April Fools Day (1986): Movie Review

April Fools Day horror movie poster
by Chris Wright, MoreHorror.com

What better movie to review to start off April than “April Fools Day” (1986)! This movie has garnered a cult following since its inception in 1986 from Paramount Pictures. It’s a sometimes hard to find Canadian horror movie as Paramount hasn’t released it much. It is available on Paramount VHS and single disc DVD in 2003 and a double feature in a later DVD. There are two endings to this film. The second version has never seen the light of day on any of the releases and only prints have been shown online.

The movie follows the tradition more of “Halloween” over “Friday the 13th” as it relies heavily on suspense over suspense/gore. This movie was spawned in the mid 1980s when slashers were dying off and became lackluster. The musical score was composed by Michael Bernstein, whom may know composed “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Thankfully “April Fools Day” is a bright spot in the later end of the 80s slasher boom. Frank Mancuso Jr., who produced the Paramount Friday the 13th’s, is involved in this movie as well. The storyline is very simple. A group of nine college students go to a friend’s remote Island mansion to celebrate their final year in college over spring break week and they are picked off one by one. The movie has mystery, humor, and horror elements combined pretty effectively.

After a night of carousing and drinking in the mansion, they reveal secrets, play pranks on each other, and tell all over this almost near mystery weekend feel movie. The college kids turn up dead one by one over the duration of the movie. The kills are not violent at all and the movie relies more on suspense to keep you hooked. The characters are also likable. What is noticeable in this movie is how the owner Muffy (Deborah Foreman) is behaving as the movie goes on. The movie plays mind games with you. She seemingly changes personalities (from Muffy to being called Buffy) and changes clothes randomly for no apparent reason. All signs are pointing to her killing off her friends but is this really what is going on?

The movie boils down to Kit (played by Friday the 13th part II’s Amy Steel) discovering clues as to what is going on in this house. She finds out that Muffy has a psychotic twin named Buffy. She finds other clues as to what she thinks is the reason and why all these deaths are taken place. I can’t really say the ending as that would spoil the entire movie and give you no reason to even feel compelled to watch. The movie has a fantastic twist that will either make you love it or hate it. I thought it was solid. I recommend this movie and it has a 5.9/10 on IMDB. If you are a type that likes mystery and throwback to slasher movies, this movie is definitely for you.

April Fools Day (1986) Movie Review

April Fools Day (1986)

Directed By: Fred Walton

Written By: Danilo Bach

Starring: Jay Baker (Hal Edison), Pat Barlow (Clara), Deborah Foreman(Muffy/Buffy St John), Deborah Goodrich (Nikki Beshears), Tom Heaton(Uncle Frank), Mike Nomad(Buck), Ken Olandt(Rob Ferris), Griffin O’Neal (Skip St. John), Leah Pinsent (Nan Youngblood), Clayton Rohner (Chaz Vynshinski), Amy Steel(Kit Graham), Thomas F. Wilson(Arch Cummings)

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