April Fools (2007 film)
|Directed by||Nancy Norman|
|Produced by||Nancy Norman|
|Written by||Nancy Norman|
|Music by||Donald Hayes|
|Editing by||Nancy Norman|
|Running time||72 minutes|
April Fools is a 2007 direct-to-video horror film written, directed and produced by Nancy Norman.
While pulling an April Fools' Day prank on nerdy classmate Melvin, a group of high school friends (Missy, DeAnna, Eva, Diego, Malik and Marlin) accidentally kill him when Marlin hits him with a football, causing Melvin to fall on and be impaled by a piece of rebar. Panicking, the group drag Melvin's body into the forest, and stage it to look like he was the victim of a random gang-related attack. Exactly one year later, DeAnna is stabbed to death by a hooded figure while interning at a hospital. After murdering DeAnna, the killer writes "April Fools" on a wall with her blood.
Hearing about DeAnna's death, Missy meets up with the others, convinced that DeAnna's murder may have something to do with Melvin's death, though her worries are dismissed. A short time later, Eva is stabbed in a locker room after dance practice by the same hooded assailant, who once again writes "April Fools" on a wall in blood. Unaware of Eva's death, Missy heads out to the high school's Spring Jam, despite being unnerved by surveillance footage of DeAnna's murder, accidentally left in her room by her detective father.
At the Spring Jam, Missy recognizes the attending killer from the surveillance footage, and looks for help from Malik after witnessing Diego and a teacher be murdered. Malik and the killer fight, sparking a brawl on the dance floor that covers the killer's escape after he fatally stabs Malik. Along with the other revelers, Missy is rounded up by the authorities, and at the police station she admits her and her friends' involvement in Melvin's death to her father. A police officer escorts Missy home, where she is confronted by "the April Fools Killer" - Marlin, who has killed the officer and the one stationed at his house. Marlin claims that he was only one affected by Melvin's death, his life falling to shambles after it while everyone else easily moved on, enraging him. Marlin attacks Missy, but she manages to briefly incapacitate him and get outside, a recovered Marlin eventually giving chase.
Marlin soon catches up with Missy, only to be die when she hits him with a rock, and turns his own blade on him. Stumbling away from Marlin's body, Missy collapses into the arms of her father, who had gone out looking for her after piecing together the April Fools Killer's identity.
- Obba Babatundé - Detective Malcolm Combs
- Darrin Henson - Detective Ward
- Aaliyah Franks - Missy Combs
- Daya Vaidya - Eva Hernandez
- Anthony Hixon - Marlin "Scoop" Watkins
- Malik Middleton - Malik Frazier
- Ramses Jimenez - Diego Mendez
- Melanie Reif - DeAnna Price
- Ricardo Prosper - Ace
- Lamorne Morris - Melvin Fox
- G. Lane Hillman - Adam
- Ricardo Gamboa - Kid #1
- Peter E. Pohlhammer - Grimm
- Dane Campbell - Raheim
- John Norman - Desk Sergeant
- Sheila Bland - Reporter #1
- Chavez Ravine - Mrs. Watkins
- Wilson Cain II - Albert
- Tomica S. Jenkins - Mrs. Johnson
- Lanre Idewu - School Counselor
- Lil' Flip - Himself
Black Horror Movies wrote, "You have to love April Fools. Otherwise, you might end up blowing your brains out. What feels like a film with production values above typical 'urban horror' fare turns out to be frustratingly devoid of quality. But where quality is lacking, camp appeal reigns supreme, and if camp is April Fools' ultimate goal, it's downright brilliant. This is a perfect storm of incompetence on all fronts: acting, writing, direction, editing, continuity, special effects, and basic human decency."  The acting and script were criticized by Blogcritics, which gave the closing statement, "April Fools fooled the hell out of me. I thought it was a horror film, but it turned out to be a bad joke." 
April Fools was described as being like "a glorified YouTube video" that had "no style, no substance" by Direct to Video Connoisseur. Film Critics United said, "The young actors struggle with their lines, the story – though liberally stolen – stole only the worthless parts of movies that weren't that good anyway, the ending was completely outlandish, the camera work was spotty at best, and it wasn't scary. In fact it was quite funny." 
Horror Movie a Day found the film terrible and awkward, and wrote that "it's so short (72 minutes, with lots of easily skippable padding) and lovingly stupid that I can't really muster up the energy to go off on it" and that to do so would be like "berating an infant for not knowing how to drive". A score of one out of a possible five was given by Slasherpool, which said the story was thin, the actors incompetent, the direction dreadful, the death scenes pathetic, and the picture quality extremely poor.
- "April Fools (2007)". Black Horror Movies. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
- "DVD Review: April Fools - Blogcritics Video". Blogcritics. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
- "Direct to Video Connoisseur: April Fools (2007)". Direct to Video Connoisseur. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
- "April Fools". Film Critics United. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
- "Horror Movie a Day: April Fools (2007)". Horror Movie a Day. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
- "April Fools". Slasherpool. Retrieved 2012-07-11.