What looks like a standard 1980s holiday-themed slasher movie turns out to be a much more witty venture. A group of college students head out for a weekend of relaxation and April Fools' pranks at an isolated island cottag... more »e, catching the very last ferry until Monday morning. A practical joke goes awry, hostess Muffy starts tromping around in frumpy clothes and acting like she's not quite herself, and the bodies start piling up. Don't you just hate it when you're on a completely remote island and the phone goes out? All of this is done, though, with a fairly low gore content and a sly wink at the usual slasher conventions--rather than whodunit, the trick is to figure out what's in good fun and what's real bloodletting. It ain't Citizen Kane, but it's not a bad evening's enjoyment either. --Ali Davis« less
Julie K. (jazieJules) from JACKSON, MI Reviewed on 9/11/2010...
April Fool's Day is a witty comedy slash horror film that makes use of the every favorite prank holiday. While set in a mysterious wooded mansion build on a lake, a bunch of college friends are invited to spend the weekend, but little do they know the havoc they will encounter. While there are no well named actors in this movie, each actor brings their own flavor to this flick. This is an enjoyable movie that should be a staple at every slumber party.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Molly Jean M. (spellicopter) from OMAHA, NE Reviewed on 5/16/2008...
Apart from a bit of cheesy delivery and one flat-out awful scene, I was very impressed with this all but forgotten horror gem. There are plenty of freak outs, a good amount of mid-80s gore and enough plot twists to keep any fan of murderous thrillers on the edge of his seat. Besides, any movie featuring Thomas F. Wilson (from the Back to the Future trilogy) bullying anyone other than Crispin Glover is worth watching at least once... right?
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Wish there were extras...
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 03/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""April Fool's Day" is yet another one of those holiday themed slasher films that emerged in the wake of the "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" successes. You know all about them if you follow the genre in any substantive way--movies with names like "Mother's Day," "Graduation Day," "My Bloody Valentine," and "Silent Night, Deadly Night." O.K., the last two don't specifically refer to dates, but it doesn't take a genius to infer that the two films play on Valentine's Day and Christmas. The slasher genre never died out thanks in large part to the billion plus sequels in the "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" franchises, but their poorer cousins did fade into obscurity until DVD resurrected them. All I can say about that is thank goodness! I'm the first to admit that some of these films fail to rise above mediocrity, but several of them are quite good. "April Fool's Day" definitely falls into the latter category. The film doesn't contain a lot of gore we stalk and slash lovers have come to know and love, but the central plot of the film and its amazing twist ending makes the movie well worth watching. There is no other way to say it--"April Fool's Day" is actually a spoof of the entire slasher phenomena, and it spoofs the genre years before "Scream" appeared on the scene.What makes "April Fool's Day" so different from the other slasher films? You won't notice anything amiss for most of the film. The plot is quite basic: a gang of college students accepts an invitation from a rich classmate to spend a few days at her opulent house on a remote island. The girl inviting all of her friends, Muffy Saint John (great name, eh?), is a bit of an oddball. She's rich, though, so all of her pals don't hesitate to accept the invite. Besides, who wouldn't like to spend some time rambling around a huge house out in the sticks? It could be fun. Trouble rears its ugly head from the start. An accident on the ferry trip out to the house, the result of a prank gone horribly wrong, seriously injures a local and causes some heavy guilt amongst Saint John's guests. The tension never lets down once the group arrives at the house, as Muffy shrewdly installed a series of April Fool's type gags in the various rooms of her guests. Even worse, subplots in the main story reveal relationship problems and uncertainties about the future among several of the visitors. The whole vacation teeters on the edge of total disaster before plunging into an abyss of murder, mayhem, and sheer insanity.The next morning after the young adults arrive something sinister happens to Muffy. She appears to assume an entirely different personality by changing her dress, her mannerisms, and her relations with the guests. As if that's not bad enough, some of the youths start to disappear. It becomes obvious very quickly that a killer is on the loose in the house and on the grounds. No one is safe from this crazed wacko, not any of Muffy's friends or any of the locals unfortunate enough to venture onto the property. As people disappear one by one, two of the guests begin to uncover the madness behind Muffy Saint John's house and her private life. The picture isn't pretty; it appears that Muffy had a twin who went stark raving mad as a child, and now BUFFY Saint John has returned to wreak bloody havoc on her sister and her friends. It could very well end up that no one will escape the wrath of this warped sibling. As the surviving pair attempts to get away from the house, they finally come face to face with Muffy's alter ego in a conclusion that is sure to get your goat. Perhaps you will be one of those astute viewers who saw it all coming before it happened, but I didn't. Then again, I'm one of those sheep who blithely accepts nearly everything I see on the screen at face value. I did not see this ending coming at all, which is ridiculous considering the title of the film."April Fool's Day" is a fun movie even if you don't enjoy watching horror movies. The gore is mostly non-existent, the characters are lots of fun, and the conclusion will have you hitting yourself upside the head in "Gee, ain't I stupid" glee. I liked most of the actors, especially the always beautiful and enjoyable Deborah Foreman in the role of Muffy Saint John. Foreman has a real girl next door quality that I find irresistible. The movie plays on that quality to deliver a few shocks towards the end of the film as her character threatens her surviving guests. The look on her face--a look of cold, detached murder--was downright chilling to watch. The other actors and actresses did a good job as well. Look for Griffin O'Neal playing a troubled young man (what a stretch there!), Thomas F. Wilson as the group cut up (he played Biff in the "Back to the Future" trilogy), and B movie fave Ken Olandt as one of the survivors who battles Saint John in the end (he starred opposite Jennifer Aniston in the first "Leprechaun" film).The only problem I had with the movie was the DVD version. The extras are non-existent. Too bad considering the price of the disc, but the film has such a neat ending it hardly mattered. I remember when this one came out and unfortunately I was not old enough to see it (and still hesitant to attempt a sneak in at the theater). At least the DVD gives us a nice widescreen picture transfer with good audio. Give this one a shot if you love slasher flicks. You'll like it!"
