April Fool's Day (1986) Poster

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horror film with a twist
mcfly-3113 August 1999
Here we have your usual assembly of would be slasher victims along with the spooky old house near the shore bit. But the noticable difference here is the amount of laughs injected into this that you dont see in 80s horror. And an ending never seen in any other typical slasher film. The cast is perfect; a wise cracking bunch constantly pulling gags on each other. Wilson (far from his "Biff" character he played in Back to the Future) is great, Foreman is spooky as the weirdo hostess, Baker as the stuck on himself southern guy, and Goodrich as the outspoken cutie, to name a few. Most have wavered about the ending; some say good, some say stupid, so just be prepared for something different.
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Well constructed mystery, fun and memorable
hippiedj14 November 2001
April Fool's Day has just the right smarts about it that it holds up extremely well, even all these years later. While the cast may be youthful, the characters and story set this film way above "teen" slasher or horror flicks. Mainly, because this is really a mystery in the vein of Ten Little Indians.

It's a good thing I saw this film in a theatre when it was first released in 1986 -- because the VHS cover has something on it that would have kept me AWAY if I had not seen the film already: "It's just what you'd expect from the producer who brought you Friday the 13th -- Parts Two, Three, Four, and Five." You just can't put April Fool's Day in the same category as those films! This is far superior in story and intelligence. It's clever, well-written, and has great characters that you like even if they are not so nice! These days it seems it's more important to find the most popular actors, and that is usually distracting and doesn't guarantee a good film. April Fool's Day had lesser known stars for that time (Deborah Foreman, Amy Steel, Clayton Rohner, Griffin O'Neal) and that worked as an advantage.

The basic premise of a group of college students stuck on an island in a big house and one by one they disappear, yes, it's been done in many variations before. But the clever execution of the story, red herrings, and the underrated Deborah Foreman's delightful portrayal of Muffy/Buffy all make for a really fun viewing experience. Foreman has just the right amount of sweetness and can go right into being just plain quirky with such ease. The touch of having dolls on the dinner table, sort of like name tags, will bring a giggle and a smile for sure!

One plus for this film is the fact that it didn't sink into the tiring T & A route. Sure, a few of the characters have sex on the brain but their actions and dialogue never really wander off into the gratuitous area. Guys, if you really want lots of breasts than just go ahead and get some porn or a Playboy video, okay? Let the rest of us enjoy a good story once in a while!

After the body count rises and things escalate into a tense and frenzied chase through the house, you'll be surprised at what happens next. April Fool's Day is one of the few films of this kind that actually had a very surprising reveal and I was even caught off guard, left with my jaw agape at what the whole deal was about. The BIG surprise just happens so...abruptly, that you feel just like the character that runs into the room -- just stuck for a second! After about 90 minutes of mystery, the payoff BETTER be good, and sure enough, this one doesn't disappoint! I'm especially thrilled to have picked up the eerie soundtrack by Charles Bernstein on vinyl when it first came out, and to this day love to give it a spin on the turntable.

Paramount has a vast library of films that just NEED to be given great treatment on DVD, and I'm crossing my fingers that films like April Fool's Day, Let's Scare Jessica To Death, and Polanski's film The Tenant will be given their glory. >
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Fun, Different Horror Film
BaronBl00d14 May 2006
Definitely not the typical slasher fare you might expect from the 1980s, April Fool's Day takes the ordinary slasher formula and spices it up - and in the process makes a much more palatable film than most of the films it initially imitates. A group of nubile teens(OK, not so different to begin with)go to their friend's remote island home somewhere in the Northwest. Here, they laugh, have sex, joke around because it is April Fool's Day, and, oh by the way did I mention, have sex. Although this part of the movie is pretty typical, it is well-shot compared to other films of its ilk and we do get some character development(not a lot) but some. Soon, people begin to die and things get serious. For a slasher film, this movie is very well-paced and, more importantly, is not over-the-top in blood and guts. The acting is uniformly average(something a Friday the 13th films craves!). What really takes this film beyond the mundane; however, is the stylish twist at the film's end. This, almost all by itself, allows this film to rise in the ranks. The ending is deftly done and does not look foolish or silly or forced; all of these things could have easily happened. So if you are up for some slasher fun, want to see some nice looking girls(Deborah Foreman and Deborah Goodrich), and are intrigued by a creative ending - April Fool's Day is for you!
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The underdog of 80s slasher films
Casey-5224 August 2000
APRIL FOOL'S DAY has just recently gotten a sort of cult status among horror film fans. Casual horror viewers or those who are diehard gore hounds haven't been kind to this film, but it is quite possibly the most intelligent, best-acted, and coolest of all the 80s slasher films.

