April 1st, 2013: April Fool’s Day (1986)

Cast and Crew:  Fred Walton (Director); Danilo Bach (Writer); Frank Mancuso Jr. (Producer); Charles Bernstein (Score); Ken Olandt, Clayton Rohner, Amy Steel, Thomas F. Wilson

What It’s About: Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman) invites a group of her friends to her family’s island mansion for her birthday. which just happens to fall on April 1st.  The weekend gets to a bad start with pranks gone awry on the ferry to the island.  Things get worse when guests begin to disappear.  Is one of the members of the party a murderer?

Why Watch it Today?: April Fool’s Day is quite possibly the last good entry in the wave of holiday themed slasher films that began with 1978’s Halloween, thanks a game cast, some nice moments of horror, and a story and tone perfectly in keeping with the holiday.

Other Choices:  In 2011 we recommended Detour.

2 comments on “April 1st, 2013: April Fool’s Day (1986)

  1. theelderj says:

    Professor, yet another film I would have known nothing about otherwise.

    Although, to be honest, doesn’t ‘April Fool’s Day’ sound more like a mediocre romantic comedy?

    • professormortis says:

      It’s definitely worth a look if you’re curious but knowing your time constraints, I’m sure you could use your limited film viewing time better. The Baroness and I actually watched it last night and she quite enjoyed it, though I’m sure the fact that it’s a more mystery and comedy oriented entry in the slasher cycle helped it appeal to her. If nothing else the sheer, horrendous 80s-ness of it all was fascinating, a time when being a yuppie was cool rather than demonized.

      I think this title would go on a romantic comedy on a film released today, when we get terrible ensemble romantic comedies like New Year’s Eve released to theaters, but in 1986? This was after we’d already seen Halloween, Friday the 13th, Christmas Evil, Silent Night Deadly Night, Mother’s Day, Happy Birthday to Me, Bloody Birthday, Graduation Day, My Bloody Valentine, Prom Night, Bloody New Year, New Year’s Evil, Black Christmas and undoubtedly other slasher films with a date, holiday or life event in the title that I’m forgetting released within ten or twelve years. It’s definitely a film that knows the conventions of the genre and plays with them a bit.

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