Written by Danilo Bach
Directed by Fred Walton
Starring: Deborah Foreman, Griffin O’Neal, and Clayton Rohner
A group of eight college friends 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?
What can I say? I’m on an 80’s roll. My wife, who NEVER wants to watch anything but comedies with me, has really been into these kind of movies lately, so I am assuredly taking full advantage of this.
April Fools Day was a beloved film of my very, very, very sexually* active teenage years. I remember viewings of this flick as far back as it’s release date. Not quite a murderous horror movie, but more of a very evil faux whodunnit flick.
Muffy or her mousy evil sister, Buffy?
A bunch of privileged friends from college get together at the soon to be inherited home of Miss Muffy St. John, for a meaningful party amongst parties. The start of the party isn’t exactly awesome. A practical joke on the ferry leads to what the group thinks is a terrible prank gone wrong. It’s on that note that the gang begins to worry about potential revenge from the injured dock worker.
Huge spoiler alert, no one actually dies in this movie. It’s all a prank from Muffy to prove to her father she can make her soon to be new home financially self-supporting. Except she isn’t going to pull this deeply twisted plot, but use a much more pasteurized version of a murder mystery. I think the public would approve. No one wants to fall down a well filled with the chopped off heads of their friends. Well, not for the most part.
Each friend finds something curious in their rooms. Some find old paper clippings of accidents, some find an ominous tape recording of a crying baby, some find weird sexual devices. Uh, I think I would prefer the newspaper clippings in this scenario. The morning after everyone arrives, Muffy seems different the next day. Gone are her confident strides, in their place we get a nervous mousiness. Not many people notice.
“Why don’t you make like a tree and …get decapitated, McFly.”
As the party continues, the sexually charged house guests begin to vanish one or two at a time. The mystery thickens. Man, for a mildly entertaining movie, writing a review for it is really boring. Most of the people “die” as Muffy’s plan runs its course. Two guests find themselves making some terrible discoveries. Mainly, that Muffy has been killed by her institutionalized twin sister, Buffy. Burn. Didn’t see that coming did you?
“Buffy” baits the trap and the last two survivors race to find a way to survive. With knife in hand, Buffy stalks her last victim. Posed to strike, Buffy raises the knife, and her victims escapes into a room. A room filled with missing friends. The joke is revealed and mostly everyone has a good life. Buffy announces her plans to turn the house into a bed and breakfast featuring a genuine murder mystery. It’s really a clever movie, I have to admire the depths of prankery involved since I love a good scare. April Fools Day may not be a traditional 80’s horror flick, but it does deliver some cool scares. It’s worth the view instantly on Netflix. Add it to your queue when you get bored of slasher flicks.
One last scare?
*By sexually active I mean not as active as you might think.