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Monday, April 01, 2013

April Fools Day

Hello, everyone, and welcome to The Pop Culture Addict's Guide To Life..., wait a minute. This logo is upside down. WHO DID THIS?

Oh, well. I suppose that I should be used to it, considering that it happens to be the first of April. April Fools Day.

This day means that for many people, they'll have to stay two steps ahead, and think quickly to avoid being tricked by their friends and family members.

But, do you know how April Fools Day came to be?

Well, it all began on April 1, 707. A man by the name of Lewis F. Lirpa was born on this date, but many people just called him “Loo” for short. Anyway, Loo is a very key figure in the historical sense, as he was known to have played the very first April Fools Day joke. Now, keep in mind that back in the eighth century, pranks and gags were quite primitive, but somehow he managed to pull it off. He decided to alter a map back to town and gave it to his worst enemy to get back home following an excursion. The end result? Instead of heading back home, the poor soul stumbled over a cliff and fell into a bottomless pit to his death below. And, that was how Loo F. Lirpa ended up being the very first person in the world to play an April Fools Day joke, the day named after the date of his birth.

Actually, I'm only kidding. That's not what happened at all. Just another joke I've played. Though, if the Loo F. Lirpa thing didn't do it (it's April Fool backwards), the date of birth would have. Flipping 707 upside down gives you “LOL”.

No, the real story is that there really isn't a story about how April Fools Day originated. Nobody really knows exactly how it started, but there seems to be a link between April Fools Day and Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which was released in the late fourteenth century. So, needless to say, April Fools Day has been around for quite some time.

I can honestly say that I've fallen victim to an April Fools Day joke once, when somebody set my alarm clock ahead an hour and a half, and I showed up for school ninety minutes early thinking that I was ninety minutes late. Still never found out who did that to me, but since this happened while I was in university, it really could have been anyone. But, that was a minor prank. Thanks to the wonders of photoshopping images and people downloading prank ideas onto their mobile phones, people can plot elaborate pranks on their friends. There are even television shows that focus on people playing gags and pranks on each other such as “Candid Camera”, or this clip from “Just for Laughs Gags” below.

Now, it's important to know that in all of these examples, nobody got seriously injured or hurt, and I want to absolutely make it clear that if you are to prank someone on April Fools Day, you do it responsibly, and never put anybody in harm's way.

But what happens when April Fools Day comes around, and all of the pranks and tricks that are pulled can lead to death? Well, that's just what a group of college students had to face when they decide to spend the weekend at an island mansion. It seemed like it was all fun and games at first, but when the body count began to rise, could it be that they were trapped inside the house with a serial killer?

That's the basic plot of the 1986 horror film, aptly titled “April Fools Day”.

It's funny though...whenever I ask people if they have heard of this movie, not a lot of people claim that they have. I can understand is considered to be a cult classic. Released on March 27, 1986 on a budget of five million dollars, the film actually made almost thirteen million! It was based off of the novel of the same name by Jeff Rovin. The film was directed by Fred Walton.

There are eight main characters within the film. We have Arch (Thomas F. Wilson), Chaz (Clayton Rohner), Harvey (Jay Baker), Kit (Amy Steel), Muffy (Deborah Foreman), Nan (Leah Pinsent), Rob (Ken Olandt), and Skip (Griffin O'Neal). And, as the film opens, we quickly learn that the setting is the luxurious mansion owned by the family of Buffy, and that the time period is the weekend leading up to April Fools Day.

TRIVIA: In 1986, April Fools Day fell on a Tuesday. Though, I suppose we could just imagine that the film was set two years earlier. Yeah, let's do that.

Muffy is absolutely excited about the weekend, and so are the other houseguests. As they tour the mansion's grounds, Muffy is busy setting things up for the weekend, and she happens to come across an old jack-in-the-box that she seems to remember from years ago. And, keep an eye open for that box. It makes a reappearance at some point during the film.

The seven houseguests meanwhile make themselves at home after arriving on the island via the ferry. Of course, the ride on the ferry isn't exactly the smoothest ride possible. I found a clip of the movie to show you exactly what I mean.

Um...okay, who substituted the scene from Titanic for my April Fools Day clip? I tell you, someone is playing a prank on me today!

Sigh...anyway, I suppose I should tell you that one of the deckhands on the ferry is brutally injured in a freak accident aboard the ferry, setting the scene for what was to come.

Sure enough, the danger happens almost immediately as the guests settle in for the first night at the mansion. Now, because the film is set around April Fools Day, Muffy has scattered a whole bunch of pranks and gag props all over the mansion. From whoopie cushions and dribble glasses to fake drugs and an audio tape of a screeching baby, the guests try their best to make the best of things and have a relaxing night. But by the next morning, half of the houseguests disappear, some of them even meeting a very tragic end. And, by the time the surviving houseguests begin to figure everything out, someone has tampered with the phone service, and are forced to stay on the island until Monday!

And, what happens when the group discover that the killer could be one of them? How will they cope? Will they escape injury? Will the killer be unmasked? And, what is the deal with that jack-in-the-box anyway?

Well, you know what? For the first time ever in a Monday Matinee, I won't keep you in suspense. I'm actually going to show you the ending of the movie right now! I know, it's crazy right? But, the truth is that the ending is so shocking and so unbelievable that I can't resist. Here's how the movie ends.

Yep. That's right. Apparently, the two surviving characters are both female. Something happens to them during the movie that traumatizes them so terribly that they have forgotten how to speak English, and are now forced to communicate only in Spanish. Clearly one of them is the murderer, and she uses her patented scissor kick attack to choke the life out of the other one. But, she's not willing to die without a fight, so they are left to attack each other..., wait. That scene is from a telenovela. AUGH! I've been pranked again!

Sigh. Well, now I'm really upset. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I'm too distraught to even reveal the ending now. But, I will state this. There's actually two different endings that were shot for this film. One of them follows the plot line of the book almost perfectly. And, the other one deviates from the book completely. Which ending will you see? Well, I can't tell you.

No, seriously, in all honesty, I'm just going to get pranked again, so it's best to keep this under my hat.

˙ʎɔlɐɯɹou ɟo ǝǝɹƃǝp ǝɯos ǝʌɐɥ llıʍ ʍoɹɹoɯoʇ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıdoɥ s,ǝɹǝɥ  ˙ǝɟıl oʇ ǝpınƃ s,ʇɔıppɐ ǝɹnʇlnɔ dod ǝɥʇ ʇɐ sn ɟo llɐ ɯoɹɟ ʎɐp slooɟ lıɹdɐ ʎddɐɥ

Ah, DAMN IT!!!

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