April Fool’s Day (1986)

Underrated…overrated…loved…hated…Biff from Back to the Future?

What do all these things have in common? The film that many claim killed the 80’s slasher genre…the original, the classic, 1986’s April Fool’s Day.

Combine a bunch of 80’s actors that you already recognize (Amy Steel – Friday the 13th part 2, Deborah Foreman-Waxwork, Thomas Wilson-Back to the Future, Ken Olandt-Summer School, and so on and so on…) throw them all on a island for a weekend in the midst of the 80’s slasher boom, add the producers of the Friday the 13th franchise and you get this masterpiece of Paramount masterbatory stalk n’ slash. The story goes.…socialite/rich girl Muffy (Foreman) invites a group of her “friends” to spend the weekend at her family’s private island. The gaggle of “teens” have a bunch of stupid pranks pulled on them by the Muffster, have double jointed-like sex and do a whole lot of nothing except get killed off-screen in various silly ways. All the while the uber cutie Foreman gets weirder and weirder, becomes somewhat obsessed over Kit (Steel) trades in her sexy socialite look for mousy Liberian chic. Tension forms between the group, more of them die, Biff (Wilson-proper) gets snake bitten, girls hang out in water wells (and there is not one haunted videotape in sight) and you get a twist ending that comes alive faster than you can say “Happy Birthday to Me” five times.

You are either a fan of this movie or you fucking hate it. I grew up on shit like April Fool’s Day and remember renting the oversized VHS box back in the day, in hopes of seeing some glorious gore and ample T & A. While the film delivers very low on BOTH of those aspects-it’s still enjoyable for anyone old enough to remember renting the large VHS boxed tapes. For a new viewer in 2008 April Fool’s Day will feel like a boring gong show of a horror film. In all honesty, if you haven’t already seen April Fool’s Day, you’ll probably be let down. If you are dying to see some 80’s slash fare and don’t want to settle for the staples of Voorhees or Meyers pick up a copy of The Burning instead…or just give me your money.

All in all, I think that those people who say April Fool’s Day killed the slasher genre… well they just don’t have the same nostalgic feelings that anyone who would have seen this back in ’86 or ’87 would have today and that is totally understandable. Watching it again recently it’s hard to believe I have such fond memories of the movie myself ‘cause I’ll be the first to admit…for the most part…it’s boring, but it’s a part of my childhood and at $6.88 in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart that’s a cheap slice of Charlie Brown history.

Dig it Deborah I’ll be your Real Genius,

Charlie “I fuck on the first date” Brown

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~ by exploitnation on May 7, 2008.

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