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April Fool's Day: Collector's Edition (1986) - Blu-ray Review

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April Fool's Day

Because who doesn’t like a practical joke?!

“On a clear day you can see the Kennedys.”  That line of dialogue is one of the many clever lines in this cult classic from 1986.  April Fool’s Day, directed by Fred Walton and written by Danilo Bach, is an undeniable masterpiece of mood and mayhem that is largely ignored or at least underappreciated by a lot of Boils and Ghouls out there in Horror Land.  

"Keyed-up on nice practical effects, April Fool’s Day is both smarter and quicker than most slasher flicks from the 1980s"


Fortunately, Scream Factory is about to change all that with its Collector’s Edition release of this slasher by way of a murder mystery.  The spills and the chills are definitely alive in this release as one hell of a party is about to be unleashed. You just have to be a good sport about it all, okay?!

Starring Valley Girl’s Deborah Foreman, Amy Steel, Ken Olandt, Deborah Goodrich, Leah Pinsent, and Back to the Future’s Thomas F. Wilson, April Fool’s Day begins as most slashers do with a convergence of teenage fools getting ready to live it up on the weekend.  Except, these rich kids are headed to an island estate for the April Fool’s Day weekend. Sure, there’s a party in store, but - thanks to some solid acting - this whodunit gets its slasher on and these kids are more than just characters to kill.

The practical jokes begin almost at once as they are crossing on the ferry.  There’s a knifing incident, but that joke is soon forgotten as a real accident takes precedent.  Already freaked out of their minds, this group of teenagers - soon taunted by bloody Ken and Barbie dolls - will be staying at their friend’s mansion and it is loaded with lots of practical jokes.  Turns out, though, the jokes aren’t that funny . . . but they are deadly.

With a madman loose on the island, what started out as just fun and games (exploding cigars, drinking glasses with holes in them, whoopee cushions, etc.) soon turns into multiple struggles of life and death as water wells become scenes of gnarly chills, boathouses turn into floating coffins, and it all has to do with something that their host is hiding.April Fool's Day

Muffy knows too much about all of them and is using their fears and their choices in life to haunt them all.  Every murder staging is punctuated with tidbits from their life and, as secrets are revealed, the truth about the past - especially from what is revealed in the basement - causes lots of heads to roll.

Keyed-up on nice practical effects, April Fool’s Day is both smarter and quicker than most slasher flicks from the 1980s.  Scream Factory recognizes this fact with a glorious crisp HD transfer that never lets the audience down . . . especially that snake in the woods scene which still gets my heart racing.

With this release, Scream Factory proves that the joke just might be on you!

5/5 stars

April Fool's Day

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- March 24, 2020
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

When Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman, Valley Girl) invited her college friends up to her parents' secluded island home for the time of their lives, she just forgot to tell them it just might be the last time of their lives.  As soon as the kids arrive on the island, someone starts trimming the guest list ... one murder at a time. And what starts out as a weekend of harmless "April Fool's Day" pranks turns into a bloody battle for survival. It's just what you'd expect from the producer who brought you Body Parts, Species and three of the Friday the 13th films!                               

Video:

With a new 2K scan of the original camera negative, Scream Factory gives fans of this little zombie/alien/slasher genre something to celebrate.  The images are crisp and detailed and retain their edges. Framed in a tight 1:85:1 aspect ratio, this 1080p transfer is good, good stuff. Colors are bold.  Shadows run deep and the crisp textures in the walls and in the backgrounds of this slasher are focused.  

Audio:

The DTS-HD stereo soundtrack is perfectly suited for the film.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Fans get a bevvy of NEW interviews with the director and the stars of the feature.  Even the composer and the cinematographer get in on the fun. There is a theatrical trailer and some TV Spots, too.  

  • NEW Horror With A Twist – An Interview With Director Fred Walton
  • NEW Well Of Lies – An Interview With Actress Deborah Goodrich Royce
  • NEW Looking Forward To Dessert – An Interview With Actor Clayton Rohner
  • NEW Bloody Unforgettable – An Interview With Composer Charles Bernstein
  • NEW The Eye Of Deception – An Interview With Cinematographer Charles Minsky
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Original TV Spots

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

April Fool's Day

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
89 mins
Director
: Fred Walton
Writer:
Danilo Bach
Cast:
Deborah Foreman, Griffin O'Neal, Clayton Rohner
Genre
: Comedy | Horror
Tagline:
Childish pranks turn into a bloody battle for survival!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Nice? It's gotta be better than nice. It's gotta be bloody unforgettable."
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site: https://www.thehustle.movie/
Release Date:
March 28, 1986
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 24, 2020.
Synopsis: Nine college students staying at a friend's remote island mansion begin to fall victim to an unseen murderer over the April Fool's Day weekend.

April Fool's Day

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