Day of fools
Today is the 1st of April! Which as you probably already know, means it’s April Fools Day.
April Fool’s Day is a day celebrated each year with practical jokes and hoaxes, it has permeated all aspects of work and life, and the horror genre has not escaped. With that in mind today I want to talk about the 1986 classic horror film, April Fools.
While this is a horror film it is a black comedy. It was directed by Fred Walton and centres around a group of college students whose vacation is disrupted by a killer.
The story starts with a group of college buddies, Harvey, Nikki, Rob, Skip, Nan, Chaz, Kit, and Arch who are getting together during spring break at Skip’s cousins’ (Muffy) mansion.
The first gruesome incident takes place during the preparations when a deckhand is badly injured. Once everyone gets on the island it turns out Muffy has set up a heap of pranks. Some of the pranks are silly and light-hearted, such as whoopee cushions, but some of the pranks are pretty grim including drug paraphernalia in a guests room.
Skip is the first to go missing, Kit sees what he thinks is a dead body. Arch and Nan then go missing. Skip and Arch’s heads are found, along with Nan’s body, when the group go looking for the missing peeps and Nikki falls into a well. The group then realise they can’t contact out from the island and there’s no way off until Monday.
More peeps die or vanish and eventually, Kit and Rob figure out that Muffy has a super evil twin, Buffy, who has killed Muffy and been impersonating her the entire time.
Kit while fleeing escapes and finds a room filled with everyone. No one is dead and the whole thing has been an elaborate prank. Nan plays a prank on Muffy and the film ends.
I’m torn by this film.
First of all, it’s not my usual cup of tea, I’ve never been much of a fan of slasher type horror. I’m also not a massive fan of gore for gore’s sake. So automatically I’m coming at this from a slight downer angle. I also don’t have a great deal to compare this to, not having watched a lot of slasher films.
With that minor disclaimer out of the way, I was torn by this film. In particular the ending. I understand the twist, I get that April fools’ day is all about pranks and look this whole film was a prank to the audience. But that still doesn’t mean I left the film feeling satisfied. I certainly did not. It had the cheap cop-out feeling of the ‘it was all a dream’ type endings you come across sometimes. A good twist can enhance a film, Sith Sense is a good example of that, it made the film more rewatchable because you could try and spot all the little hints and tricks, it also gave you a new different perspective. It was a bloody good twist. This twist was not that, there was no pay off in my opinion.
Aside from the ending, the film was a typical black comedy/slasher film, the stakes were pretty obvious, the violence was over the top and kind of fun and the characters were all reasonably pretty teenagers with vapid, two-dimensional personalities.
Overall, the film itself was ok, the ending however kind of ruined it for me.