April Fool’s Day

Someone in this room will pull his wang
★★★
☆☆
Released: 
1986
Director: 
Fred Walton
Starring: 
Jay Baker, Pat Barlow, Lloyd Berry, Deborah Foreman, Deborah Goodrich
The Setup: 
Diverse group of teens goes over to Muffy’s house for a party, start dying.
Discussion: 

I haven’t the slightest idea why this suddenly arrived in my mailbox one day. I think I had the thought “You know, I haven’t watched a slasher in a while” and threw it to the top of my list. Then it languished amongst my pile of mail for a bit as I thought “Eww, why would I want to watch a slasher?”

We open with this girl who is going into a convent getting ready to fuck on her first date—but it’s all an April fool’s joke. We then briefly intro our cast and main characters with the help of a nude dummy. Please observe as one of the female characters leaves her hand on the dummy’s breast for an inordinately long time.

All of these kids meet on the dock of a ferry that will take them to an island and the home of Muffy Saint John, who has invited them all over for a party. You will observe that Muffy has a rather diverse set of friends, and many of them don’t like each other and there’s all sorts of rivalries. On the trip there’s this whole thing about someone telling this guy Skip his fly is open and whether he’ll look or it’s just an April fool’s thing [you just have to accept that these kids are REALLY into April fool’s jokes], then someone says that Milton’s Paradise Lost is “a dying form” [uh, YEAH], and then there’s this thing where one of the kids stabs another one, causing him to fall overboard—but it’s all a joke, see? It was a fake knife. But the thoughtless behavior of the dumb teens causes ferry assistant Buck to fall into the water and have his head crushed between the boat and dock, popping ye olde eyeball out. Kids today.

So they all arrive at Muffy’s rather fabulous house. Naturally one of them HAS to have a video camera, and he points it at one of the characters and says [alluding to the while Agatha Christie-ness of the whole situation] “By morning, someone in this room will pull his wang.” THE NEXT SHOT is of the frankfurter below intruding into the scene, obviously meant to evoke such wang. This is happening downstairs as the ladies prepare food, during which they take a test out of a magazine about who likes what in bed. You will notice that there is an inordinate interest in sex and who’s with who, even for a slasher film.

Then two of the guys discover that they have been assigned to room together, so they jump into each other’s arms in a parody of gay horseplay, saying “hold me, big fella!” and “Let’s play hide the sausage.” They roll around for LONGER than you would expect. Then there’s more pranks the kids are playing on each other—it’s a bit toward the tedious, but you can see why it’s there later—and we discover that Muffy may be growing grass [not the lawn kind] on the island.

SPOILERS > > >
Then it’s time for people to start dying. They do, in very typical slasher ways and the accompanying slasher scenes, such as when a couple is making out and a dead body floats by, or someone falls into a well with two corpses. During this time we have discovered that Muffy was originally a twin, and her twin sister may be alive. And OUT THERE. And then one of the guys gets his cock cut off.

Now, big spoilers here kids, are you sure you want to know this? It all builds in typical slasher format with one woman, Kit, emerging as the final girl. Then she runs into this room, chased by the killer and—all her friends are alive! It was just a very elaborate April fool’s joke! Obviously she’s a little pissed at first, but they all explain how they accomplished it, and she starts to give in, and then there’s another little jump at the end, and it’s over.

Now normally, as a viewer, I’m not thrilled about twists in which you discover that YOU were the fool to get invested in the movie, because it’s all a big joke [see: Identity], but here there’s such a feeling of it also being a good-spirited prank on YOU, the viewer, that it doesn’t really annoy you. And really, that’s because the movie is reaching out to include you in the fun, whereas in Identity the feeling was “look what an idiot you are for taking this movie seriously.” They also set up for the big twist throughout, so it doesn’t come as a rug-puller, but seems like something you should have seen coming. I think the movie could have been strengthened by there being some reason Muffy wanted to get revenge on final girl Kit, but there was this whole memory of this birthday party thing, and I suspect that may have been it, it just didn’t get through my thick noggin.
< < < SPOILERS END

So there ya are, a fairly-amusing slasher with YOU in mind. You could certainly do worse.

Should you watch it: 

Sure, if you’re in the mood for a slasher with a bit of difference.