Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Day (Fred Walton, 1986)

The clarity of my recollection might be a bit foggy, but I definitely remember sneaking in to see the end of April Fool's Day after a bunch of friends and I were finished basking in the robotic tomfoolery of Short Circuit. I only bring this up because the ending of this undervalued slasher flick is probably its most celebrated attribute. Well, not by everyone; some hardcore horror fans (the kind that wear t-shirts adorned with Jason Voorhees and don't worship Aunt Martha) think the ending is lame. Anyway, as you would expect, my woefully undeveloped brain had no idea what was going on when I sat down to watch the last five minutes. You have to understand, I was young, and plus, the image of a naked Ally Sheedy immersed in bubbles was still fresh in my mind. ("Attractive. Nice software.") Fast-forward to modern day, when the opportunity to see what all the raucous merriment happening on-screen was all about finally came my way. I don't why I waited so long to fill in the huge gap. But either way, I'm glad I was given the opportunity to see what lead up to the loopy finale.

Even though I find the whole idea of changing one's behaviour just because the number on a calendar changes to be extremely stupid (anniversaries and holidays are all made-up nonsense), I was able to except this film's premise rather easily. Which entails a largish group of college age white people assembling on a dock in order to take a ferry over to the island estate owned by a classmate named Muffy (Deborah Foreman). The pranks start early, as the more playful members of the party begin executing semi-elaborate practical jokes on one another during the trip over. This buffoonery continues when they arrive at Muffy's house, as each houseguest finds some sort of gag awaiting them in their rooms.

Now the fact that April Fool's Day lacks the graphic depictions of murder that normally permeate films of this type might seem like a bit of a hindrance. In this case, however, our imagination is repeatedly rewarded by having the results of the obligatory stabbing and slashing veiled in mystery. Sure, there are floating severed heads and bloodstained bed sheets peppered throughout the movie, but the film seems more preoccupied with creating a genuinely unsettling atmosphere than it does with gore.

I'll admit, there were times when I couldn't really tell the guys apart. I mean, Griffin O'Neal, Jay Baker and Ken Olandt all had the same preppy temperament about them. Luckily, Clayton Rohner (Just One of the Guys) and Thomas F. Wilson (Back to the Future) were on board to make things a tad more distinguishable. Both were terrific, in that, they added their own unique brand of humour to the proceedings.

("Number Five is alive.")

The complete opposite to characters she played in Valley Girl and My Chauffeur, the always charming Deborah Foreman gets to wear argyle sweaters and frumpy cardigans as the slightly demented Muffy St. John. In fact, she's so buttoned-down, that the only time she shows any leg is when she hops on top the dining room table in a desperate attempt to obtain some much needed stalking leverage. At times, sporting an unkempt mop of brunette hair (a subtle attempt to distance herself from her more perky roles), Miss Foreman seems to take a giddy delight in playing such a creepy young person. And, I must say, as an unabashed Deborah fan, it was quite the treat to see her leave her acting comfort zone.

I don't want to sound crude or anything, but the tantalizing majesty of Deborah Goodrich's smooth labia being pressed up against the unforgiving tightness of her purple and cyan bathing suit was an image that failed to vacate my mind as I watched April Fool's Day hurdle murkily towards its awesome end. Since Deborah Foreman was busy growing as an actress, the yummy Deborah Goodrich (Remote Control) does an excellent job of stepping in to fill the adorable void. Whether lounging in nondescript sweat pants or lifting her legs aloft in order that the erect penis attempting to prod her sufficiently moist undercarriage may prod more effectively, Miss Goodrich is an itty-bitty goddess as Nikki Brashares. On top of being gorgeous, I found her manner of speaking to be rather enticing, especially when she read aloud that magazine sex quiz.

The only time the film falters was that huge chunk of time when the Debs were off screen. But other than that, it's quite the efficient slasher flick. I mean, even I didn't see the twist coming, and I purportedly had already seen the end– you know, twentysomething years ago. ("No disassemble Number Five!")

video uploaded by Horror Movie Trailers


  1. I totally forgot that today was April Fool's Day. I'm watching this film tonight! Great cast, Clayton Rohner even better with a 5 o'clock shadow!

  2. Fun write-up of a fun flick... but no mention of Amy Steel?

  3. Clayton Rohner is so freaking hot in this movie.

  4. @Morgan: I obviously didn't. (Posting an entry about April Fool's Day on April Fool's Day - how lame.) ;)

    @Tom Stoup: Thanks. I didn't mention Amy Steel?!? Yikes. Sorry about that. My obsession with the Debs must have clouded my judgment.

    @melissa: Plus he's one funny son of a bitch.

    I miss the days when Sandra Bernhard would appear on Letterman.

  5. Re: Short Circuit
    Fisher Stevens, Academy Award winner.
    Still can't believe it.

  6. Out of all the news that came out the recent Hollywood wank-fest, I'd say Fisher Stevens winning an Oscar was the most shocking/awesome.

    Don't you just hate it when a Jeopardy contestant you have the hots for gets knocked out? I know I sure do.

    (The bespectacled blonde.)

    Oh, and I learned a new word over the weekend: Accountabilibuddy. :D

  7. d. and I are so far behind on our Jeopardy! watching that I just saw the blonde that you were talking about. :) She reminded me of Penelope from Criminal Minds.

    Accountabilibuddy? I don't know that word. :)

  8. I saw her more as a gothic librarian. But yeah, I can see the Penelope from Criminal Minds resemblance.

    I heard "accountabilibuddy" used a lot in the episode of South park where Butters is sent to a special camp to "cure" him of bi-curiousness.

  9. This film has Clayton Rohner...nuff said