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April Fool’s Day (1986).

February 24, 2009

The Scoop:
This is supposed to be a horror spoof, but frankly, it’s not very funny and not very scary.

Birthday girl Muffy invites a bunch of her mopey preppie friends to spend April Fool’s weekend in an island vacation house, where they spend the time whining about their lives, playing practical jokes on each other and getting hacked to bits.

Deborah Foreman (who was briefly a star in the ’80s following her turns in “Valley Girl” and “My Chaffeur”) plays dual roles as Muffy and Buffy, while the rest of the cast is rounded out by the likes of “Friday the 13th” veteran Amy Steel, Griffin O’Neal, Jay Baker, Pat Barlow, Tom Heaton and other sorta-beens and never-weres.

It’s all meant to poke fun at the slasher genre, but instead of something clever and inventive like “Scream,” but instead director Fred Walton and writer Danilo Bach deliver a sort of bloodier version of a Whit Stillman film. If whoopee cushions and exploding cigars are your idea of a good time, this might be up your alley. But otherwise — eh, not so much. Allegedly, the script is based on the Agatha Christie story, “And Then There Were None.” If you squint, you might be able to see the resemblance.

The end credits theme is wonderfully goofy, though — it’s a catchy, ’20s-style jazz novelty number called “Too Bad You’re Crazy,” written by the film’s composer, Charles Bernstein, and performed by Jerry Whitman and Linda Harman. It is worth sticking around through all the other nonsense just to hear it.

“April Fool’s Day” was remade in 2008, for reasons that escape me.

Best Bit:
Although most of the practical jokes are pretty predictable, the one with the bedroom lamps is particularly inventive and funny.

Side Note:
An alternate, more downbeat, ending was shot, but was ultimately scrapped for being too convoluted. It is currently unavailable on DVD, although you can sign a petition to change that.

Companion Viewing:
“Metropolitan” (1990).

It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie.

Take a Look:
The trailer:

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