April Fool's Day (1986)
Film: April Fool’s Day
Director: Fred Walton
Writer: Banilo Bach
Starring: Deborah Foreman, Griffin O’Neal and Clayton Rohner
This film begins with someone shooting a home movie. The person that is being filmed is Deborah Goodrich. She is telling things about herself and we realize that she is doing it as a joke. She is actually stuck-up and rich. The one filming her is Clayton Rohner. He has the typical 80s style and he is a little bit arrogant as well.
They are with a jock who also is a prankster, played by Thomas F. Wilson. They are going out to a college friend’s island home for the weekend. Also with them is the person they are going to visit’s cousin played by Griffin O’Neal who is similar to Wilson. Also with them is Amy Steel, a friend from college.
Deborah Foreman is the friend with the house. She is actually the wealthiest one out of all of them. She is cleaning up the house, preparing it for her friends to arrive. The only way to and from the island is a ferry. The ferryman is played by Lloyd Berry and he wants to leave soon, but they are waiting on last minute arrivals. There is a Texan played by Jay Baker. He sits next to Foreman in an economics class. There is Lea Pinsent who was in drama club with Foreman. There is also Steel’s boyfriend, played by Ken Olandt.
Working the ferry with Berry is Mike Nomad. As they get going, Wilson and O’Neal play a game with his switchblade. Goodrich strips down into her bikini to get some sun and Baker tries to talk to her.
The calm ends when Wilson gets upset at losing and throws the knife at O’Neal. It finds its home in his stomach. He falls into the water. Some of the guys jump in to save him. It turns out that it was a prank they were playing. Nomad stays in the water to help secure the ferry. The problem is that he doesn’t do it in time and injuries his eye. The constable is on the island and takes Foreman’s boat to get back to the mainland to help him. The constable is played by Tom Heaton.
They have dinner as a group, but it is kind of weird. They have place settings each with Barbie doll, made to look like them. The pranks also start immediately. Wilson’s chair spills him out backwards. Goodrich gets sprayed by a broken faucet. Goodrich finds bondage things in one of her drawers; there is a painting without its eyes and a cat clock behind it with moving eyes perfectly placed. Baker smokes a cigar that explodes on him and finds clippings about accidents near the area. The one who is bothered the most is Pinsent. She is kind of weird to begin with, but when she hears the tape of a baby crying in her room, it upsets her.
O’Neal is outside that whole night, bothered by Nomad getting hurt. He goes down to the docks.
The next day is when things start to get even weirder. Foreman seems to have lost her mind. Olandt and Steel go to make love in the boat house and she sees O’Neal dead on a boat floating underneath them. Together they go to look for him, but can’t see to find where he went.
It is decided that they will split up to look. Wilson gets caught in a trap in the woods and is almost bit by a snake. Someone lets him down though.
The water in the house goes out and Baker with Goodrich decides to go to get some from the well. The bucket falls into the water and she goes down to get it. While down there, she finds the heads of Wilson, O’Neal as well as another body. Baker comes down the ladder and saves her.
They go back to the house and contact Heaton. He tells them that he will be out to help, but they need to sit tight until then. He tells them to stay together and to keep an eye on Foreman.
Who will be picked off next? Who is doing this? Steel learns that Foreman is a twin and that the twin is missing from a mental hospital. Could her twin be doing it or is it someone else?
What I liked best about this film is the twist at the end. It should not come as a big shock, but the first time you see it is good. The acting isn’t bad for a campy 80’s horror film. I have to say that even though she is stuck-up, I found Goodrich to be very attractive. I have seen Steel is another horror film that is similar to this one and she is pretty good. I also thought that Wilson was pretty funny. This film does not do a whole lot and we do not see any of the death scenes, but that is to the advantage of this film I feel. This film did not have a large budget and did well with what it had.
My biggest problem with this film is that is starts out pretty quick, then nothing really happens for a long while. Once it gets started again though, it doesn’t stop until the reveal. I liked the film for being campy, but it also shouldn’t be taken seriously. It has a typical teenagers make dumb decisions.
I would recommend this film you are interested in campy, 80s horror films. There are a lot of pranks that are played on each other as well as by someone in the house. Don’t expect a lot from the acting and the story is decent. There is a pretty good twist that was creative. This one is a really a horror film that pokes fun at horror films, but not the best one that does this. If you like these types of films, it is worth at least a viewing.
My Rating: 6 out of 10