Director – Victor Salva
Cast – Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, Eileen Brennan, Brandon Smith, Peggy Sheffield, Jeffrey William Evans, Patrick Cherry, Jon Beshara, Avis-Marie Barnes
Release Year – 2001
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This is a film I remember seeing in theaters back in 2001, and to be honest I had not seen Jeepers Creepers until I decided to give it another watch for a review…now nine years later. I was pleasantly surprised to see just how fun and genre-esque this flick is, coupled with the usual fun clichés we fans know and love yet sometimes hate. As far as technicals go this is far from classic, but for a horror film it gets the job done.
Jeepers Creepers follows Patricia ‘Trish’ Jenner(Gina Phillips) and her brother Darry Jenner(Justin Long; Drag Me To Hell) as they travel home from college for Spring Break. They take the more “scenic” route home, and it proves to be a costly one. After almost being run off of the road by a madman in a creepy old truck, they catch him dumping what appears to be a body down a sewage shaft. Unfortunately for Trish and Darry, they did not witness a man disposing of a body, but a indestructible creature that has been harvesting bodies every 23 years in order to stay alive, and they are next on his list.
Same-sex pedophile writer/director Victor Salva did an awesome job getting this film going, as it has what I feel to be one of the genre’s better first acts. Salva wastes little time on unnecessary development and throws us into the action fairly early on in the film, and in creepy fashion. His visuals were nicely done, especially the darker-toned areas of the film. I personally LOVED the church basement scene and felt it to be the absolute sweetest scene in the entire film, which also just so happened to take place during the first act. From then on out the creature action increases, and while it is not nearly as creepy as the first act and someone loses “it” as the runtime continues, I was nonetheless satisfied with the usage of this awesome creature. I also really liked how he would surface every 20-some years and consume/take his victim’s body parts that he needed in order to stay functional. My only real knock against the creature was the fact that it was somehow bulletproof, but looked to be a generally organic creature that would lack such bulletproof attire. Oh well.
Story-wise this flick was a job well done. I dug pretty much everything that had to the with the creature, and our protagonists being attacked in a small town with little help available was the perfect atmosphere for the film. Of course, when does that NOT happen when involving a maniacal creature? Aside from the usage of the creature(the true star of the film) the rest of the storyline is pretty standard, and involves our protagonists either running from it, or trying to get help in fighting it. Many of the genre’s classic clichés are thrown in, and I personally did not mind them one bit. This is definitely a turn-off-your-brain flick, and I dug it.
Overall, this is a fun watch that I recommend to fans of the genre when in the mood for a flick that allows you to just turn off your brain and enjoy the action. We get a sweet antagonist that comes with many unique elements, and fun execution coupled with a cheezy yet enjoyable storyline sure to be appreciated by fans of the genre.