Wednesday, 23 January 2013

April Fool's Day (1986)

"April Fool's Day" (1986, Fred Walton, Paramount Pictures, Hometown Films).

Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman) is having a birthday party/April Fool's Day party at her family's large summer home (for 'home', see 'mansion'!) on a private island. She's invited a variety of college friends, some of whom are good friends amongst themselves, and some who don't know anyone else there.

Like all teen slashers, the basics of 'nerdy bookish type', 'dickhead', 'jock', 'kind of slutty girl', 'nice couple', 'outsider' and 'funny guy' are all covered, but unlike some other slasher movies, the characters don't seem so generic. While I don't feel any connection in particular with any of the characters, they seem almost like real people and I found myself beginning to enjoy their witty (and admittedly sometimes not so witty) repartee.

It isn't long into the film that we see both trickery and bloodshed, and while some of the key plot points seem a bit too convenient and unnatural, as a horror viewer, I've come to expect much worse and didn't judge these moments too harshly!

It seems, one by one, the guest list is being shortened, and Muffy begins to act strangely, making her surviving guests all the more nervous. Is the killer someone smuggled on the island, stalking the teens? Or is it someone they know?

Some gloriously 80s gore, engaging acting from a recognisable cast and some twists along the way, this film is good fun.

The ending is an area of contention amongst viewers, and while it's not the favourite of some, I find it quite enjoyably different from most slashers, letting this film stand out from the crowd.

More of a slasher-themed mystery movie, "April Fool's Day" is worth your time at least once!

[Image: Paramount Pictures]