests, one by one. Who wants this group of yuppie college friends dead?
Directed by When A Stranger Calls’ Fred Walton from a script by Danilo Bach, this flick could have used the whole April Fool’s Day theme a lot more cleverly. The flick only really gets creative with it in the last act and that’s mostly when we get our big reveal. Leading up to that, it’s pretty much a generic 80s slasher and one that really doesn’t elicit much in the way of scares or suspense. Again, it’s not till the last act that we start to get some chases and a bit of the type of thrills that we came for, but then it’s over rather quickly. There is some decent gore and the cast of familiar 80s faces like Foreman, Clayton Rohner and Friday The 13th Part 2 final girl Amy Steel, are appealing and likable enough, but the film never really comes alive and delivers the goods to more than an adequate degree. It’s basically a routine slasher that could have used it’s holiday of choice to much better effect, last act reveal not withstanding. There is some definite 80s nostalgia, but only because the film is now 30 years old.
Overall this is an OK flick that follows the formula fairly well, though never really takes the April Fool’s Day prank plot device as far as it could have or as inventively as it might have. It’s one of the more fondly remembered slasher’s of this era and while it’s far from the best, it’s certainly not one of the worst. It was a moderate success back in the day and there was apparently a direct to DVD remake back in 2008, though that is news to me.
2 and 1/2 knives…or are they???