April Fool's Day (1986)

Movie Title: April Fool's Day

Year Released: 1986

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 29min

Genre: Horror, Mystery

Director: Fred Walton

Writer: Danilo Bach

Starring: Deborah Foreman, Amy Steel, Thomas F. Wilson, Ken Olandt, Clayton Rohner, Griffin O'Neal, Jay Baker, Pat Barlow, Lloyd Berry, Deborah Goodrich, Tom Heaton, Leah Pinsent, Mike Nomad

Review: It's all fun and games for a group of college students who have been invited to stay at a friend's remote island mansion. But when they start to mysteriously vanish, one by one, is it nothing more than an April Fool's prank...or is there an actual killer on the loose? Well, enjoy your stay, it's April Fool's Day!

What starts out as a young-people's getaway filled with booze, pranks, and debauchery, quickly takes a tension-filled turn as the party-goers go missing and all the clues point to an unseen murderer lurking about. Sounds like fun, right? Well, it is! April Fool's Day is classic '80s, but not necessarily a classic '80s slasher. Let me explain...

This cult classic has all of the tried-and-true elements of your run-of-the-mill '80s slasher, but it tries a little something different. You got horny college kids, a secluded location, odd occurrences, strange disappearances, shocking secrets, and a killer who's primed for party time! But the new angle it takes is it avoids showering the audience with over-the-top gore and instead plays up the mystery of it all. The gang kind of goes all Scooby-Doo trying to find the clues to solve this case and stay alive enough to unmask the guilty party.

The movie does take its time setting up characters before things get rolling which, unlike most slasher movies, helps you to get involved in the story and those involved in it. But once the creepiness, the comedy, and the craziness get going their weekend away will never leave these friends the same. The ending is quite shocking, and might divide some audiences. I kinda dig it! It's surprising, clever, and fun!

The cast looks to be having fun especially Deborah Foreman (Valley Girl), Ken Olandt (Leprechaun), Clayton Rohner (Just One of the Guys), and Biff Tannen himself, Thomas F. Wilson. They really give it their all, especially Friday the 13th Part 2 alum Amy Steel. When the scares start she seems genuinely freaked out.

April Fool's Day has certainly reached cult classic status, and it's easy to see why. This has an '80s cheese factor that's to die for. So if you're looking for a fun flick for April the 1st, get your slash on with April Fool's Day.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: While the crew was lighting a scene, Deborah Goodrich began reading a "Cosmopolitan" questionnaire to her co-stars, which elicited a huge conversation that caught the attention of director Fred Walton. A few days later, Walton handed Goodrich the magazine and a new set of questions, and asked the actresses to improvise a scene which wound up in the final cut.


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