April Fool’s Day (1986)

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Now, stop me if you’ve heard this before: A group of college kids head out for a little R&R at an island estate owned by a wealthy classmate….But then things go wrong! Their host has filled the grounds with a variety of harmless pranks, but unfortunately for the guests the their little retreat has also been invaded by an unknown assailant out for more than just a few shits and giggles. And, of course, their on an island, and by the time they realize what’s going on they’re already conveniently cut off from the rest of the world until the ferry gets back on Monday.

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I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve gotten to the end of a movie like this and thought to myself, “That was cute”, without any hint of sarcasm.

I really wouldn’t call this a horror movie, though. It’s got a few decent scares, but it’s less of a horror and more a mystery-thriller. The first 2/3rds are more of a who-dun-it, without the gore, while the very beginning and the last 3rd is treated more like a traditional slasher. Oh, so the stupid kids think it’ll be fun to be a bunch of pranksters, huh?

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Not so fun anymore, is it?

Just about everything in this movie is over the top: The acting, the comedy, the story, the ending. This is very much a B-movie, but it’s a B-movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And while the comedy mostly revolved around standard April Fool’s day pranks, I found some of them pretty elaborate and amusing (The light trick made me giggle.)

The acting is also typical B-movie fare and leaves much to be desired. Deborah Foreman, who plays the host for the weekend does a decent job, but the rest of the performances range from the previously stated over-the-top to meh.

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I felt the Texan in particular needed to be reigned in a little.

Still, it was a fun little movie and it left me wishing I’d seen it sooner. It’s pretty much a typical mystery/slasher, but with also a satire on 80’s slasher films. It’s not on the same level of satire and meta as Scream, of course, but very reminiscent of it in a way and filled with more physical comedy. Kind of like a weird mash-up of Scream and Clue. Or better yet, try to imagine what a slasher would be like if it was written by Danilo Bach, the same fellow who wrote Beverly Hills Cop. Now if you can watch it without being disappointed at the lack of Eddie Murphy, then you’ll be in for a fun little ride.

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Cheers!

April Fool’s Day is currently available for streaming on Amazon.

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