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Filtering by Tag: April Fools Day (1986)

April Fools Day (1986)

Damien Ross

Fred Walton

“Your fly is open and your Hostess Twinkie is hangin out.”

April_Fools_Day-1986-MSS-87[1].jpg

Muffy is having a Spring Break party on her dad’s island. Once her friends arrive that Friday evening, the next ferry won’t come by until Monday morning. As Muffy readies the island mansion that she hopes to inherit, she’s having weird childhood birthday memories that never really tie into the rest of the film.

The ferry full of her college friends arrives at the island and smashes Buck as he tries to dock it. From a nearby boat, Constable Potter watches the whole thing and rushes over so Ferryman throws Buck into Potter’s boat and they speed off leaving Potter behind. This is probably not the best way to treat a wounded person. Whatever happened to not touching them at all? For some reason, Potter blames the incident on the college kids. He needs to borrow Muffy’s dad’s boat to get back to the mainland. Why didn’t he just drive the ferry back? The college kids drive to the mansion even though Potter told them to stay put. Exactly how long did he expect them to stay put? He fuckin left!

Later that evening, Skip has a chip on his shoulder about Buck. He feels like his prank was responsible for the incident.

At dinner they all discuss their little rich kid futures. Graduation is coming up and none of them know what they want to be when they grow up, still they celebrate friendship while constantly playing pranks on each other.

After dinner they go to their rooms. Hal’s room has a bunch random news articles strategically placed about mysterious deaths. It turns out that Muffy has left little souvenirs in all of their rooms, like heroin needles in the medicine cabinet, bondage shackles in a dresser, door knobs that fall off, collapsible chairs, exploding cigars....

Skip has been outside guilt-drinking the whole time. He goes into the shack and gets spooked by the token jump-scare cat. You know the one, it’s made a ton of horror movie cameos jumping and screaching to break the tension usually never to be heard from again. Horrible Bosses does a pretty hilarious tribute to it. I love it when a non-horror movie pays an homage to a horror movie. Skip then gets killed.

In the morning, it is no longer April Fool's Day, and Muffy is acting weird. Rob is depressed about his future so he and his girlfriend (Alice, from the original Friday The 13th) decide to have sex about it, but instead find Skip’s body. Nan is pissed at Muffy for the tape recording of a baby crying in her closet. Evidently, Nan may have had an abortion in the past that she is not proud of. The irony of abortion is that while the Left are in full support of it, there is still shame attached to the act actually doing it. The guys split up to look for Skip. Arch (Biff, from Back to the Future) steps into a rope trap and gets hanged upside down while a snake bites at him until someone walks up and kills him. As an 80’s kid, based on TV programming and cartoons, it seemed inevitable that at some point in your life you would find yourself hanging upside down from a tree with a rope around your ankle, that or sinking quicksand.

Nikki and Hal go to the well for water. Hal accidentally drops the bucket down the well and instead of helping, Nikki accidentally drops the flashlight down the well so she climbs down, cuz Hal’s kind of a bitch. She slips and falls into the water and discovers Biff and Skip’s heads, and what looks like Nan’s body while Hal shouts helplessly at her from above before finally climbing down to save her.

The remaining college kids decide they’re safer in the house and call the cops. Rob answers when Constable Potter calls back. Potter says he’s on his way and to sit tight. Rob knows something that he’s not saying. Alice finds a picture of two little girls in Muffy’s dad’s study when Muffy walks in on her. She says something creepy and walks away. Hal has a gun and the blame game ensues. All the random souvenirs they found seem to have something to do with their pasts as they start to turn on each other and while that is implied, Nan is the only one with a secret she is actually hiding. Did Muffy invite them all over to kill them?

Nikki packs up her stuff and is getting ready to leave. She’s actually being pretty cool considering she swam with two severed heads and a corpse earlier. Her boyfriend Chaz is an inconsiderate prick, but not for long. When she comes back into the room he’s dead. Stabbed in the dick, which is poetic justice for all the “your fly is down” jokes he cracked in the opening of the film. Nikki is next.

Rob and Alice go up to the attic. He tells her what Potter said on the phone: Do not trust Muffy. They find little Barbie-like dolls of themselves, each decorated the way they died. How’d she get the Nikki and Chaz dolls up there so quick? Downstairs, they find Hal hogtied and hanging by a noose. How the hell did Muffy string up a grown man all by herself? They go outside to steal a motorboat and find a hospital note about Muffy being institutionalized for three years, but she’s been at college with them the past three years? She is considered extremely dangerous. They have to go back to the kitchen for the boat key. Inside, They discover that Muffy has a twin sister, Buffy, right before they find Muffy’s decapitated head staring at them from behind a painting. Now Buffy is after them with a butcher knife. So was weird Muffy actually Buffy all day? Rob gets locked in the pantry and it’s Buffy vs. Alice. Alice is at a severe disadvantage as she is unarmed. She eventually escapes the dining room only to find all of her friends alive, chillin, like nothing ever happened. April Fool's! The whole thing was an elaborate prank. Muffy’s plan to inherit the mansion and sustain it financially was to turn it into a whodunnit bed and breakfast so she tried it out on her unsuspecting friends. There is no Buffy. Skip, her cousin, is actually her twin brother. Potter is her uncle, Buck is a special effects guy, and Ferryman is just a ferryman who apparently always had the desire to act.

Afterward, Muffy goes to her room and finds the music box from the beginning of the film on her bed. Nan sneaks up behind her and pretends to kill her by slashing her throat, which scares the shit out of her, then they laugh. The end.

All right, so this film is actually not bad. It’s a mystery/slasher so there’s no slasher development and no Final girl, which is almost too bad cuz it woulda been Alice for the second time since Friday The 13th. I saw this film when I was a kid, but I’d pretty much forgotten all of it except that it was a prank at the end. I also always mixed it up with Happy Birthday To Me-I saw them both around the same time. Not knowing the ending, things seem a little too convenient in terms of placement and characters stumbling upon things when they did, but after watching the ending and looking back, there’s no way Muffy could have planted everything so strategically. Like, how could she have foreseen that Nikki would fall down the well? All in all, this film covered its bases and the picture quality was much better than my memory of it.

The Badass Bitch Award would’ve gone to Alice, but since none of this was real, there is no reward.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t split up!

2) Don’t go into the well!

3) Zip up your fly.