A couple of weeks ago, I watched this movie when it showed up on Netflix, rather than waiting for today when it would have been more seasonally appropriate. Another in the vast crop of holiday-themed slasher pics that littered the horror landscape of the 80s, April Fool’s Day is essentially And Then There Were None, slasher-style, complete with all the expected Gothic trappings including secret histories and an evil twin. Or maybe it isn’t that at all?
I was expecting a passable entertainment, at best, but I actually sort of fell in love with it, even (especially) the much-reviled twist ending that grants the film an unusual distinction amongst slasher flicks. Directed by Fred Walton (When a Stranger Calls) and written by Danilo Bach (Beverly Hills Cop) the film is probably at its best in the early moments when the assembled crew are succumbing to various weird and mostly harmless April Fool’s Day pranks, though there are also some surprisingly effective scenes littered throughout, including a ferry accident and the revelation of one character’s secret back story.
The ending is what will make or break the film for most people, though, and in spite of the fact that it’s what the movie is best known for, and that the film is almost thirty years old, I’ll refrain from rehashing it here. Suffice it to say that I was in the “make” category. It didn’t hurt that the starring role was played by Deborah Foreman, who I loved in Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat.