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Rated R
Copyright 2001 VCL Communications GmbH
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 29 January 2008

Capsule Review:    

A teenage boy and his sister encounter a supernatural creature that emerges from seclusion every twenty-three years to prey on people. The Creeper drives a big freaking truck and dumps bodies down a chute to its lair under a church. It is also nearly invulnerable, because the siblings attempt to take refuge in a police station and a bunch of officers learn the value of life insurance. Even multiple close encounters with a road and one of those death-dealing machines (the sister's car) that travel on them fails to stop the Creeper, though it reveals its true form: a bat-winged demon.

This film came close to being good. A couple of problems ruined the overall experience for me. The traumatized brother's tendency to "stare, slack-jawed" started to get old quickly. It seems like every time we see him, he is paralyzed with fear. The teenagers' interactions with nearly everyone, including each other, were another sticking point. Something interesting is that many of the scenes take place at night with minimal lighting. That normally drives me up the wall because I cannot see anything. Here, the poorly-lit settings add to the atmosphere.

"Jeepers Creepers" is a film that actually makes my blood run cold, but not for any of the reasons you might expect. To understand why it frightens me, you need to know some background information. The writer/director is Victor Salva, who also directed the movie "Clownhouse" (1989) and sexually molested the twelve-year-old male star of that movie. Salva videotaped the sexual abuse and served time in prison for his crimes. Knowing that, take another look at "Jeepers Creepers." Victor Salva, a child molester, wrote and directed a movie about a demonic creature that pursues a young man (including sniffing the teenager's underwear) and, despite the best efforts of the police, succeeds in taking the terrified boy away to do as he pleases with him. That is frightening.

Oh, and don't forget the dainty little rose tattoo wrapped around the teenage boy's bellybutton. Yet another troubling inclusion when you consider Salva's sexual appetites.

Things I Learned From This Movie:  

Green Dot Rubbernecking is always a bad idea.
Green Dot In addition to flashing lights, police cars should be equipped with Claymore mines.
Green Dot The best way to find an organ donor is by sniffing their dirty laundry.
Green Dot Psychics experience the Reader's Digest version of the future.

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 9 mins - Are the both of you nine or nineteen?
Green Dot 42 mins - It is rather obvious that the Creeper has never seen a Vaseline Intensive Care ad in his life.
Green Dot 62 mins - The more I watch this movie, the more I think the male lead was hired for his vast repertoire of looks of abject terror.
Green Dot 72 mins - "Everybody look out! We have a bungie-jumping bogey on deck!"

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2]
Re: Jeepers Creepers
Reply #9. Posted on January 30, 2008, 12:28:59 PM by Andrew
This is the old forum post that I started the first time I watched "Jeepers Creepers."  I did not know the writer/director's story at that time.  For me, the movie itself almost made it, but then screwed up so badly that I felt it failed (overall).,20569.0.html
Re: Jeepers Creepers
Reply #10. Posted on January 30, 2008, 10:47:21 PM by Keiper
My college roommate was all about this film, so I finally saw it. Like others have said, it starts out really strong but then gets really weak, ruined by the cliche psychic woman and the creature for some reason going on a rampage at the police department (so much for his disguise...).
Re: Jeepers Creepers
Reply #11. Posted on January 31, 2008, 12:39:29 PM by Joe the Destroyer
You know, I didn't mind this movie until the creeper started doing the kung fu nonsense over the car.  I was able to tolerate all the idiocy up until that point, and from there it all just seemed inexcusable. 
Re: Jeepers Creepers
Reply #12. Posted on January 31, 2008, 01:40:16 PM by Kooshmeister
Sure, Salva was convicted but to the best of my knowledge he hasn't repeat-offended at all since then, and he's served his time, so are we to judge him for one horrible mistake he made and has already paid the price for? And anyway, why let whatever Salva did in the past ruin the film for you? Jeffrey Jones is a convicted sex offender himself, does this mean you automatically despise all of the  movies he's done before or since (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Howard the Duck, Mom and Dad Save the World, Without a Clue, etc.)? Personally I don't give a flying flip about any of this. Not enough to make dismiss an entire film, anyway.

Although if you wanna do that, I'll play ball. Some of you have suggested that this movie is somehow Salva's fantasy, a sexual fantasy about a young boy being abducted and mistreated by a horrible monster. But what if it's the other way around? What if this is Salva's way of exorcizing his inner demons? He himself (or child molesters in general) is the Creeper, and he's condemning the acts the Creeper commits and using the film's downbeat ending to show the terrible trauma, trumped up of course, that real-life molestation leads to.

And, re: the movie's supposed "idiocy," one of the elements I actually liked was the involvement of the police. They're presented as skeptical, but not outright stupid. Particularly the two state troopers. Although they are hesitent to believe Trish and Darry's monster story, they can see something shook them both up pretty badly, and agree to go back with them to the church. And later, the cops at the police station do not actually get slaughtered Terminator-style by the Creeper like in so many other films (Darkness Falls, I'm looking at you!), and even shown up at the end to drive the Creeper off (even though he would've left anyway, having gotten what he came for). And also, if you listen to the radio in Jeepers Creepers 2, the cops do later find the Creeper's lair underneath the church, proving Trish's story to the world.

Basically, both this movie and its sequel are two of the few modern teen horror films where the adults, especially the authorities, behave sensibly for the most part and aren't presented as complete fools, and for that, at least, I give them both a gold star.
Re: Jeepers Creepers
Reply #13. Posted on January 31, 2008, 01:49:57 PM by Inyarear
I thought that Salva's name looked familiar. You want creepy subtext? Try his film Powder; that whole film was like what Michael Jackson probably sees in his wet dreams. Heck, by the time it was finished, I was beginning to have some serious suspicions about the actors in addition to the director.
Re: Jeepers Creepers
Reply #14. Posted on January 31, 2008, 11:21:43 PM by Torgo
8 year olds dude.

Re: Jeepers Creepers
Reply #15. Posted on February 03, 2008, 01:21:31 PM by macready
I was so close to being a fan of this movie... For me, the build up was fantastic, the atmosphere creepy, even the Duel rip-offs at the beginning really well done. Then, the supernatural element was revealed (the wings' first appearance) and the film went quickly downhill. Still it was a good movie overall, and I did like the atypical ending for a relatively mainstream movie. I can't really comment on Salva's intentions as I didn't know of his past when I watched the movie, and my views are coloured by having seen the movie many times before I learned of that...
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