It's a Cut Above Many '80s Slasher Flicks. No Foolin'!
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 01/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another teen horror film whose creators hoped to garner a few drops from the lucrative post-HALLOWEEN slasher-flick fount of the 1980s, APRIL FOOL'S DAY is surprisingly a cut above many of its contemporaries. The film contains relatively little graphic gore, no actual nudity, and some pretty good actors, thereby going against the cookie-cutter recipe and, instead, concentrating on the development of likable characters, eerie atmosphere, and some genuinely effective spook-show scares.The plot unfolds at a sequestered island estate, familial home to wealthy college student Muffy St. John. Having the big house to herself the weekend of April 1st, Muffy has invited some of her fellow ivy-league students to spend a few days partying with her. Get a bunch of college kids together on April Fool's Day and, of course, the practical jokes abound. But this is a slasher flick, remember, so it isn't too long until the kiddos start turning up dead. But who's responsible for the bloodshed? Hostess Muffy? The boatman who ferried the group over to the island? One of Muffy's remaining guests? Or is there some other secret hiding behind the doors of the old family mansion?APRIL FOOL'S DAY offers a successful combination of mystery, horror, and humor, and the talented young cast delivers both the suspense and the laughs without taking it too far over the top. The film's subtle scares and toned-down gore make it more akin to older psychological spook films like THE HAUNTING (1963) and THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) than to typical slasher fare, and this, combined with the good writing and good acting, make it stand out above many of the other teen horror flicks of the 1980s. Admittedly, the twist ending might be a letdown for some horror fans, and those gore hounds who watch slasher flicks solely for the blood and guts will probably find the entire film too tame. But true horror aficionados who enjoy the entire range and history of the genre should at least give APRIL FOOL'S DAY a once-over.Avid filmgoers will enjoy seeing the film's familiar faces from the 1980s and 1990s. Deborah Foreman, who plays Muffy, is probably best known for her roles in comedies like 1983's VALLEY GIRL, 1985's REAL GENIUS, and 1986's MY CHAUFFER. Film fans will no doubt recognize Clayton Rohner from his appearance in the comedy JUST ONE OF THE GUYS (1985), as well as from genre films such as THE RELIC (1997) and SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK...FOR MORE (1999). Hardcore genre fans will be delighted to see Amy Steel, known for her appearances in some of the FRIDAY THE 13th films, and SF fans will get a kick out of spotting Thomas F. Wilson, who is probably better known as bully Biff Tannen in the BACK TO THE FUTURE film series. As with many DVDs from Paramount, the disc is short on extras. However, it offers a beautifully crisp and clean digital transfer in anamorphic widescreen at the film's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. And at the very reasonable amazon.com price, horror fans can easily afford to add this one to their growing DVD collections."
Childish pranks turn into a bloody battle for survival!
