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April Fool's Day

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Fred Walton
Amy Steel
Deborah Foreman
Bottom Line: 

When comedy and horror collide it's usual an ugly sight (see Scary Movie, Silence of the Hams, etc), but there are a few moments where the two genres mesh so well and are handled so cleverly that when the credits roll up you have a smile on your face, hindered only by the nervous tics left over from the shocks.

April Fool's Day is one of the shining examples of the several courses of action filmmakers took in the late 1980's to add a few more beats to the fading pulse of the horror genre. Overwhelmed by slash by numbers films, audiences began to shy away from the once lucrative scare market, and as a result many missed some of the decades best and most innovative entries.

On a secluded island, socialite Muffy St. Claire (Foreman) invites a group of college friends to spend the weekend in her family's ocean getaway. Almost as soon as they arrive, things go awry when a crewman on the ferry injures himself (very badly!), and just as the gang get over this nerve rattling experience, people start getting the old slice and dice at the hands of a very resourceful killer.

While the description of April Fool's Day may sound like Horror 101, it's not really about the plot, but more about how it's executed. This very clever film will have you mistakenly groaning with "I know who did it's" about a dozen times before the film's conclusion, which will have you clawing at the furniture in terror before slapping you in the face with a big wet fish of a finale. Trust me, you won't see this coming!!

Director Fred Walton, who also helmed the creepy dial-a-killer shocker When A Stranger Calls, adapts Danilo Bach's fantastic screenplay, delivering a smart, funny, thrilling and, above all, inventive horror farce that has immense replay value.

Unfortunately, the DVD basically gives you the film and that's that, so that replay value is all the more important. Paramount is probably the worst offenders in the bare bones DVD department, and what makes matters worse is the fact that the price never reflects the lack of substance. April Fools Day retails for $24.95! With the selection of great flicks on DVD loaded with extra material selling for half that price, it will take a minor miracle for this gem to reach a new audience, but maybe Paramount deserves to take one on the chin to knock it out of it's malaise when it comes to releasing a proper horror DVD.


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