The ‘80s was the golden age of the slasher film with most of horror’s biggest baddies being spawned out of the decade. It seemed like everyone had a slasher story and all but a select few were exactly the same. With so many movies that were practically duplicates of each other, it was hard to stand out as a slasher film in the ‘80s. April Fool’s Day not only does that but manages to stand the test of time as a movie that I look forward to watching around this time every year.
At first, April Fool’s Day seems like every other slasher film of the era. A group of college kids gets invited to their rich friend’s country house on an island for a weekend of fun and sun. On the way to the island, an unfortunate accident happens which endangers the life of one of the boat’s crewmen. This is, of course, foreshadowing for the rest of film.
Things start out wonderfully at first as everyone is enjoying the massive house and all of the sights and activities that the island has to offer. A problem arises when a few of the guests receive messages from their past, and even worse some of them are going missing. It all culminates in an ending that no one sees coming and one that makes April Fool’s Day a one of a kind movie.
If you are a lover of ‘80s movies, you will probably recognize a few faces in this movie. Actress Amy Steel who plays Kit in the movie is probably best known as Ginny in Friday the 13th: Part 2. The main character Muffy St. Claire is played by Deborah Foreman who was in the equally underrated horror film Waxwork. Probably the most recognizable face in the film is the character Arch who is played by Thomas F. Wilson, made famous by his role as Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future movies.
I am not saying that April Fool’s Day is a perfect movie by any means. It is filled with bad acting and stereotypical ‘80s horror plot points, but that is part of its charm. You are not watching this film to be transported to another dimension. You are watching it to laugh at its funny and unfunny scenes alike. In the end, they combine to make a movie which is highly entertaining to watch. I think one of the best parts about this movie is that it is “scary” without being gory, which appeals to a wider audience. If it weren’t for a few select scenes, this movie would be billed as a PG-13 mystery instead of the R-Rated horror that it is.
I look forward to watching April Fool’s Day on the holiday itself and even sometimes randomly during the year. Even though I know how it ends, it is still a joy to watch every time and good for just as many laughs as scares. If you don’t own April Fool’s Day yet I promise you, you should; the re-watch value of this movie is through the roof.