A group of college friends venture to the island home of one of their classmates for the weekend and wind up being killed by an unknown assailant, believed to be the victim of a cruel practical joke played by one of the students. Amy Steel (my fave from FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2) is Kit, the "last girl", and Ken Olandt is her boyfriend Rob. They are both very good and are believable, likable characters that the audience can root for. Other notable performances include Griffin O'Neal (son of Ryan), Thomas F. Wilson (Biff from BACK TO THE FUTURE), Deborah Foreman, who is very good in dual roles, Leah Pinsent (the classic good girl), Deborah Goodrich (too cool as the slut), and Clayton Rohner (the typical horny guy). I can't think of a bad thing to say about this movie except that some viewers will feel cheated by the two surprise endings, like I did at first. But appreciate the fact that they are totally unexpected and work better than any other ending thought up for the film.

APRIL FOOL'S DAY is strongly recommended to serious horror film fans and even casual viewers. Not very gory, but that's a plus in this case. Notice the similarities to Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians", of which this is sort of a modern updating. A whole lots of fun and the best damn slasher film of the 80s.
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The best minor-holiday horror out there.
Nightman8512 October 2005
One of the more fondly remembered horror entries of the '80's is this unique gem that's much more clever and amusing than the average slasher film.

Young woman invites her beloved college friends to her island home for a weekend of fun, but everything goes wrong. A freak accident occurs, mysterious things appear in the guests rooms, our hostess starts acting strangely, and bodies are starting to pile up!

With its clever combination of Agatha Christie-type mystery, teen horror film conventions, and quirky humor - it's not hard to understand why this film has developed a bit of a fan base. Even viewers who don't like horror films may find themselves enjoying this witty and twisted little venture. Director Walton does well in giving the film an air of mystery and spookiness. All the more adding to the atmosphere is the lovely music score of Charles Bernstein. The film is nicely shot in beautiful British Columbia.

The true highlight of this film though is its above-average cast. While there are really no known actors in the cast, they all deliver great performances and bring their characters to a wonderfully likable light! Deborah Foreman, in probably her best performance, is great as hostess Muffy. Ken Olandt and Amy Steel are great as a couple trying to solve the mystery of it all. Clayton Rohner and Thomas F. Wilson are a joy as two joke-happy friends. Jay Baker, Leah Pinsent, and Deborah Goodrich are equally good in their supporting roles.

As the tagliner says, April Fool's Day is certainly a 'cut' above the rest of its kind. It's a fun watch whether you enjoy the horror genre or not.

*** 1/2 out of ****
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An alright decent mystery 80's horror flick Amy Steel is the best
ivo-cobra816 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This was an alright 80's horror flick and I like it but I do have problems with it. The only reason I watched this film was Amy Steel. I am a big fan of the actress and I love her to death in Friday the 13th Part 2 it is definitely in my top 3 favorite slasher Friday the 13th films series and I love her so damn much as Ginny Field! She was the best heroine in the slasher films in my opinion. Alongside with actress Lar Park-Lincoln from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood I love this 2 actresses to death they are awesome heroine's from the 80's.

Next month after 20th September I am getting all Friday the 13th movies on Blu-ray discs I purchased all 11 films. I do already have Freddy Vs. Jason and I have reviewed that film already. I also have A Nightmare on Elm Street Blu-ray collection which I am a fan of that horror franchise but I don't have any Friday the 13th movies in my collection. I just become a big fan of the franchise and I am so excited to get them. So after 20th September I will start reviewing all Friday the 13th movies all 11 films when I will re watch them again. That is why I just finished watching this movie today for my favorite actress Amy Steel. I love horror flicks from the 80's and my favorite werewolf film is The Howling that a lot of people hate and I just love how the film was directed and I love the filming locations in that movie.

