April Fools Day (1986)

Fred Walton has directed some pretty decent thrillers, including When a Stranger Calls, The Rosary Murders, the remake of I Saw What You Did, When a Stranger Calls Back and The Stepford Husbands. He’s a great hand for this, a late in the game slasher that is much closer to an Agatha Christie novel than a blood splattered bit of mania.

It’s produced by Frank G. Mancuso Jr., whose Friday the 13th producing history led many to believe that this would be exactly one of those kinds of slashers.

April Fools’ Day is when some college pals all head to a ritzy island mansion and decide to play pranks on one another. There’s Nikki (Deborah Goodrich, Just One of the Guys), Rob (Ken Olandt, Summer SchoolLeprechaun), Arch (Thomas F. Wilson, Biff Tannen forever), Kit (Amy Steel, Friday the 13th Part 2), Skip (Griffin O’Neal), Chaz (Clayton Rohner, also in Just One of the Guys) Nan and Harvey, who have all gathered at the home of Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman, WaxworkValley Girl).

Before they even get there, horsing around leads to a deckhand getting gravely injured. And the pranks keep coming once they reach the mansion, which escalates until dead bodies begin to pile up.

Soon, the phone lines are dead and there’s no way to get off the island. That’s when everyone still alive learns that Muffy has an insane twin named Buffy who wants to kill them all.

I’m not going to give the ending to you, but what ended up on the screen was a lot different than the original cut. You can learn more in the Jeff Rovin paperback novelization of the movie, which has an alternate ending in which Skip sneaks back onto the island to kill Muffy for his part of the family’s vast treasures. But it’s all a ruse and he stays behind to help her make the house into a bed and breakfast.

There was also a 2008 remake of this that really doesn’t have much to do with the original other than taking the name. If you read our article on slasher remakes, you know that this isn’t the first time that that ever happened.

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