Second in a series of my favorite horror films.
In creating this list I've tried to avoid obvious choices. In other words, despite the fact that I love the original Halloween, that seems far to easy a pick.
Loosely based on Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, this movie is very different from most of the 80's slasher films. In other words, there's no mindless killer (Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers) wandering aimlessly and slaughtering the hapless students one by one. There's a little more of a mystery involved. That's not to say this is classic filmaking, there are certainly flaws, but the premise is unique enough that it definitely belongs on this list.
April Fools Day is about a group of college kids spending the weekend at a private island owned by their friend Muffy.
On the ferry ride over, there is a horrible accident and one of the ferry workers is nearly killed. The college kids are racked with guilt because it was their actions (and irresponsibility) that caused the accident.
When they arrive, Muffy (played by Deborah Foreman Valley Girl) is at first pleasant in a preppy sort of way. That night everything is fun and lively and the ferry accident forgotten. Muffy plays a number of innocent April Fools Day jokes, including whoopee cushions, collapsing chairs, exploding cigars and dribble glasses.
Then everyone heads to their respective rooms for the night, where many of them find disturbing items left behind by someone. Newspaper articles talking of murder, a crying baby on a tape recorder and bondage paraphernalia seems to hint that maybe Muffy knows a deep and dark secret about each of her guests.
The mystery deepens the next morning as the once bright and cheery Muffy is now moody, nervous and disheveled.
Not only has Muffy changed, but one of the college students has disappeared. A frantic search for the missing student leads to more students disappearing, dismembered bodies in an old well and an ominous discovery in the attic. The last third of the movie is a frantic chase as the surviving kids attempt to evade the killer while waiting for the constable to arrive by boat.
Is Muffy the killer?
Did the ferry driver come back to get revenge?
Will the constable arrive in time?
With two shock endings, April Fools Day answers these questions and ties up the mystery quite nicely. Like I said, this one is different than your ordinary slasher film. If you're looking for something different for your Halloween horror list, this is a good movie to start with.
'til Muffy opens that Jack in the Box
Keep the Adventure Alive,