April Fool’s Day (1986) Review

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With me being off work and it being April Fool’s Day what better film could there be to watch, review and post on here than the 80’s April Fool’s Day. It’s a film I’ve never seen before as well so that’s always a plus point.

“it was far from a classic with plenty of better 80’s horror out there”

Budget: $5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross: $12,947,763 (USA)

Runtime: 89 min

Director: Fred Walton (When A Stranger Calls)

Trivia – The film’s French title was Weekend of Terror, while in Germany release was titled The Horror Party.

Trivia – Part of a 1980’s cycle of slasher films with titles and subjects based around commemorative days and events that got made after the box-office success of 1978’sHalloween (1978). The movies include that film’s sequels, Prom Night (1980),Graduation Day (1981), My Bloody Valentine (1981)_ for Valentine’s Day, the spoof _Saturday the 14th_, The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), April Fool’s Day (1986), andFriday the 13th (1980) and its sequels.

The film starts with an annoying teenager filming another annoying teenager as they wait for the ferry to take them to a party. This point of view filming soon ends as more and more annoying teenagers are revealed, some of them know each other and some don’t. They’re gathered together to get a ferry to the mansion owned by the father of Muffy St John so they can all celebrate their last year of school. On the boat two of the three most annoying teenagers out of the eight or so there play a tasteless prank on the rest but everyone laughs about it.

The laughs soon end when after the prank Buck stays in the water so he can hook the rope on, problem is he keeps missing and is eventually hit in the face by a ferry. He comes out of the water with a mangled face but there’s a small boat there so the ferry driver takes him off to hospital. For some reason there’s a police man already on the island with Muffy, he borrows her boat and heads off to make sure Buck is okay, leaving the immensely annoying kids to get on with their party.

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The “friends” declare how much they mean to each other despite a few not knowing the rest

At the party Muffy feeds everyone and they declare their friendship for each other despite a few not knowing each other. From there each are shown to their room where there’s several small pranks left by Muffy in their rooms. Things start to take a turn for the worse when one of the teens goes missing on the first night, he’s followed by two more. The rest are worried but still don’t stick together and wonder around aimlessly until the corpses of the missing kids are found. After this it’s left to Kit and Rob who are the only couple there and are slightly less annoying than all the other to fit the clues together. They soon work out what is going on but are unable to escape before a final encounter with the killer.

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Kit and Rob the slightly less annoying ones who manage to piece the puzzle together

The Good

The ending was great the final encounter was very well done and made watching the film worth it. The set up for the killing is really well done with the idiot kids journey painting a good picture and setting up the rest of the film well.

The Bad

Nearly all the characters are completely unlikable, as in all but two and even those two are pretty annoying at times. The lack of any real gore is a major minus for me, sure there’s some severed limbs here and there and some bright red blood. I expected more gore and it would have improved the film a lot.

I’d suggest watching this if you’re a bit bored but it was far from a classic with plenty of better 80’s horror out there, saying all that though it’s probably worth a watch for the final encounter and ending which I really liked.

Overall Score

60 

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