Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

One recurring theme you might garner from reading anything I’ve written is that I strongly believe that ‘long is wrong’.  You can foster a lot of good will from me if you have an editor on staff who has the ability to keep your movie short.  Particularly if your movie is going to suck.  I know no one sets out to make a crappy movie, but it does happen some time.  So as ‘Kickin’ it Old Skool’ was approaching its second full hour of running time, I started taking it personal.  On the other hand take this little low bud hood horror film ‘April Fools’ which is a film after my own heart.  Yes, it sucked… Oh GOD did it suck.  BUT this thing struggled like hell to even make to its stated 70 minute running time, and that includes credits and a couple of lengthy ‘You Got Served’ style dance sequences which I’m fairly certain were choreographed by one Darrin Dewitt Henson of ‘Darrin’s Dance Grooves’ Fame since he’s one of the co-stars of this film.  I will admit though I did feel every single second of those seventy minutes though.  Every single second.

Our film opens with the geeky Melvin being led out some secluded spot by the vixen Deanna.  Melvin apparently never saw ‘Carrie’ because generally speaking high school hotties don’t go for geeks except to embarrass them greatly.  Once Deanna gets Melvin’s pants around his ankles the other much cooler kids come out of darkness laughing and pointing and in unison do some infantile April Fool’s chant.  Remember the ‘School is out, Teacher wore her bloomers out chant?’  Now do you remember doing it after kindergarten?  They continue to mercilessly berate poor Melvin until our eventual hero girl Missy (Aaliyah Franks) tells them to stop.  They don’t of course and things get worse when the boys in our group prod the jock of the crew to throw his football at Melvin’s ass (Yes, he walks around with a football, so we know he’s a

jock).  You see Melvin has been trying to put on his pants for the last twenty minutes.  To prove his pinpoint accuracy, despite the fact the Melvin is standing only four feet away,  Jock Boy Scoop hits Melvin in the ass with the ball sending the incredibly uncoordinated teen crashing face first onto a rather conveniently placed metal stake sticking out of the ground.  This totally sucks so good girl Missy says she’s going to call her police captain father, since nobody really did anything wrong.  Bad Boy Diego says that’s a whack plan, a better plan would be to lift Melvin off the stake, drag him into the woods and the place three slugs in his dome thus blaming the crime on random gang violence.  Damn if it didn’t work, though you would think a halfway competent Medical Examiner might be curious why there are three bullets in Melvin’s head as well as a huge hole from a rusty metal stake in spine.  Oh well, you know those wacky gang bangers.

Anyway, a year later some freak in a Joe Seneca mask and wielding a weird knife starts killing off these kids leaving crack Chicago investigators Detective Combs (Darrin’s Dance Grooves) and Detective Ward (Obba Babatunde), Missy’s father, to wonder why someone is killing his daughters friends.  Well, the why and the what will all be revealed soon enough causing you to fall to your knees, and like Superman, look up at your ceiling and yell ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOO’!!!!!!!

‘April Fools’ wasn’t ALL bad.  Obba Babatunde and Darrin Dewitt Henson give the film some legitimacy and took their respective roles very seriously.  I’m going to assume all of the hotties in this movie are all over 18 and they are all very cute, if not a bit light on acting ability.  They don’t show us any skin, but Director Nancy Norman does give us a scene where Hip Hop Dance Diva Eva shakes her butt for about two minutes, with the camera staying squarely on her butt.  For like forever.  Other than that though, there’s not a whole lot to recommend here.  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.  I saw another crappy movie this same weekend, a supposed comedy called ‘The Foursome’, and ‘April Fools’ was way funnier than that crap.  The things that don’t make sense in this film are far too vast to go into in this short period of time but just chew on this; so why did our mysterious killer stopp wearing his Joe Seneca mask and why come our hero girl still couldn’t identify him, why did he kill the math teacher, and why come the smartest kid in school still hasn’t figured out how to put on his pants.  Moving those Dungeon and Dragon pieces takes a large amount of hand eye coordination you know. 

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