When it comes to horror rentals, I've always been a sucker for box art. I'm the guy who took home Christmas Evil convinced I had a classic 'cause Santa had an axe and was heading down the chimney. For Ghoulies it was the demon peeking out of the toilet, Sleepaway Camp: the impaled sneaker. You get the idea...
So around '86 when I was confronted by a VHS box featuring a girl with her hair braided into a noose, I didn't stand a chance. Despite my initial disappointment that this was not in fact the story of an evil Rapunzel-type dame who goes around hanging people with her hair, I quickly snapped it up and headed home. Good thing too.
April Fool's Day is a fun little movie. It's also an easy one to spoil so I'll keep the plot details brief. A rich girl named Muffy (Valley Girl's Deborah Foreman) invites her friends up for a weekend of April Fool's trickery at her island estate. But dribble glasses and break-away chairs quickly give way to a far more sinister agenda. The jokes get personal, Muffy's friends start disappearing and their hostess seems to be sinking into insanity.
Now here's the interesting part, since the film always wants to keep you guessing about what is real and what's a gag, very little onscreen violence is actually shown. For a gorehound like me the thought of Friday the 13th-like setups without the grisly payoffs might sound tedious but it actually makes for a pretty original slasher flick. The Agatha Christie inspired script ramps up the mistrust and tension and the cast is a talented bunch of familiar 80s faces. Hey isn't that Back To the Future's Biff (Thomas F. Wilson)? Yep. Friday the 13th Part 2 survivor Amy Steel? Yes, indeedy. But Foreman steels the show. Her cute n' crazy Muffy is memorable even if she doesn't hang anyone with her hair. Yeah, that still kinda bothers me.