April Fool's Day is American mystery horror film directed by Fred Walton and it is filed with mystery, entertainment, intense and it is creepy film which the same time is terrifying with the humor around. I really miss these kind of films today, that are filed with mystery and humor around, the 80's films really had that. Today horror movies suck and they don't give 100% of them like this movie did.

So the plot evolves around a group of college students on a weekend getaway at the island estate of their wealthy classmate, which is infiltrated by a killer.

First Amy Steel as Kit Graham the main heroine is awesome and she does a very excellent solid job, her acting was awesome. Ken Olandt as Rob, Kit's boyfriend was just alright. Deborah Foreman as Muffy/Buffy St. John the twisted psychopath was a decent slasher assailant I liked her.

These 3 cast of actors are the reason why this movie is so good, the death scenes are terrifying and in the first hour it goes very, very slow. It could have been faster the ending is great and it ends with a twist plot and a humor, but the same time to me, it come for as realistic. I know the death scenes were FX special effects they were shown in the movie. We see also a snake in the movie and it is a fake snake it is not real.

The film was written by Danilo Bach who also wrote the story for Beverly Hills Cop alongside with Daniel Petrie Jr. who also wrote the screenplay for my favorite Eddie Murphy film, that is why this movie is so good.

So the problems with the film I do have are: death scenes are not gory enough, we never see the assailant ever in the film I wish they would have showed that. I wish the death scenes would be more gory and scary that's all the issues I have. By the end it is alright horror film it has a happy ending and i like that in the horror movies.

Amy Steel is a brilliant addition to the cast, a great heroine I love her to death in "Friday The 13th part 2" and I also love her in this, it's such a shame that she never became a big star, but she will always be remembered as a terrific actress in my heart. She was always my favorite lead heroine of all of the Jason movies, and yet again she plays the female lead in this which I was very happy with and again she was great. I wish I could meet Amy Steel and I wish she would have signed me Friday the 13th Part 2 poster I would really love to see that. But since I am not from US I can't meet her or get the poster signed from her to bed. She will always be in my heart.

April Fool's Day is a 1986 American mystery horror film directed by Fred Walton and starring Deborah Foreman, Amy Steel, and Ken Olandt. The original music score was composed by Charles Bernstein.

The film get's 9/10 I really love Amy Steel in this and I like the film it is fast paced entertaining film and goes fast around.
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A little something tasteful in an array of sour horror movies
tyhemp-2-222 January 2000
Warning: Spoilers
April Fool's Day is really something special to me as a horror fan. In fact, most people I know have never even seen it or heard of it. But I have. And I love it.

The casting is superb, delightful, and entertaining. The plot is mysterious, the acting is average, and jokes, accusations, and decapitations (real or not?) galore in this one-hour and twenty minute uninspired horror movie. There is even a scene in the end that unravels everything that you believed the movie to be in the first place. Amy Steel (from Friday The 13th 2) stars in this homage to crafty horror films, alongside the charming, sexy Deborah Foreman (Waxwork). It is really good to see at any time, and nothing about it should disappoint you. It is not your average horror movie. It's really more funnier than scary.

April Fool's Day provided horror fans something a little more tasteful than was expected back in mid-80's. It's nice to have a mystery every now and then, and this movie will have you wondering what's up the sleeves of each character. True, it's not The Green Mile or The Shawshank Redemption, but it is truly underrated as a horror film.

It's great. Nine stars.
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almost great
Zod-217 October 2003
This is one of those "almost" movies. April Fool's Day has a very likable cast, a good plot and wonderful setting what is doesn't have is a lot of suspense and scares.

It looks like a lot of time was put into this film to make it a classy horror picture. Perhaps that's the reason that none of the kills are very interesting, while there is some gore the death scenes themselves seem to have been edited out. Perhaps this was due to the print used on the DVD, maybe there's a better version...I don't know.

The ending itself may put off hardcore horror fans but I found it quite amusing and it helped to make the rest of the movie gel together and answers some questions/concerns I had about about the movies story.