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 09/25/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Finding an inexpensive copy of this DVD in the Amazon Market Place, I figured 'What the heck?' and picked it up. The movie begins with a familiar theme, a group of college kids on their way to an isolated location (queue foreboding music). Apparently this group was assembled by a common friend to spend the weekend at spacious house on an island whose only access is by ferry, which only runs during the week, so they are basically stuck there until Monday. Through the use of a video camera, we are introduced to the various guests and they seem like your typical group for an 80's horror movie.After an eventful trip on the Ferry of Death, they arrive on the Island of Death, and are greeted by their Hostess of Death (sorry, I'll cut it out), Muffy St. John, played by Deborah Foreman, probably most recognizable as Julie from the 1983 movie Valley Girl. Muffy leads them to the secluded house, which is more like a mansion, and we find out that this house will be part of her inheritance when she turns 21. After a number of practical jokes, which Muffy set up, every turns in for the night, except for Skip, Muffy's cousin, who is still upset about an unpleasant event that happened on the ferry. Alone and visible drunk, he wanders down by the boathouse, ventures inside, and, as you can guess, the murderin' begins.The next morning no one really seems to miss Skip (I know I didn't, as I thought he was kind of annoying), and a couple breaks off from the rest of the group and proceeds to go down by the boathouse to screw around. Their horizontal tango is cut short as the girl catches a glimpse of Skip's body floating under the boathouse, which, I guess, killed the mood as the couple goes running back to the house in a panic. Relating what happened, the dead body part, not the sex part, to the rest of the group, they think maybe Skip is pulling a prank, so a few of the guys go off searching for him in the woods around the house. This leads to another murder or two, which spoils the festivities altogehter. After a few more murders, and a couple of revelations, the movie finally spills its' proverbial guts, and what appeared to be your typical slasher type movie shows itself as something else. Actually, I sort of caught on about halfway through. I'm no mental goliath, no Sherlockian powers of deduction here, but the clues were there, and I didn't have to strain too hard to get in on the 'know'. There were some pretty large plot holes, certain elements that didn't jibe, but it didn't ruin the movie. There was some suspense, but I was never really on the edge of my seat. Overall, a fun movie, but probably wouldn't hold up too well to repeated viewing. Nice wide screen presentation with good audio, but no extras.Oh yeah, watch for the character of Rob near the end as he gets locked in a pantry closet and nearly starts crying and stuff as his girlfriend is being chased around the house and terrorized. As flimsy as that door was, I could have been out of there in like a minute with a kick or two. Heck, my old granny could have gotten out of there with relative ease. What a nitwit...or is it a witless nit? Whatever..."
One of the best plots ever
carl womack | north carolina | 01/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It appears to be another one of those college cut up movies. A college girl invites her friends over to spend a weekend at her home on an island and everything starts out just fine... at least until her friends start disappearing or apparently being found cut up in pieces, then everyone starts accusing the other of being the murderer and all they want to do is leave the island, which proves to be easier said than done. bone chilling, spine tingling suspense and horror. Who done it? will anyone figure it out? will anyone live to tell the story of all the Ghastly events that went on in the house? Get the movie and see for yourself. Is the girl of the house insane? or is it one of her friends? If you like a good plot, you must see the surprising ending to this unique film. Strong language, but not as extreme as is the case for most suspense movies today and only one actual steamy scene, but not exactly over graphic. In fact the scene is only a few seconds in length. This is another one to watch with a lover on Halloween night, or even with a group of friends. Five stars is not enough for April Fools day. It deserves many more."
What do you expect?
Tony R. Tucker | Crewe, VA United States | 09/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When the trailers first came out for April Fools Day, they were accompanied by the song "Momma Told Me Not To Come" by Three Dog Night. I wasn't sure if it was a slasher movie, a comedy, a comedy-slasher movie, or even a frat-party movie. All I knew for sure was that Deborah Foreman (Valley Girl)was in it and in the mid-80's I thought she was so hot you could have cast her in a high school driving safety video and I would have paid admission.Foreman plays Muffy, a rich college kid who invites a bunch of friends to a secluded island owned by her family for a weekend (an April Fools weekend) of fun and pranks. The island is only reachable by ferry and this is the last ferry until monday. An accident happens and the kids are shaken. Here is where the mind games start. Not many of the young people know each other. All are supposedly friends of Muffy, but most of them don't know each other directly. April fools pranks are played non-stop. Dribble glasses, collapsing chairs, and newspaper clippings about dark events. Wait a second...newspaper clippings? Is someone playing a joke, or is this real? There is the hook.Severed heads, rattlenakes, and Muffy's slow transformation from college beauty to frumpy borderline personality disorder mix evenly with dirty tricks and foolish pranks. What is real? How much danger is everyone in?There is no argument that April Fools Day was riding in on the wave of 80's slasher films, but that is where the similarity to other genre movies ends. You really have to think at this one. They really want to you ask yourself "is this all a joke?" and "could anyone have actually survived that?"I have to give some credit to the music for setting up some great tension. It adds to the feel without taking you out of the moment.If you have not seen this film but you have a friend that has, don't let them tell you any of it's dark secrets. Enjoy."