A colorful—speaking both in terms of the cinematic palate and the cleverness—short film, Fool’s Day is great comedy, the clever and bloody sort of film Quentin Tarantino would produce if he directed after-school specials.
A favorite at the recent—and esteemed—Tribeca Film Festival, Fool’s Day is a quippy and naughty short story about a prank that goes wrong for an elementary school class—that is, they accidentally blow up their likeable, perky teacher. Director Cody Blue Snider (as in, YES, son of Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, who makes a great cameo as a grouchy janitor) has produced a true gem—solid from start to finish.
The film is funny and tense. Well-paced, it switches from mayhem to darkly and comically morose—and like Tarantino at his best, overlays bloody messes with perky music ditties. It is simply smartly and well-produced.
Although some of the visual pranks adopt a Little Rascals mentality, the film stays on the smart side of slapstick and only (and appropriately) flirts with adolescent humor, but never truly devolves.
And, oh, the characters! Not merely vehicles for delivering visual comedy, but each is detailed with textured personalities—caricatures that hold enough earnestness to be both lampooned and loveable, especially, Officer O’Donnell, the D.A.R.E. police officer who shows up in the classroom after the accident. Played by Mitchel Jarvis, who has starred in bit roles in Guiding Light and minor parts on Law & Order, and is an upcoming actor (he also has starred in Broadway in "Rock of Ages" and plays in a funny series of YouTube Keystone Light ads. Jarvis is as blustering and wonderfully comic as Will Ferrell in the title role of Anchorman, a machismo buffoon whose ego swaggers right past any sensibility.
Snider shows an innate amount of comic and cinematic talent; we hope for more soon!