April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day ★★★

Well, I missed the holiday by a few days but figured it was a good excuse to finally check off this 80's "slasher" (slasher in quotes because, well...if you're one of the few who haven't had the twist spoiled for you, I'm not gonna be the one to spoil it). This is one of those films that's so unique—an Agatha Christie 'whodunnit' dressed up as a late 80's "Friday the 13th" sequel—that you have to wonder who the producers thought the audience for it would be. By 1986, most horror fans would be expecting a movie like "April Fool's Day" to boast some gore, which—by the nature of its conceit—this does not really have.

And yet there's enough f-bombs and mild nudity here to ensure it couldn't receive a PG-13, meaning it excluded a younger audience that might appreciate a horror-comedy aimed at them. (The trailer for the film feels fairly confused too, mostly marketing the film as straight horror but also playing..."Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" by Three Dog Night!)

To be honest, I don't mind the twist—it's the motivation behind it that ends up feeling quite lame. Regardless, it's a shame director Fred Walton was more or less relegated to TV Movie status after this, as "April Fool's Day" actually looks much more cinematic than the vast majority of the "Friday the 13th" sequels that accumulated in the late 80's. I know this already got a remake in 2008, back when Hollywood was remaking any and every 80's horror flick, but it does feel like this concept still has the makings for a slick Neon Films-style do-over in the "Ready or Not" vein.

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