April Fools Day (1986)


I’ve always thought practical jokes were quite cruel, a socially acceptable bullying tactic used among friends to humiliate and exert power, that leaves the target feeling small and stupid, all for the sake of humour. They’re far more psychological and indeed confrontational than other types of wit, usually designed to scare and cut to the core of what frightens us most, and leaving us embarrassed and even ashamed, long after someone has cried ‘It’s only a joke!’ or ‘April Fools Day’. Just because the laughter has died down and everyone else has forgotten your gullible mistake, doesn’t mean that you have, or ever will. Sometimes someone’s idea of humour is so demoralising and reputation destroying that they can actually ruin a person’s confidence to the point where it affects every aspect of their life.

I mean that’s a joke that keeps on giving!
Funny huh?

As you can imagine I am not the biggest fan of April Fool’s Day. I find it childish and most people forget about it even happening until another original girl on FaceSpace claims to be pregnant, or the media does a ‘clever’ headline sure to draw in the punters with a nod and a wink. ‘Rupert Murdoch dead! Murdered by Disgruntled ex Private Detectives!’
Hmmmmn… If only.

Muffy St John (yep, that is a name apparently) has invited a group of friends to stay with her for April Fool’s weekend on a private island she’s just been given as part of her inheritance. Of course, it isn’t going to be all college types drinking and having regrettable sexual encounters with each other. Nope, there’s going to be blood and a lot of scared faces that despite all of the make up are fooling no one playing below 25.

April Fool’s Day isn’t your average eighties slasher, though it does an excellent job at the pretence. It’s darkly funny, full of red herrings, with a fresh and likable approach to the genre. Criminally underrated, it holds up extremely well against the ravages of time, especially when compared with the more popular, but in my opinion, incredibly overrated Friday the 13th series, which it surpasses in every way with little more than a cursory second glance.

It has always been one of my all time favourites, despite its wooden acting and silly story line, it has an endearing quality that completely hooks you in, and only gets stronger with multiple viewings. Definitely one for any real horror fan’s film library.

Oh and look out for Biff from Back to the Future as Arch, worryingly typecast as another douchebag.

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This entry was posted in 80's horror, critique, Eighties Horror, film and media, horror, pop culture, Pranks, Slasher, Twist ending, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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