April Fool’s Day (1986)

april fools day poster 1986 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Clever story

Story is unreastic but still fun

Movie Info

Movie Name:  April Fool’s Day

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  March 27, 1986

MPAA Rating:  R


Ouch dudes…you totally ran over my face with your boat!

Muffy St. Clair (Deborah Foreman) has invited her college friends up to her family cottage on an isolated island for a spring break party.  When an April Fools’ prank goes wrong and a ferryman named Buck (Mike Nomad) is injured, Buffy and her friends find themselves disappearing one-by-one.  With Buck as the prime suspect, the group questions if the April Fools’ pranks have gone too far and have led to murder.  With the disappearances coming faster and faster, and the only escape from the island could be death.



Directed by Fred Walton, April Fool’s Day was a horror film in the slasher vein, but is also often compared to the Agatha Christie mystery Ten Little Indians.  The movie was relatively well received and was frequently played on TV which led to a strong cult following.

I can remember watching April Fool’s Day late at night and thinking it was a different type of slasher film.  The movie’s strange plot and some bizarre deaths make it stand out from some of the other films from the period.


Me…crazy? What? Huh? I don’t know what you’re talking about…

*****Spoiler Alert***** April Fool’s Day is one of those films that you have to talk about the ending to debate its validity.  The movie of course is revealed to all be a prank by Muffy to set up a murder mystery weekend inn out of her home.  All the participants are alive and well and no one was really killed.  As stated even in the movie, there are a bit too many variables within the story that could have led to death or danger for the people involved…it is forgivable because the film is pretty original.  An alternate ending had actual murders when the Skip character (Griffin O’Neal) cracks and goes crazy.

The cast is kind of fun.  Starring as Muffy/Buffy is Valley Girl veteran Deborah Foreman…she plays the Buffy role a bit hard and I think everyone would just say “I bet it is Muffy killing everyone since she’s acting so strange”.  The movie also features another horror veteran in Amy Steel who successfully “killed” Jason in Friday the 13th Part 2.  You also get Biff from Back to the Future as one of the friends.


Take this, Buffy!

The visuals of the movie are minimal and despite a lot of language and sex jokes, the movie could have been PG-13 (if it had been made today, it probably would have to draw a bigger audience).  I do doubt that some of the fake heads would have tricked anyone…even up-close in a well; no matter how dark or scared you were.

April Fool’s Day is a fun film and should be sought out (besides, like so many other ’80s horror movies, it has a great poster).  It is often available in collections and can be picked up for cheap.  Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t get played on TV as often, but I hope it doesn’t disappear into obscurity.  The movie was remade in 2008 with a similar plot but different story.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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