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April Fool’s Day (DVD)

April Fool's Day 2008 DVD review (click for larger imageReviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Scout Taylor-Compton, Taylor Cole, Mark D. Headen, David Lowe

Directed by The Butcher Brothers

Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


The original 1986 version of April Fool’s Day is widely regarded as a modern horror classic and with good reason. It was a smart, witty, and at times dark little movie that kept you guessing until the finale. Yeah, it had a cheat ending, but so what? The ride getting there was nothing short of an absolute blast. When the announcement came that April Fool’s Day would be next in line for the redux treatment, I was disheartened but a bit relieved that taking the director’s chair(s) would be The Butcher Brothers, who, with their After Dark Horrorfest vampire opus The Hamiltons (review here), proved that they had the chops to get the job done.

For a remake to work it needs to do one thing … stay true to the spirit of the source material while bringing something new to the table. The Butcher Brothers took a very interesting approach. As a means to bring something new to said table, they apparently decided to ditch every single thing that made the original film so good and in its place add characters you don’t care about, actors who barely get the job done, and a storyline so cookie-cutter pathetic that it’s nearly impossible to sit through the whole film without hitting the fast forward button.

What went wrong? Lots. Let’s look at the story, such as it is.

After a prissy little dimwit is slipped a mickey during an April Fool’s Day party, she ends up falling from a balcony to her death. One year later all her friends get a letter to meet at her grave. The letter tells them that if the person who’s responsible for said mickey slipping doesn’t fess up by the day’s end, they all will die. Didn’t we already see this exact kind of plot in I Know What You Did Last Summer? Why, yes, we did. Only that movie is Texas Chainsaw by comparison! So much for originality. Anyway — one by one, our obnoxious characters are knocked off until the end, when we get not a one-twist but a two-twist ending that you can see coming from miles, and miles, and miles, and miles away.

April Fool's Day 2008 DVD review (click for larger imageThere’s so much bad here it’s hard to even know where to start.

Let’s begin with the characters. We have Paris Hilton-like cardboard cut-outs of the male and female specie named Milan, Blaine, Torrance, and dare I say it, there’s even one named Barbie. You just want to choke them. There’s not a single likable person in the bunch so you’re left with no one to relate to, root for, or even mildly care about. I don’t blame the actors for this. They had very little to work with, and it’s a wonder the cast didn’t walk away from this stinker like rats leaving a sinking ship. Strike one.

How about the kills? So-and-so drowned in the pool. Ms. To-Do was electrocuted by a faulty wire. What’s next? A lethal paper cut? There’s barely a speck of blood to be found anywhere. Hell, there’s not even much implied violence. Strike two.

Then there’s the plot. Know what this film ends up being about? This may be a spoiler, but the whole movie is spoiled for various different reasons so who cares, right? All you gluttons for punishment can skip to the next paragraph. After an impossibly long hour and a half, it becomes apparent that this whole thing was nothing more than a not-so-elaborate scheme for a rich kid to get cash. That’s it. Strike three.

It hurts. It just hurts. Then, just as I was ready to pop the movie(!) out, the real horror set in … This was to be a DVD review! Are there extras I have to explore? A commentary? A making-of? Can I take spending another moment with this just shit-out and steaming mountainous turd? Thankfully, I was spared, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful for a bare-bones release.

Let me be clear … there’s nothing to see here, nothing to enjoy here, and no reason to ever even think about sitting through this pointless, insipid, worthless reimagining. It makes horrid rehash cash-ins like The Hitcher, The Fog, and When a Stranger Calls seem Oscar worthy. In the end the level of bad this drivel reaches transcends even the stigma of the remake. Every second was painful. Every minute was infuriating. This is nothing short of an epic failure on all levels.

Don’t get fooled again.

Special Features

  • Once the disc is snapped in half, you can use the sharp sides to end your misery. Remember, kids, it’s up the road, not across the river!

    Film:
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    0 out of 5

    Special Features:
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    0 out of 5

    Discuss April Fool’s Day 2008 in our Dread Central forums!

  • Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

    • Terminal

      It looks like we agree, Creepy. This movie was absolutely excruciating. And my god will someone tell Scout Taylor Compton to quit her day job? I haven’t seen one good performance from her. This one is no exception. It’s not even a remake! Ah, the jokes on me, I guess.

    • Terminal

      I’m a bashtad in a bashket!

    • Uncle Creepy

      Phew! You scared me! LOL

    • Terminal

      I don’t know Creepy. I liked this movie. Just kidding, I haven’t seen it yet, hehe.

    • Kryten Syxx

      Or just watch the six minute clip we referenced. That should let you know that this is just a shit film.

    • The Woman In Black

      Listen to Creepy — he’s trying to save you all. Just ask Buz. He knows the horror of this film.

    • Uncle Creepy

      Dude, I love you man. You’re like a brother to me. Don’t do it to yourself.

      Just …

      don’t.

    • Sirand

      The original was considered a classic? Maybe only to the most die-hard of 80’s slasher fans.

      Still, my “Strawberry Estates” level of curiousity makes me morbidly curious. I know I’ll regret it though…

      I still don’t get the love for The Hamiltons.

    • Kryten Syxx

      And what the fuck was up with the drugged chick getting all blurry right before her death? Was she such a bad actress that she couldn’t express her fucked up state and needed special effects?

      It’s no wonder we heard nothing about this movie until just before the release date.

    • Uncle Creepy

      I shall light a tiny candle for you.

    • Terminal

      If I can sit through “Monster,” “DOTD: Contagium,” “NOTL3D,” and “DOTD 08″ without committing suicide, then I can make it through this. Fear not.

    • Uncle Creepy

      Terminal, we may not always get along, but please, man — don’t do it. Save yourself. Shun it. Put it outside. Keep it away.

    • Terminal

      I still have this in my general vicinity, and I intend to check it. However, I hated the original, and STILL do. I was hoping a remake would improve it, but sadly not.