Overall April Fool's Day is quite enjoyable. The young cast is a lot of fun to watch and a few notches above other 80's horror fare, the story is original and the local, a secluded beach house is quite nice. However, it could have been much, much creepier! With more suspense and good scares April Fool's Day could have rated higher. April Fool's Day rates a 6 out of 10.
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criminally underrated
iankiddy1 February 2005
One of my favourite movies of all time. Saw it again last night for the umpteenth time last night (but on DVD for the first time)and it's still wonderful. Funny, scary and seriously smart - the "twist" is great and works well even on multiple viewings - there's no cheating here, it works well even when you know it and can see it coming. I love it to bits, and it's tremendous fun. Criminally underrated. The cast is terrific, especially Deborah Foreman, and it's the first thing other than the Back to the Future movies that I've seen Thomas F Wilson in! And he's funny and likable in it too. Gorehounds needn't bother, but if you like a good story and a good mystery you'll have a ball. It's quite possibly the only slasher movie that will appeal to people who hate slasher movies! I adore it.
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April Fool's Day: Meh, 80's slasher
Platypuschow21 March 2019
Released during a period where slashers were peaking, April Fool's Day attempts at being different but fails impressively.

It tells the generic story of a group of friends who go somewhere secluded to party and get picked off one by one by an unseen foe.

Starring Thomas "Biff Tannen" Wilson and Amy "Friday 13th Part 2" Steel it's a really quite lifeless affair where very little really happens, the kills are pretty much non-existent and the finale is certainly an anti-climax.

The cast are decent enough in fact it was great seeing a young Clayton Rohner who certainly stole every scene he was in.

I'd heard this was a bit of a classic, if that's the case then it saddens me to report that I think this was a mindless movie rushed out to cash in on the popularity of the genre at a time such movies saturated the market.

Not dreadful, just benign.

The Good:

Decent cast

The Bad:

Underwhelming throughout
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You just wasted 88 minutes of your life you'll never get back. Ha ha! April Fools!
happyendingrocks22 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This uniformly awful 80's slasher flick has garnered an inexplicably large cult following, so I revisit it every few years to see if I somehow missed the point the last few times I watched it. After this latest viewing, I'm pretty convinced that's not the case, and that this movie is exactly as bad as I've always suspected.

The main draw of the film seems to be the gimmick that ties the whole thing together, but labeling this the absolute dumbest and least plausible twist ending in the history of horror seems like a woefully ineffectual understatement. I'm all for throwing something unexpected at the audience, but it has to work to be effective. The ending of April Fool's Day is not only faulty, it's pretty much insulting. Don't be surprised if you're actually angry when you see how this whole thing plays out, and good luck trying to make sense of the second "gotcha" ending that is tacked on after that.

Stripped of the ludicrous twist, what we have here is a well-below-average dead teenager flick with a cast dominated by thoroughly unlikable characters. Since there's not even any scares of suspense to speak of (you can easily spot the "killer" on the DVD case, and during the movie they pretty much wear a sign on their head that says, "Yep, it's me"), the film becomes a tedious mess that leaves you hanging on only to see how the scenario is wrapped up. Unfortunately, as I've already stated, the ending does nothing to justify this film's very existence.

Surely devotees to this genre have gotten used to accepting nonsense, but in addition to the ending, several plot elements here are so muddled and pointless that dozens of scenes seem to be in place only to pad the run time (I dare you to figure out how two of the disposable chuckleheads in our bunch pull off the knife to the stomach gag on the dock at the beginning of the film). In addition, though the movie starts out on April 1st, the majority of the action here unfolds the day after, which leaves our characters more accurately celebrating April Fool's Weekend. Thus, the big reveal comes about a day late by my estimation.

The film-makers certainly had some money to work with, so the production values are higher than we're used to in slasher offerings. Likewise, they cast some decent actors in a few parts, so the dramatic end of things is handled adeptly. The only thing they didn't spend money on is a script that makes any sense.

