A single mother gives her son a beloved doll for his birthday, later they find out that the doll is possessed with the soul of a serial killer, who try to put his soul into the boy's body in order to become human.
A group of eight college friends gather together at an island mansion belonging to heiress Muffy St. John to celebrate their final year of school. They soon discover that each has a hidden secret from their past which is revealed, and soon after, they turn up dead. Yet, are they really dead? Or is it just part of some very real and cruel April Fool's jokes? The hostess, Muffy, is the only one who apparently knows what's going on. But then again, is it really her doing the killing? Written by
Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman), a preppy college student at Vassar, invites her friends over to her exclusive island resort in early April. What sounds like a fun weekend quickly turns sour when the friends begin to die in rather horrifying ways. Is it Muffy, one of the group, or is it someone else? You'll have to wait until the end to be sure.
While considered one of the more notable slasher flicks of the 1980s, "April Fools Day" just doesn't work for me on the same level that other slashers -- "Friday the 13th", "Hell Night" and "My Bloody Valentine", for example -- were able to. And I can sum up pretty much the key reason why: the end of the film. Not only is it a complete cop-out and a slap in the face to horror fans, but it's completely implausible. If you watch the film knowing the end, you'll quickly see that the logistics are not very likely. According to HorrorHound magazine, this film has been called the slasher that killed the slasher film, and that's about right. If we place the slasher genre from 1976-1986, this one brought up the rear. Only one good slasher after this comes to mind: "Intruder".
The very last scene is the only really creepy part of the film, despite some attempts with decapitated heads, and even that gets the cop-out treatment. If this film hadn't been so readily available to kids scouring video store shelves in the early 1990s for horror tapes to watch, it would have faded away. Of course, the same can be said for the "Leprechaun" series.
Now, I can say that the people involved are respectable: director Fred Walton also did "When A Stranger Calls", the writer Danilo Bach wrote "Beverly Hills Cop", and actress Amy Steel was the star of "Friday the 13th Part II". So, yes, they've all come off of better projects. How much of that was brought here... not sure. (It's mostly the story that fails... the directing and acting are fine. And from all reports, it's at least better than the remake.)
If you're looking to complete your collection of 1980s slasher films, you'll need this one. And it is somewhat decent, to be fair. But my suggestion would be to hold off until a proper DVD release. To the best of my knowledge, only bare bones releases have come out so far, and this one might be superior if it came with the legendary alternate endings.
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