Goddammit guys, I feel like such a poser for only having JUST seen April Fool’s Day. Isn’t it like, I don’t know, a “classic” or some bullshit? I remember that they reference it in Dead Snow and I’m pretty sure that when I reviewed Dead Snow I pointed out the solid reference by the filmmakers. Or at least, a less traditional reference for a Norwegian movie to make. I guess I could really easily double check to see if I actually pointed that out in my review, BUT I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT BULLSHIT! I guess I had kind of assumed that, being titled “April Fool’s Day” that it might have been one of those horror comedy type of movies that were so popular in the 80’s, none of which I really enjoy all that much. Well lucky for you guys that this movie was on Netflix Instant and was only 90 minutes so I could just plow right through it. Spoilers in this one? OF COURSE! It came out over 25 years ago though so don’t come crying to me about ruining everything.
The old “knife in the gut” prank…classic!
A bunch of teens who are about to go to college decide to celebrate their spring break by going to the lake house of classmate Muffy (Deborah Foreman). On the ferry ride over, two of the dudes get into an argument about a knife, and one of them accidentally stabs the other. When everyone freaks out about the stabbing, it ends up being an April Fool’s joke! GODDAMMIT, YOU GUYS! The shenanigans don’t stop there, as Muffy has plenty of other tricks in store for the teens. From fake doorknobs to seats that tip you out of them, this Muffy has a treasure trove of tricks! How’s THAT fucking alliteration? YOU’RE KILLING IT, WOLFMAN. KEEP GOING. As the teens explore the rooms they’re staying in, they find clues about their own past, like newspaper clippings of a car accident someone was involved in, and they start wondering what the fuck is going on. When one teen goes to check out the boathouse, he is ambushed and killed! Oh no! The teens keep disappearing, one by one, but no one is sure if these are people taking April Fool’s jokes too far. When some of the bodies of the murdered teens start being discovered, people see that this isn’t just a game. Add to that the discovery of a letter from a hospital saying Buffy was institutionalized for her violent behavior and mental disorder as opposed to spending time at a boarding school, the teens get pretty nervous. When they confront Muffy about everything, she freaks out and singles out one girl in particular to murder. Muffy’s chasing her and chasing her and right when she’s about to get to her, the “victim” opens up a door to see all of her friends safe and sound. The ENTIRE weekend was an elaborate prank! However, rather than it being a prank for prank’s sake, it’s because Muffy wants to set up weekends like this for strangers instead of going to college. Good job, Muffy! I think you’re on to something!
Hahahaha oh shit, that’s right, there was also a scene where a guy’s dick got cut off and it just looked like he stained his pants with BBQ sauce.
Even though I was only kind of half paying attention to the movie, resulting in me only being half surprised by the reveal towards the end, I felt like had I been more committed to the story then I would have enjoyed it a lot more. The opening sets you up to think that everything that happens could be part of an April Fool’s prank, but then the movie just turns into a pretty stereotypical slasher for the time and I didn’t expect much more out of it. Considering how many terrible movies really just use a title or a holiday as nothing more than excuse to grab someone’s attention or to establish the setting, April Fool’s Day actually used its title appropriately. Everything else was pretty standard as far as the acting, script, and special effects go, but there was one pretty neat editing effect used in the beginning of the film. It opens with footage that is being shot with a camcorder and that footage is in the 4:3 aspect ratio, making me nervous that the whole film would be like that. The film then cut to Muffy, still in the 4:3 aspect ratio, dragging a mannequin across the floor. The editing managed to time the dragging of the mannequin to the expansion from 4:3 to 16:9, which it stayed in for the rest of the film. Those numbers probably aren’t precise, but you get the idea. I guess I just appreciated the way it was done and how it felt like it almost broke the fourth wall, in that the editing was aware of the fact that this was a movie. And considering everything just ended up being a giant ruse, I feel weird even categorizing it as a “horror” movie, but since I don’t have a category for “Movies that are kind of like The Game and Clue and Friday the 13th“, calling it “horror” will just have to suffice.
Wolfman Moon Scale