Of course, one of the big selling points in this genre is the splatter element. But in April Fool's Day, the series of rote and largely bloodless murders rather negates that aspect. The red sauce is so notably absent, in fact, that a misguided sex scene played purely for laughs seems to have been added for the sole purpose of garnering this film an R rating. Nothing else in this movie even skirts the boundaries of a PG-13. I'm not saying you need a huge body count or scores of spurting jugulars to make a decent horror film, but you need SOMETHING. This film certainly won't appeal to anyone who likes well-crafted stories or ably-executed scares, so the fact that the film-makers also made this film utterly unappealing for fans of the bloodier side of things is a perplexing approach that further makes me question exactly why this film ever got made and released.

The only real piece of interest to be found here is the appearance of both Summer School's Ken Olandt and Amy Steel, who played our plucky heroine in Friday The 13th Part 2. Fans of 80's B-movies will likely enjoy seeing both of these faces pop up here, and they do a fine job of carrying the weaker actors in the ensemble. It's just a shame they wandered into such a wretched movie.

I mean no disrespect to the scores of people who have fondness in their hearts for April Fool's Day, as I have plenty of cruddy films I hold in high esteem. But this is my review, and as far as I'm concerned, calling this movie "crap" is insulting to feces.
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One of the best of the 80s teen/slasher films
bensonmum26 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
  • The basic plot of April Fool's Day is similar to many of the teen horror/slasher movies of the 1980s. For the most part, the story of the first three quarters of the movie isn't really anything special. A group of eight friends travel to the island estate of Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman) to spend the weekend. Soon, the inevitable happens - people start disappearing and bodies start piling up. Of course, there's no way off the island, the phone isn't working, and Muffy is acting very weird. But, just when you think you've got things figured out, the big ending comes out of nowhere.

  • About the ending (and I'm not going to give it away) - from what I've read, it seems to be a love it or hate it proposition. There's not much middle ground. You will either feel cheated and want to throw your remote at the television or you will love it and appreciate it as something different. Put me in the love it category. I think it is a nice change of pace from the normal horror movie from the period. There are a few (very few) clues as to what's coming up, but it takes a repeat viewing to pick them up.

  • Most of the 80s teen horror movies have interchangeable characters - there is a nerd, a jock, a slut, a good girl, etc. And even though the characters in April Fool's Day can be put in these categories, they are not as exaggerated as you find in most similar movies. The writers should be given credit for at least attempting to write somewhat "real" characters. By no means do we get in depth characterizations, but these characters are more like people I actually knew in the 80s.

  • As usual, I do have a couple problems with the movie. The biggest complaint I have is the idea that the whole scheme could be pulled off without anyone knowing or discovering what was going on. That notion requires an extra large leap in any sort of known logic. And, I have a problem making a jump that large.

  • By the way, what ever happened to Deborah Foreman? After the 80s, she seems to have dropped off the planet.
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Not scary kills due to twist
SnoopyStyle31 March 2014
Muffy St. John (Deborah Forman) invites a group of college friends to her mansion on the island for the weekend. The ferry won't be returning until after the weekend. People are playing April Fool gags. However an accident with one of the Ferry's crew sets a bad tone. And then old stories haunt the guest as they get picked off one by one.

It's a slasher movie on an island without a way to escape with a bunch of young people. It's also trying to copy the scary-date slasher movie concept like Halloween and Friday the 13th. They even got Amy Steel who survived Friday the 13th Part 2. The use of April Fool's as a jumping off point allows for that everything-is-a-joke idea. However it quickly becomes lame joke-arama. The violence is tame by comparison to others of its era, and is mostly restricted by the story's gimmick. In the end, the movie could never be truly violent or scary because of the gimmick.

