April Fool’s Day is a classic horror film from the Golden Age of Slashers. Released in 1986, April Fool’s Day follows the routine formula that was popularized by Friday the 13th and duplicated hundreds of times throughout the decade: teens congregate, teens party, teens start getting killed, remaining teens try to escape and/or solve the murder before they’re next. And for most of them, they’re next.
In April Fool’s Day we meet Muffy, a popular high school senior who’s throwing a spring break party at her parents’ home located on an island. Her party loving friends arrive on the island by ferry on Friday, and are stuck there until the ferry returns for them Monday morning. When one of the teens goes missing and his body is spotted floating in the water, the rest of the partiers think a terrible accident must’ve occurred; shortly thereafter when they discover his severed head in a sack, they correctly deduce that his death was not an accident. Now it’s up to the teens to do their best to survive their weekend on the island. Some teens are luckier than others. Who survives is a surprise, and Muffy will ultimately deliver the biggest surprise of all.
April Fool’s Day builds to a plot twist that few people see coming and concludes with a final “gotcha” not unlike the final scene from the original Friday the 13th. This film will keep you on your toes. It’s a good slasher flick that I always liked, and I enjoyed going back and watching it again this week. It had been so long that I had forgotten many of the movie’s details, and I enjoyed it all over again. As a slasher film it follows the rules of the genre, and still manages to add something relatively new to it. (It’s not a completely new idea; the film borrows plot ideas from films like Murder by Death and And Then There Were None.) Still, it’s well done and has slightly more depth than many similar films.