April Fool's Day (1986)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery  |  28 March 1986 (USA)
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Reviews: 123 user | 93 critic

A group of nine college students staying at a friend's remote island mansion begin to fall victim to an unseen murderer over the April Fool's day weekend.



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Complete credited cast:
Pat Barlow ...
Lloyd Berry ...
Muffy / Buffy
Tom Heaton ...
Mike Nomad ...
Nan (as Leah King Pinsent)


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 Losman <losman@express-news.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Childish pranks turn into a bloody battle for survival! See more »


Horror | Mystery


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

28 March 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Week-end de terreur  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)


$12,947,763 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie's producer Frank Mancuso Jr. had acted in various producing capacities on four "Friday the 13th" pictures of whose film studio on them was the same Paramount Pictures for this film. See more »


When Muffy's opening her gift in her bedroom, her grip on the champagne bottle changes between shots. See more »


Chaz Vyshinski: [watching Kit and Rob through binoculars] Respectable young Quaker couple returning from a quiet afternoon of nonviolent sex.
See more »


Mama Told Me (Not To Come)
Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman
Performed by Three Dog Night
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Well constructed mystery, fun and memorable
14 November 2001 | by (Palm Desert, California) – See all my reviews

April Fool's Day has just the right smarts about it that it holds up extremely well, even all these years later. While the cast may be youthful, the characters and story set this film way above "teen" slasher or horror flicks. Mainly, because this is really a mystery in the vein of Ten Little Indians.

It's a good thing I saw this film in a theatre when it was first released in 1986 -- because the VHS cover has something on it that would have kept me AWAY if I had not seen the film already: "It's just what you'd expect from the producer who brought you Friday the 13th -- Parts Two, Three, Four, and Five." You just can't put April Fool's Day in the same category as those films! This is far superior in story and intelligence. It's clever, well-written, and has great characters that you like even if they are not so nice! These days it seems it's more important to find the most popular actors, and that is usually distracting and doesn't guarantee a good film. April Fool's Day had lesser known stars for that time (Deborah Foreman, Amy Steel, Clayton Rohner, Griffin O'Neal) and that worked as an advantage.

The basic premise of a group of college students stuck on an island in a big house and one by one they disappear, yes, it's been done in many variations before. But the clever execution of the story, red herrings, and the underrated Deborah Foreman's delightful portrayal of Muffy/Buffy all make for a really fun viewing experience. Foreman has just the right amount of sweetness and can go right into being just plain quirky with such ease. The touch of having dolls on the dinner table, sort of like name tags, will bring a giggle and a smile for sure!

One plus for this film is the fact that it didn't sink into the tiring T & A route. Sure, a few of the characters have sex on the brain but their actions and dialogue never really wander off into the gratuitous area. Guys, if you really want lots of breasts than just go ahead and get some porn or a Playboy video, okay? Let the rest of us enjoy a good story once in a while!

After the body count rises and things escalate into a tense and frenzied chase through the house, you'll be surprised at what happens next. April Fool's Day is one of the few films of this kind that actually had a very surprising reveal and I was even caught off guard, left with my jaw agape at what the whole deal was about. The BIG surprise just happens so...abruptly, that you feel just like the character that runs into the room -- just stuck for a second! After about 90 minutes of mystery, the payoff BETTER be good, and sure enough, this one doesn't disappoint! I'm especially thrilled to have picked up the eerie soundtrack by Charles Bernstein on vinyl when it first came out, and to this day love to give it a spin on the turntable.

Paramount has a vast library of films that just NEED to be given great treatment on DVD, and I'm crossing my fingers that films like April Fool's Day, Let's Scare Jessica To Death, and Polanski's film The Tenant will be given their glory. >

31 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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