It has the feel of 'The Big Chill' but the writing isn't good enough. There are a couple of recognizable faces in the group. However none of them are outstanding in this slow moving story. This just doesn't have enough scary moments. It's a barely functional 80s horror. The ending provides the only interesting aspect to this movie.
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April Fools...think about it
eldapeeze6 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I for one was disappointed with the stupid ending. It was good all the way until then. But think about it....It's called April Fools, you think people are really being killed. Of course not. It was a gag to see if Buffy's idea would work. No one really gets killed. I don't recommend this to many who are true horror fans. The ending could've been better. I know I'm not alone. No real gore, no real sex scenes, lots of swearing, little violence. I guess I can give it a little credit since it is a b-movie and it was made in the mid eighties. So for those who are thinking of seeing it (you shouldn't be reading this if you haven't yet)I would say don't if your a big horror fan, but if you want to see a unique horror movie, this is definitely it.
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Bottom-of-the-barrel bore
shaun9810 January 2003
Warning: Spoilers
**possible spoiler**

I think that "April Fool's Day" is one of the very first slasher films to openly make fun of its own subgenre, beating "Scream" by a full decade. Unfortunately, it is nowhere near as entertaining, although some horror fans would readily contest this statement. I would have liked to give the film a somewhat more positive review than this, but the fact of that matter is that it bored me. I didn't expect a whole lot, just an amusing hour and a half. What I got was--in my opinion--nearly devoid of thrills or surprises. It just felt dead in the water. The screenwriter, Danilo Bach, penned "Beverly Hills Cop," so you'd expect something much wittier than this--what's the deal here? It doesn't help that Fred Walton's direction is flat and completely uninspired, in TV-movie style (indeed, much of his career was spent on television projects, which one hopes fared better than this). Then again, he had little to work with. Whoever deserves the blame for this, the film is badly paced, wandering aimlessly in search of something with entertainment value. The only good part was the famed twist ending, which I will not reveal here. As I see it, this is the only part of the movie that really has any life in it (apart from a somewhat amusing videotaped sequence early on).

The cast does what they can under the circumstances. Amy Steel makes a likable heroine who isn't let in on the big secret till the very end. As in "Friday the 13th, Part 2," she is a genuinely believable character--a girl in a slasher movie who isn't a dumb bimbo. That's not to say there isn't one in this movie--Deborah Goodrich plays the slut who doesn't even have the good sense to display more skin, a clear violation of the subgenre's rules. Ken Olandt is adequate as Steel's boyfriend. Deborah Foreman is pretty good actually--she helps the film mislead the viewer, making us jump to obvious conclusions. Thomas F. Wilson (best known as Biff in the "Back to the Future" series) has fun as a hormone-driven young man, though Jay Baker is annoying as the obligory jerk.

I feel a little bad treating the movie in such a negative manner, but I'd feel even worse if I lied and said I enjoyed myself. Certainly it would be unreasonable to expect high art, but couldn't it be as least as fun as "Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives?" That film, released later that year by the same studio, rarely deviated from formula, but it always kept my attention and was never boring. Its creators had some fun with slasher conventions while also delivering some real thrills (I jumped at least once), overall being an entertaining junk movie. Some people may have felt the same way about "April Fool's Day," but I just didn't get anything out of it. The lack of gore or explicit nudity doesn't bother me that much, but the dull script did. Where is Wes Craven when you need him? The guy could have at least given it a little zest.

* (out of ****)

Released by Paramount Pictures
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Now just who is the fool.
lost-in-limbo14 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Student Muffy St. John whose family is incredibly wealthy decides to invite her college pals up to her parents' remote island home for a couple days getaway. The first day on the island is April fool's day, which means everyone is trying to outdo each other with pranks, but before they get to their destination one of there gags goes wrong when a person is rushed to hospital. When her friends reach her house they found items stashed away in their rooms and Muffy's behaviour has some friends worried. But what catches everyone's attention is that guest list is getting smaller and the pranks are no longer funny anymore with someone within the group making sure that no one leaves this getaway.

