April Fools Day (1986)

   
Directed by: Fred Walton

Written by: Danilo Bach

Starring:


Deborah Foreman .... Muffy/Buffy St. John
Ken Olandt .... Rob Ferris
Amy Steel .... Kit Graham
Jay Baker .... Harvey Edison Jr.
Deborah Goodrich .... Nikki Brashares
Griffin O'Neal .... Skip St. John
Thomas F. Wilson .... Arch Cummings
Leah Pinsent .... Nan Youngblood
Clayton Rohner .... Chaz
Vyshinski

Release Date: Theatrical: March 27, 1986

 

 

 

Rating:

 

A group of teens go on a deserted mansion set on an island for their spring break vacation.
However, one of them has a gruesome injury after his head is hit by a boat and then when they land on the island. Also there are some pranks the teens think is harmless but eventually they turn serious when they all think that they are having the time of their lives.
But a killer is watching them. Then they all try to find a way to survive after they discover that one of their friends is killed but the killer slaughters them one by one. Is it just a practical joke?
It all began with a toybox that a child named Muffy got for her Birthday that scared her and was humiliated as there was a toymonster inside and now she is full grown and with her friends on the island.
Could she be killing these people?

 

The beginning seems to have an interesting feel to it when some people are talking on a home video camera on their plan to take a trip on an island. Also there's a nice calm and peaceful opening with the main character Muffy looking at her music box and good camera shots on all of this too. Then we spot a flashback sequence on her birthday when she winds it up and it makes you jump a bit when we spot a toy creature popping up which disrupts the peaceful situation here and pretty disturbing too.
We have a phony type of situation when someone accidently throws a switchblade knife at someone and they fall into the water but yet it's revealed as a prank. However this should've looked more convincing to watch so even we can get fooled by all of this. The ocean and the surroundings looked very beautiful in which you could tell that this was shot during the summer time. It was very entertaining to spot this since it was shot in my home area of British Columbia, Canada.
There's some nice angle camera shots on one of the youth's in the water trying to tie the boat to the dock and the boat closes in on him with a great shocking moment on him rising up looking half slaughtered in which this really looked effective and intense here.
Later on we spot everyone goofing around and enjoying themselves in which this looked a bit uplifting but yet when they sit down to dinner there's a whoope cushion someone sits down on while someone discusses on beans being served along with fake chairs that people fall back on which was supposed to make you chuckle a bit. However the writing on this seemed a bit too stale.
We spot a moment when someone is in a dark area of a shack where a boat is stored and suddenly the killers hands grabs this person but it doesn't look scary while spotting this as it was supposed to be.
However, when we spot a couple Rob Ferris and Kit Graham about to make out at the shack we spot a dead body floating underneath the water in which this seemed to look quite effective and works in well with the story.
More good suspenseful moments is when a brawny fellow named Arch is wandering through the woods and then we spot a rattlesnake next to him and he doesn't notice in which makes you watching carefully wondering if it will strike. Also we spot him in a trap having him tied upside down and then we spot the snake trying to attack which looked kinda cute and funny more than it being suspenseful. But a good scene with the killers feet entering in which this almost seemed to pay a tribute to a scene in Friday the 13th Part 2.
Things look psychologically suspenseful when someone named Nikki Brashares goes down in a well to check on the water which gives you a sinking feeling that something is down there and it's not good as well as her falling in too. This was perfectly shot and quite dark too.
There's a situation in a kitchen with Muffy acting disturbed talking towards Kit but however it seemed quite cheesy and not making things seem cringing. Oh well.
Some effective moments with Nikki trying to pack up and leave with what she saw and her boyfriend Harvey Edison Jr. tries to act funny towards her begging her to stay in which later on when she returns to talk to him again we spot something that will shock you as well as spotting the mysterious killer appearing towards her as this looked fairly suspenseful to watch since it changes to another scene leaving you that feeling wondering if she got killed offscreen.
Terrific dark moments when both Rob and Kit are up in the attic and spot dolls looking slaughtered exactly on what everyone has experienced along with a future looking slaughter. This looked sweet to watch since they run to those people to find out what had happened to them.
Some great susepnseful sequences when they are down in the cellar with the killer hammering a nail on a window to prevent their escape which looked well shot. Also they spot a picture with eyes staring at them in which they slowly move to the picture about to remove it as this looked terrifically done making you truly scared by what they will spot or if the killer is behind it or not. I give this scene two thumbs up.
Bottom line is that the film looks like it will be an exciting flick but at the end it's a real disappointment and you'll all see what I mean when you watch it. It would seem more like a mystery than a horror.
This one was made by the same producer Frank Mancuso Jr. who worked on most of the Friday the 13th sequels and tried to create a new idea for a slasher flick like he did with the Friday sequels but failed miserably.
Also the shootings on the outdoor scenes looks very similar to Camp Crystal Lake

