Night #12: April Fool’s Day (1986)

april-fools-day-poster-1986

Oh, alright, something about myself. Um, I wanna work with handicapped children, and my parents are my best friends. Oh, and I start convent school next semester… and I FUCK on the first date. April Fool’s!”

Directed By: Fred Walton

1986 was rather late for slasher movies. They peaked early and burned out quick. Some movies were big enough names to still hold out (Your usual suspects), but by and large they went straight to video where they would largely remain until a brief resurgence in the 90s.

April Fool’s Day ultimately came a little too late for what it is, spoofing a genre that the public had more or less stopped caring about. It’s a shame too because it does it pretty well. There’s the assortment of kids who are summoned for a party at their friends private island I guess? There’s a ferry that has to take them anyway, and then the guy says he’ll be back at the end of the weekend which sort of sucks if you ask me. And is this ferry just going to this one island that seems to have one house? Rich people.

It’s all very And Then There Were None so far (Nope, not using the real title) and it pretty much continues that way, with the assortment of folks getting offed in various ways. But that’s why you came here isn’t it? You sickos.

The girl holding the party is Muffy, and I don’t feel like enough is made of this name. It is particularly hilarious though when it’s revealed that she has a twin named Buffy. That right there is some stellar parenting. Muffy also loves practical jokes. In fact she’s so fond of practical jokes that it makes her completely obnoxious. I don’t think I would last in that house longer than two hours before realising I’ve made a grave error in judgement. A guy lights a cigar? The cigar blows up. Guy sits on a chair? It collapses in a hilarious fashion. Perhaps it’s just because it was the 80s and if you didn’t have an Atari then what else were you supposed to do than annoy everyone you know and love.

The cast are more archetypes than characters, which is largely by design, but it’s good to see one or two familiar faces. Tom Wilson shows up here and I thought this was pre Back To The Future (where he plays Biff) but it turns out it was the year after. In that situation are you walking around set like you own it, or are you wondering where your career has gone already? Amy Steele, one of my favourite final girls, plays a similar role here as she did in Friday The 13th Part II. It’s a shame she never went on to bigger things but hey, she’s still working so that’s nice.

Given that this was released right around the ‘video nasty’ era, it got slapped with an 18 certificate which is hilarious given how non-graphic the movie really is. The most recent DVD release got downgraded to a 15 and honestly if it wasn’t for some partial sex (Well the sex seems full, we just get a partial view of it) you could probably make it a 12. There’s a reason for that which I’m deliberately skirting around, but it’s easy to see why it apparently found a home on TV in the states. With a couple of minor cuts it’s probably fairly kid friendly and arguably the most graphic thing in it is a dialogue about sex.

Coming a few years too late or about a decade early, April Fool’s Day sits in a weird unloved middle ground. But it’s actually a lot of fun, and something that’s worth discovering.

 

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