You might think this is just another run-of-the-mill slasher that falls on a very notable day, but that's not entirely the case on this occasion. Well, yeah this holiday slasher sticks to the usual formula and clichés of teenagers being knocked off one by one by an unseen killer, but what sets it apart from it's sub-genre are some neat twists, a pinch of suspense, VERY likable and real characters and mostly, the unforgettable, original conclusion that totally throws you off track. The unusual plot plays out more like a compelling murder mystery with it being very similar in the vein of Agatha Christie's "10 Little Indians". Although, this one is quite light-hearted with a lot fun being thrown about with the constant "I got you" gags and a variety of ripe characters (stereotypical of course) who are believable in their actions, hold a perfect rapport with each other and provide enough effective humour. Sure they aren't fleshed out, but at least they aren't painful to watch and I never got tired of their shenanigans! Screenwriter Danilo Bach obviously brought over the bubbling energy from his earlier, witty script in 'Beverly Hills Cop' to this spirited project and the results here definitely show in the final product. While, the film might be kicking with such verve, some people might be disappointed (that's heavily) with the absence of flowing nudity (though, we are teased) and gracious gore. It's tame in that aspect with most of it happening off screen and we see only the aftermath of these murders with a little bit of blood chucked in. But you'll find out there's a reason why you don't see the murders. Since, there ain't no gore in sight they had to build up the intrigue by squeezing out some blinding suspense and jump scares to keep you amused. The first half-hour is filled with usual get to know you scenes as everyone gets acquainted with their surrounding and each other, while kidding around. Then it makes for stalk n slash phase where the setting of the isolated island comes to the foreground as now the impending doom fills every pocket of the screen. Maybe the atmosphere isn't that thick, but the essential sound effects are efficiently creaked out to add to the growing anxiety and the neurotic score chimes in with some spiralling, odd sounds that give out eerie and on edge vibe.

Director Fred Walton manages to keep it all under wrap with some exhilarating suspense and sudden surprises, so that when we come up to the film's conclusion it does ruffle some feathers. Because the film is pretty short it does seem to fly by quick enough without much tedious spots that are usually associated with the sub-genre. Now the film's revelation is definitely ambitious risk because it's a make or break, and in my opinion I thought the pay off was rather nifty. Although, the tact on second ending, I thought it could've done without. The performances by the entire cast are more than adequate from the likes of Deborah Foreman, Amy Steel, Tom Heaton, Thomas F. Wilson, Deborah Goodrich, Ken Oldandt Jay Baker and Griffin O'Neal.

This offbeat slasher that follows the conventional patterns, definitely has more merit and style behind it's novelty to simply entertain.
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A trite experience
Maciste_Brother13 May 2003
I saw APRIL FOOL'S DAY when it was released during the slasher craze of the 1980s and I was disappointed by this almost pointless cinematic experience. It's not funny enough to be considered a comedy. It's not gory or horrifying enough to be considered a horror movie (those who saw the movie know what I mean). The characters are flat and boring and a film like this needed fun, real characters in order for the whole surprise ending thingy to have been perceived as being worthwhile. Instead, the characters are just stock characters seen in every whodunit or slasher flick. Only Amy Steel, from FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2, is worth mentioning.

When the surprise ending happens (being familiar with horror films and I can figure out what will happen according to what they show and don't show, the surprise ending wasn't really surprising to me), I felt like I wasted my time on this gimmicky flick.

A letdown. APRIL FOOL'S DAY indeed.
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Absolute Trash.
jjparish8 April 2019
The only good thing about this was the premise. A bunch of college kids gather on a remote island and one by one they disappear. However its execution was truly awful. The april fools jokes were lamer than a man with 2 broken legs. Its a slasher film without any halfway decent slashings. The actors were ugly and wooden. The effects were amateur. The plot twist was easily spotted by me. And its really daft. All in all this is the worst slasher film ive ever seen. And its only because of the Olsens Twins movies that this film is not the worst film of any sort that i have ever seen. AVOID AVOID AVOID!
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The Slasher That Killed the Slasher Genre
gavin694229 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman), a preppy college student at Vassar, invites her friends over to her exclusive island resort in early April. What sounds like a fun weekend quickly turns sour when the friends begin to die in rather horrifying ways. Is it Muffy, one of the group, or is it someone else?

While considered one of the more notable slasher flicks of the 1980s, "April Fools Day" just does not work for me on the same level that other slashers -- "Friday the 13th", "Hell Night" and "My Bloody Valentine", for example -- were able to. And I can sum up pretty much the key reason why: the end of the film. Not only is it a complete cop-out and a slap in the face to horror fans, but it is completely implausible.

