The Life of the Party: “April Fools Day” (1986) Review

In the 1980’s, if there was a holiday, there was a horror movie. Christmas got “Silent Night, Deadly Night” and “Black Christmas”, prom got “Prom Night”, birthdays got “Happy Birthday to Me”, Graduation Day got…umm…”Graduation Day”, New Years Eve got “New Years Evil”, and Halloween got…umm….”Halloween”. Okay, so creativity was never a strong suit of the slasher genre… Today we will be looking at one of my all time favorite holiday horror movies the very underrated “April Fools Day”. Seriously, this movie has everything! Amy Steel from “Friday the 13th: Part 2”? Check! Deborah Foreman from the criminally underrated “Waxwork”. Check! The overgrown bully Biff from “Back to the Future”? Check! A surprise twist ending? Double check! C’mon, look at the above poster and tell me that you don’t instantly fall in love…

The plot is quite simple. A group of eight college friends (each more annoying than the next) gather together at an island mansion belonging to heiress Muffy St. John to celebrate their final year of school. They soon discover that each has a hidden secret from their past which is revealed, and soon after, they turn up dead. Yet, are they really dead? Or is it just part of some very real and cruel April Fool’s jokes? The hostess, Muffy, is the only one who apparently knows what’s going on. But then again, is it really her doing the killing?

All in all, “April Fool’s Day is a fun little slasher that doesn’t take itself too seriously. With the wonderful Amy Steel as our lead final girl, you know that you are going to be in for a treat. I can’t say that everything about this movie is perfect. With the expectation of Steel and Foreman, Foreman playing the crazy Muffy/Buffy twin duo, none of the characters are particularly memorable and a few are down right annoying. Also, much of this movie’s enjoyable for you will be whether or not you are able to “buy” the final twist. While this requires a few HUGE leaps of logic, I really didn’t have a problem with it. Maybe this is just one of those movies where you just can’t think too hard? Anyway, any movie with Amy Steel in it is a winner and how many horror movies from the 80’s do you get to see in beautiful widescreen and not letterboxed formatting? Do yourself a favor and take a break this April Fools from tricking your friends and treat them with this fine 80’s slasher.

2 thoughts on “The Life of the Party: “April Fools Day” (1986) Review

  1. I’ve owned the original since I was a kid, and have always enjoyed watching it. I have yet to see, nor do I really want to see this supposid alternet ending. Also, avoid the remake like the plague.

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