film · horror

April Fools Day (1986) Review

Scanning through Prime, I found this available and made a mental note to add this movie to the watchlist, along with some others that are currently available. After wrestling with myself, I settled down and picked this movie from 1986. Now, I was aware of this movie, the title kinda gives it away but in my mind I was thinking “okay maybe pranks gone bad” or there’s going to be a lot of jokes intertwined with a killer on the property or something.

I got one big ride.

Let’s talk about 1986’s April Fools Day.

aprilfoolsday_3

First off, I recognized Amy Steel (from Friday the 13th Part 2) and the locations were also familiar, I swear some of it was also featured in a Friday the 13th film sequel too. The movie was shot in Vancouver and is a Paramount film so perhaps?

The plot according to IMDB is as follows: Nine college students staying at a friend’s remote island mansion begin to fall victim to an unseen murderer over the April Fool’s Day weekend, but nothing is as it seems. This is quite accurate, I wouldn’t put it in layman’s terms because this is exactly what happens… but not really.

A positive that I really would highlight is the whodunit aspect. In horror, you don’t really get this kind of mystery element being prominent to the storytelling. There was a big emphasis on what happened to Skip and where everyone was disappearing too and a lot of questioning versus in a Friday the 13th where people are getting killed and no one really knows until the final girl is confronted with all the bodies. This isn’t the case at all. Even the well scene, which I called saying “she’s gonna find a dead body, she’s gonna find dead bodies” to “those bodies look fake as hell”. I was even questioning like why is Muffy acting so suspicious? I was getting invested. aprilfoolsday_2

Another thing I liked was for a moment, it tricked me. This movie tricked me. Here I was thinking this was gonna be another slasher like movie with some jokes thrown in to fit the title. But no! This movie got me, it got me like Amy Steel’s character did who was also a final girl, despite it all not meaning anything. Can you imagine wasting all your energy and voice for nothing? Except that it might contribute to your friend possibly getting into a new venture?*** (spoilers ahead!)

The big spoiler is…

There are no deaths. Nobody dies in the film. NO ONE. It’s heavily implied with the fake bodies, special effects, blood but no one is dead. Not the friends, there’s no evil twin, nothing. And they did a good job at doing so! The ending really got to me and I experienced a mixed reaction of surprise, frustration and then I fucking laughed. I got it. And I got got.

The only disappointment is really that there is no “kill count” or body count. I’m expecting blood galore and there are some interesting shots in the film but my goodness, this movie got me.

April Fool’s Day stars Jay Baker, Deborah Foreman, Deborah Goodrich, Ken Olandt, Griffin O’Neal, Leah King Pinsent, Clayton Rohner, Amy Steel and Thomas F. Wilson,  and is directed by Fred Walton. I give this movie a 3.75 out of 5, I would recommend this movie and this is currently available on Amazon Prime.

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