With little memory about Jeepers Creepers (2001), I decided to pick up the turn of the century horror film. I shouldn’t say I had no knowledge about the film; I am aware that Justin Long, the “I’m a Mac” guy was in the film and that another sequel has been in works for a while. Since Scream Factory is my go-to for horror and great collectors’ edition releases, I tackled the film with little fear.
The premise for Jeepers Creepers is a simple one. Trish (Gina Philips) and Darry (Justin Long) are driving home from college, the long way. They see someone remove a body wrapped in a bloody sheet from a truck and dump it into a hole. They are worried and decide to go all Scooby Gang (the cartoon, not the Buffy team) and investigate. Darry thinks that they can make a difference if that person is still alive. What they discover takes us on our ride.
The premise starts off great and different for horror films. Our protagonists, Trish and Darry, are brother and sister. This instantly removes the love interest dynamic, often seen in this type of film, and gives us a family bond. Our antagonist, the Creeper (Jonathan Breck), is a great monster for the film. His identity and origins are never fully revealed. We receive only bits and pieces of his story, which makes the Creeper all the more terrifying.
I think what really bothers me about the film is its release date, 2001. Trish and Darry make several references to their own actions in relation to situations in horror movies. This tongue and cheek approach was all the rage after Wes Craven’s Scream (1996) arrived on the scene. Here is the genre five years and two Scream sequels later, and we find Jeepers Creepers still playing up those conventions. To be fair to Jeepers Creepers and 2001, it may be the best horror film from that year. I mean, when the competition is Jason X, Ghost of Mars, and Valentine; it’s easy to be on top.
As the story went on for Trish and Darry, I kept wondering how stupid this brother and sister duo could get. They kept walking into danger, opening the next door, and looking death right in the face. Weren’t these the two people citing horror movie cliches? When they kept on living while everyone else around them perishes, believability starts to wear thin. What is a shame is that the Creeper, given a better story, would have done fine as the unstoppable monster. Never was there a full shot of the Creeper in all his goriness. This is fine with me. I believe my imagination should fill in the gaps. I just know that when I start rooting for the leads to die, I’m not invested in anything except my curiosity about the monster.
Now the part I learned about Jeepers Creepers that made me really not want to watch the sequel. I mentioned before that outside of a sequel in development hell and Justin Long, I knew very little about Jeepers Creepers. As it turns out, I had seen a film by this director before. Victor Salva, who both wrote and directed Jeepers Creepers and its sequel, directed a film called Powder (1995). If you remember that film, then you probably remember that Victor Salva was accused, and later convicted, of child molestation for acts he committed against one of the actors in Powder. Salva did his time in jail and has been trying keep his career going ever since. This is where we ask ourselves, can we separate the film from the person who made it? For me, the answer in this case is easy: No. I remember going to see Power, because at that point they were allegations, and when Powder (Sean Patrick Flanery) was stripped down by his fellow students, the whole scene just felt dirty. It wasn’t because of what was happening in the scene and with its characters, it was the director’s eye on Flanery’s body. I only learned of Salva’s connection to Jeepers Creeper after watching it, but knowing full well that the sequel is about the Creeper (which has whole new meaning now) attacking a high school football team, just makes it not a film I care to see by a director who should find another line of work.
If you can separate yourself from Salva and what he did and just enjoy the movie, Scream Factory released a stellar Collector’s Edition for the fans of the film that just want their movie. I, for one, didn’t care for the film and certainly don’t care for the director.
NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Victor Salva And StarsJustin Long And Gina Philips
Audio Commentary By Writer/Director Victor Salva
NEW Jeepers Creepers: Then And Now Featuring Interviews With Writer/Director Victor Salva, Producer Barry Opper, Director Of Photography Don FauntLeRoy, Editor Ed Marx And Actor Tom Tarantini
NEW From Critters To Creepers – An Interview With Producer Barry Opper
NEW The Town Psychic – An Interview With Actress Patricia Belcher
Behind The Peepers: The Making of Jeepers Creepers Featuring Writer/Director Victor Salva, Producer Tom Luse, Actors Gina Philips, Justin Long, Eileen Brennan, Jonathan Breck And More…
Deleted & Extended Scenes Including An Alternate Opening And Ending Sequence
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for June 14th, 2016
Action / Adventure / Mystery
Airport: The Complete Collection
The Brave One (1956)
The Bourne Classified Collection
Clint Eastwood: 3-Movie Western Collection
The Daughter Of Dawn (1920)
Dead in Tombstone
London Has Fallen
Something Big (1971)
Bodacious Space Pirates
Cross Ange 1
Yet the Town Moves
10 Cloverfield Lane
The Dead Next Door
Jaws: The Revenge
Jeepers Creepers 2
Science Fiction / Fantasy / Superhero
Conan: The Complete Quest
The Magnetic Monster (1953)
Star Trek Into Darkness
Star Trek (2009)
Dark Matter: Season 1
X-Files: The Event Series