The acting is in not too bad shape. Deborah Foreman (Muffy St. John) does well as an estranged teen and makes you wonder if she's responsible for all the murders. She shows a nice bubbly type of outgoing behavior for the beginning of the flick which really shines off very well here. Then she shows a nice tense and quite moment along with her disturbed behavior in which she doesn't do as well but yet she's not terrible by any means. SHe comes across nicely regardless by being mysterious and shows a perfect paranoid and expressionless attitude adding a nice horror touch to her performance here.
Ken Olandt (Rob Ferris) seemed to breeze through nicely with his disturbed reactions to what has happened so far making this fairly believeable. He also does well with his charming and romantic attitude too. Plus he shows some great scared aggressions and anxiety into when the terror hits him as he brings this to a great high pace here.
We also have Amy Steel (Kit Graham) in this one as she was remembered for her role as Ginny in Friday the 13th Part 2 and again she plays the spooked out innocent victim to a killer and does her job just as well.
She also shows nice serious concerns into what she does here along with a perfect emotional attitude too. She drew in greatly when she is on an adventure to survive and doesn't let an ounce of energy down within her performance at all. Hats off to her for doing another slasher flick.
Jay Baker
(Harvey Edison Jr.) shines on well with his goofball type of behavior here in which he brings on a ton of great energy here while doing so by springing into action here. He also does well with his frusterated attitude by what is happening in certain situations with the terrors. Plus knew on how to speak aggressively while these moments are happening too. He also shows off an idiotic type of charm later on in which he is believeable by trying to act light headed about the devastating moments. He drew everything together showing a nice versatality here.
Deborah Goodrich (Nikki Brashares) showed a ton of great spunk into her part making herself believeably outgoing and throwing in with the punches here. She also does a terrific job screaming hysterically when she spots some corpses making this really come to life big time along with showing a great disturbed and emotional attitude afterwards. She also does well with her frightening and sobbing reactions too. She really studied this part inside out and not in which she was one of the memorable cast members in this film I found.
Griffin O'Neal (Skip St. John) certainly showed a nice partying type of appeal to his role along with having that wild guy type of looks to him which is also another good bonus here. He also acts believeably disturbed after a horrible incident happens here making his seriousness come to life nicely. He made his supporting role fairly effective here.
Thomas F. Wilson (Arch Cummings) was another great supporting actor with his brawny type of appeal here in which he acts like a believeable goof but in a fun loving way here. He definetely had a great energetic and bubbly type of personality while looking forward to the trip which was well noted here. He seems to add some good wit when he spoke feminine while talking onto a camcorder camera and just getting into the party type of mode. He was also believeable with his sarcastic type of mode too. This guy certainly proved to wear other hats than playing a bully type like he did as Biff in Back to the Future.

The side of a persons face is sliced by having his head hit by the side of a boat.
A head is decapitated
A guy's crotch is bloodied and lots more.

The music is composed terrifically by Charles Bernstein with very smooth creepy keyboard music as he makes sure it doesn't sound like one of those typical slasher soundings. A nice peaceful sounding for the opening credits in which this almost sounded similar to the theme song in Poltergeist which adds nice flavour here. There's great echoey sounds with the synthesizer playing sounding almost like high pitched whistling as some of this sounds good for the great outdoor scene's adding a nice creepiness to it all since it sounds totally ghostly like. Also there's neat moaning type of synthesizer effects during when someone is at the bottom of a well when deadly incidents occur which also blends in well to what is going on here.
He's composed for numerous other horror films including A Nightmare On Elm Street.

There are also two songtracks featured in the film
"Too Bad You're Crazy" by Jerry Whitman and Linda Harman for the closing credits in which has alot of funky comedic type groove to it especially with the vocalising in which sounded marvellous and seemed necessary to use here.
"Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" by Three Dog Night was played briefly for when everyone is partying with chamagne near the end of the flick as it suits the scene by having a golden oldie like this one.

William: You used to date a guy???
Anna: Yes doofus, I do date men believe it or not. I just don't happen to be interested in you. You are a hound. I can't believe you outomatically think I'm a lesbian because I don't shove my tits in your face.
William: You mean you're not???

Hunter: What if you run into the KILLER!? Or KILLERS?!
Lance: I'll be persuasive. That's why I got this (Holds a rifle in his hands)

Hunter (Enters the house after Sara unlocks the door): What in the hell did you do that for?!
Sara: I was on my way upstairs, I didn't hear you. Sorry jerk!!!
Hunter: Oh, I'm sorry. I was slightly terrified!!!!
Sara: Asshole!!!