monster

Shaun vs. Jeepers Creepers (2001)

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Directed by Victor Salva

Starring Justin Long, Gina Philips, Patricia Belcher and Jonathan Breck

Two college students taking the scenic route home for Spring Break are attacked by an unknown assailant in an old truck.  They initially get away but curiosity gets the better of them and now they have a man-eating creature that will stop at nothing to have them over for supper.

Review

At the time of its release, I was really looking forward to Jeepers Creepers.  After Scream hit it big, many of the horror movies in theatres were clones of Scream and I was getting bored watching the same movie over and over so when JC came long I was hoping that something different would be good.  I was not disappointed.

So we have Darry (Long) and Trish (Philips) brother and sister, driving home during spring break from college when they are suddenly attacked by someone driving a very old, rusty truck.  It fucks around with them before speeding off, hopefully never to be seen again.  Later on though, they see the truck by an abandoned church and notice that someone is dumping something into a large pipe nearby.  Instead of moving on, they check out the pipe and Darry happens upon a litter of mutilated bodies with their skins stitched together around the walls. 

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How’s about a kiss, lover boy?

They escape and drive to a local diner to call the police but they also receive a call there from a woman who tries to warn them about the creature but they don’t listen.  After another narrow escape, they head to the police station where the woman caller makes herself known as a psychic who has seen what happens and is trying to prevent her dreams from coming true.  Do all her dreams come true?

What I enjoyed a lot about the movie is that so much attention to detail is given to the latest monster on the block, the Creeper.  There’s a unique backstory that doesn’t give away exactly what it is but does explain why it’s doing what it does and for what purpose.  It only feeds at certain times and only eats certain…parts in order to benefit from the feedings.  It wears dead skin and clothing to fit in and can drive vehicles.  And despite not being able to talk, the Creeper shows a bit of personality just by how it moves and reacts, it even has a flair for comedy.  The Creeper is definitely one of the better movie monsters to come out in the last 15 years.

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Does this guy have ebola?

About the film, there’s very little for me to complain about.  The direction is great, leading to many tense moments early on in the movie.  While I did find that the tone changed throughout the movie towards horror/comedy, I’ve come to appreciate that aspect of the movie and enjoy the ride for what it is.  The acting is great for the most part, or at the very least acceptable for this type of film.  No one puts on a bad performance and Long and Philips do a great job as the brother and sister thrown into an improbable scenario trying to flee from a creature that wants to eat them and wear their asses as a hat.

Overall, Jeepers Creepers is a fun ride that provides a new, unique movie monster that’s not just about biting and slashing its victims into tiny bits.  Plenty of tension from the opening moments of the movie all the way up to the unpredictable ending.  You could do much much worse.

TL;DR

Story: 7 – It’s a lot more than just another monster turning teenagers into itsy bitsy pieces of meat.

Blood: 6 – Not the bloodiest movie in the world, there are plenty of after the fact mutilated bodies early on.  The Creeper does get into the spirit of things with hacked off limbs and an interesting decapitation scene.

Nudity: 1 – Some of the mangled bodies are nude and we do get some Creeper butt too.

Overall: 8 – Jeepers Creepers, this movie is pretty good!

Trivia

-The movie can’t get away from this always getting mentioned: Victor Salva, the director, is a convicted child molester and spent a year in prison for five felony counts of sexual relations with a 12-year old boy.

-“Jeepers Creepers” is a polite euphemism for Jesus Christ.  Kind of like Jiminy Cricket before Walt Disney took that name for a cartoon cricket.

-The movie had the record for highest Labor Day weekend at the box office until Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween took that title in 2007.

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