If you watch the film knowing the end, you will quickly see that the logistics are not very likely. According to HorrorHound magazine, this film has been called the slasher that killed the slasher film, and that is about right. If we place the slasher genre from roughly 1976-1986, this one brought up the rear. Only one good slasher after this comes to mind: "Intruder".

The very last scene is the only really creepy part of the film, despite some attempts with decapitated heads, and even that gets the cop-out treatment. If this film had not been so readily available to kids scouring video store shelves in the early 1990s for horror tapes to watch, it would have faded away. Of course, the same can be said for the "Leprechaun" series.

Now, I can say that the people involved are respectable: director Fred Walton also did "When A Stranger Calls", writer Danilo Bach wrote "Beverly Hills Cop", and actress Amy Steel was the star of "Friday the 13th Part II". Not to mention Thomas F. Wilson, who went on to star in "Back to the Future" and "Freaks and Geeks". So, yes, they have all had better projects. How much of that was brought out here... not sure. (It is mostly the story that fails... the directing and acting are fine, and there is some decent gore. And from all reports, it is at least better than the remake.)

If you are looking to complete your collection of 1980s slasher films, you will need this one. And it is somewhat decent, to be fair. But my suggestion would be to hold off until a proper DVD release. To the best of my knowledge, only bare bones releases have come out so far, and this one might be superior if it came with the legendary alternate or extended endings (though as of October 2013, director Walton informs me that the footage probably no longer exists).
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Utter trash.
scottrob3610 March 2019
This made some of the Friday the 13th sequels look like cinema gold. Lost for words to explain how bad Aprils Fool's Day is.
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Anybody who hates this movie takes things far too serious
donttouchmeprimate26 January 2019
It's 1986 and the slasher, horror genre is all the rave. So how do you stand out? You make April Fools Day.

I would recommend anyone going into this to understand that it is an 80s slasher flick so just enjoy it for what it is.
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Some guys say,"So, you wanna hear a joke?".
jon5000_6630 August 2003
Some guys like to tell jokes; I don't fault those guys - it's a way to establish contact, I guess. Here's a punchline for you: it's about a bird sent by a visitor to an exotic place to his mother. She ate the bird, and the fella comes back, and says "How could you have eaten that bird! It spoke seven languages!" His mother says, "Then he shoulda said something." I think that's the funniest joke I ever heard, but when I tell it it's not funny.

I was taught not to end a story with "...and then I waked up".

"April Fool's Day" is garbage.
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Mike-84223 June 2000
Stupid, boring film finds a group of stupid, annoying teenagers journying to an island. It seems they were invited there by Muffy St. John (a very annoying character). Every character is annoying, ridiculus, and stupid. The movie's boring until the ending (the only good thing about the film). Amy Steel basically repeats her Friday The 13th Part 2 routine and Claythong Rohner is even worse here than he was in Sometimes They Come Back For More. An extremely dull film, unwisely given a wide theatrical release by Paramount. Alternately dull or annoying.


Rated AA (In Ontario) for frightening scenes and coarse language
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Not for me
cheekymonkey_gemmy30 May 2015
I watched this film after reading great reviews on here. I am a fan of horror, but i prefer modern horror which is probably a reason i disliked this film. I found it boring and not in the least bit scary. I also got confused which character was who, making it difficult for me to follow the storyline. I skipped some parts since nothing seemed to be happening. i have to admit i already saw the ending on a review here so wasn't surprised, but i would have been otherwise. It seemed an OK ending i guess, but nothing that totally wow-ed me and i don't think it was very realistic for me. Overall i disliked the movie, which was disappointing, but probably since i am use to watching modern horrors (like insidious) so this failed to grab my attention.
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Don't Be Fooled.
AaronCapenBanner13 September 2013
Eight college friends gather on an isolated island mansion of an heiress schoolmate where a series of murders seems to break out related to hidden secrets being revealed by all of them. Is there really a killer on the loose, or is it just an elaborate practical joke? Aptly titled film seems to be made by people who have contempt for their audience, since this film(devoid of suspense or thrills) pulls the rug out from everyone, which may be seen as clever by some, put really renders the entire film pointless; though it is nicely filmed on location, viewer is unlikely going to appreciate being taken for a ride...
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