April Fool's Day/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Review of April Fool's Day
So what's your favorite April Fool's prank? Is it the brown paper bag full of dog crap set on fire and left outside someone's front door? Is it the harmless joy buzzer that sends a jolt of electricity through your victim? Or maybe you're the kind of person who finds great mirth in covering a toilet bowl with cling film to await the inevitable splash back? Well these are all good pranks (OK, maybe they're not) but they just don't seem to have that extra zing that Muffy St. John needs to really satisfy her twisted sense of humor. No, for Muffy (really?? who in their right mind call's their kid Muffy?), her favorite pranks need to involve dismemberment, disembowelment and general beheadings.
Welcome to the year that was 1986 and the April Fool's Day to end all April Fool's Days. A bunch of incredibly annoying and extremely rich kids (including Thomas F. Wilson aka Biff from Back To The Future) gather to spend spring break at the island mansion of one Miss Muffy St. John (Valley Girl's Deborah Foreman). On arrival at said mansion and after one of the deckhands has been badly mangled on the trip over, they find that Muffy has laid out a series of hilarious practical based japerys for them to contend with. These include such things as dribble glasses and whoopie cushions to more complex gags like a baby crying in someone's room and heroin works in a guest's wardrobe (What a gal!).
Muffy's friends take all this in great spirits and instead of beating her to death with a snow shovel like most normal people would, carry on with having the time of their lives. You know, drinking, boning, the usual student/teenager thing. That is until they start going missing one by one. From here on out the finger of suspicion is pointed squarely at everyone and their grandmas as bodies and heads start popping up all over the place (here's a hint for you,never fall into a well...) . Who is this hero..er..I mean awful villain that keeps bumping off these incredibly annoying and extremely rich kids and will any of them survive long enough to find out the answer?
For a movie made in the Slasher heyday of the 80's, April Fools Day tries to do things just a little bit differently. Yes there's enough gore on show to keep even the most ardent Voorhees fan entertained but this film is more plot driven than most of the straight-to-video offerings that flooded the market on the back of Friday The 13th and it's ilk. Bar the guy getting mangled on the trip over not a great deal happens for the first 30 or 40 minutes of this film and seeing as it's total running time is just under an hour and a half that's a pretty ballsy move and one that pay's off. Deborah Foreman's portrayal of Muffy get's more and more disturbing as the film goes on and the assorted cast of incredibly annoying and extremely rich kids do such a good job at being incredibly annoying and extremely rich that you just can't wait for them to start getting bumped off. Danilo Bach's script is well written (if somewhat predictable at times) and Fred Walton's direction, though nowhere near up to the standard of his masterpiece When A Stranger Calls, is far too good for someone who's career would later be made up of mainly T.V work. Sure some of the special effects aren't all that special but it was the 80's and hardly any of them were and if anything it adds to the movies charm.
In my opinion you could do a lot worse than checking out April Fools Day, like Slumber Party Massacre or Chopping Mall to name but two, as it has enough thrills and blood spills for any horror fan who wasn't raised on a diet of Torture Porn and is entertaining enough to while away any rainy afternoon. Besides which it's got Biff from Back To The Future in it...I mean, what more could you possibly want?