The success of Scream made it open season for hunting down teenagers on the big screen. Every weekend it seemed another movie was coming out where tomorrow’s big stars of Hollywood were tracked down and killed. So many filmmakers were ready to make some Wes Craven cash with the simple formula of unstoppable killing machine and a never ending supply of screaming kids. Many of the forgettable films lacked creativity wit coming up with a creative killer that wasn’t merely a barely changed version of Freddie, Jason or Michael. The kids eventually wanted more than a Scooby-Doo villian. Jeepers Creepers arrived with word about Francis Ford Coppola returning to his Roger Corman roots as a producer on the horror film. It promised a new kind of evil and delivered “The Creeper” an evolving fearsome predator. Jeepers Creepers: Collector’s Edition and Jeepers Creepers 2: Collector’s Edition delve deep into the nightmare that can only feast for a limited time.
Jeepers Creepers opens with Darry Jenner (Justin Long of Dodgeball and “I’m a Mac” fame) driving back home with his sister Trish (Dead and Breakfast‘s Gina Philips) at the wheel. They’ve got a vintage car taking the old road instead of the interstate. What could go wrong on scenic route? How about a massive van that appears to have escaped from a Mad Max shoot speeding up behind them. The siblings are scared as the van keeps slamming into their bumper and hitting a menacing foghorn. What does the driver of the van want from them? It’s a rather intense game of Duel on the asphalt. They two do escape with their lives. As they continue their journey they see the mystery van at an old church. A figure that looks like WWE superstar The Undertaker tosses what could be a wrapped up body down a shaft. Another chase happens. They barely survive again, but now Darry wants to head back to the church. He fears that someone was tossed down the shaft and they need to save the person. It’s a rather screwed up moment, but if it didn’t happen, the movie would be over in less than 30 minutes. So the two against all logic head to the church and find out what’s at the end of the shaft. It’s a nasty sight. Turns out the Creeper (Jonathan Breck) has a nasty hobby that involves stitching. He’s not just an area psychopath. He’s a supernatural beast who only has a few weeks he can look for victims before returning to hibernation. The film does have them eventually seeking from the local law enforcement, but can they handle the killer on the rampage?
Not to spoil the ending, but Jeepers Creeper 2 starts off a few days after the original so we’re still in the feasting cycle for the original movie. A family is working on their farm putting in posts when one of the scarecrows begins to move. Turns out it’s the Creeper. He flies off with the son of Ray Wise (Twin Peaks). Wise isn’t going to just mourn. He’s ready to hunt down the Creeper. Meanwhile on lonely country road, a bus returns with the state championship basketball team. Things get bad when a tire gets blown out. The kids get off the bus as they wait for help. Turns out that the only thing coming for them is the Creeper ready to help himself to passengers. He’s slowly tormenting the kids as he picks off them and the adult chaperones. The kids are concerned if the Creeper picks them by popularity. Can the kids hold out until Wise arrives with his homemade Creeper killer rig that’s fixed onto the truck? The film has rather comic elements including the fact that not a single basketball player has to duck down to walk down the aisle of the bus. But the decisions of the kids seem much more rationale that Darry’s go back to the church moment.
While Scream Factory has released both films as individual boxsets, they do make for a fun double feature. The films are loading with bonus features including a lot of time spent with director Victor Salva. This where we come into the truly uncomfortable element of Jeepers Creepers. You’d figure a director whose Wikipedia entry reads, “Victor Ronald Salva is a convicted sex offender and American film director” might want to be one of those low profile creative types. He was convicted of molesting a boy that was in his first feature film. Judging from reports, Salva isn’t the only creep in Hollywood. He is a convicted one which makes him a person you just want to spend that much time enjoying his memories from the set. It’s hard to not think of Salva’s legal status when there’s shots in Jeepers Creepers 2 of the boys on top of the bus suntanning. It’s hard to remove Salva’s crime from his cinematic intentions. I’d recommend the movies without wanting to find out too much about the filmmaker. Easier to think that Coppola was doing more than putting his name on the film. These are the last cinematic hits involving his name. Or maybe you can watch the films using Salva’s past to give the subtext to monstrous scenes. Jeepers Creepers/i> and Jeepers Creepers 2 bring an extra level of discomfort to the horror genre.
The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic on both films. The transfers bring out the action after dark. You can really appreciate the detail put into The Creeper. The audio is 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio that makes you really feel the foghorn on The Creeper’s van. The original audio mix is found on the 2.0 DTS-HD master audio track. The movies are subtitled
Bonus features on Jeepers Creepers include:
Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Victor Salva And StarsJustin Long And Gina Philips
Audio Commentary By Writer/Director Victor Salva
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
From Critters To Creepers – An Interview With Producer Barry Opper
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
Bonus features on Jeepers Creepers 2 include:
Audio Commentary by writer/director Victor Salva, and cast members
Audio Commentary by Jonathan Breck (The Creeper), Brad Parker (Production Illustrator), and Brian Penikas (Special Effects Makeup)
JEEPERS CREEPERS 2: Then and Now featuring new interviews with writer/director Victor Salva, director of photography Don FauntLeRoy, editor Ed Marx, and actor Tom Tarantini
A Father’s Revenge – an interview with actor Ray Wise
Don’t Get Off the Bus – interviews with actors Tom Tarantini, Thom Gossom Jr., and Diane Delano
A Day in Hell – A look at the filming of JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 (26 minutes)
Lights, Camera, Creeper: The Making of JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 featuring writer/director Victor Salva, actors Travis Schiffner, Josh Hammond, Billy Aaron Brown, Eric Nenninger, Nicki Aycox, director of photography Don FauntLeRoy, and more
Creeper Creation featuring interviews with production illustrator Brad Parker, special make-up effects artist Brian Penikas, and Jonathan Breck
The Orphanage visual effects reel
Creeper Composer – an interview with composer Bennett Salvay and writer/director Victor Salva
Storyboard Renditions of Scenes Not Filmed – “The Creeper’s Lair” and “Ventriloquist Creeper”
Scream Factory presents Jeepers Creepers: Collector’s Edition. Directed by: Victor Salva. Screenplay by: Victor Salva. Starring: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck & Eileen Brennan. Running Time: 91 minutes. Rated: R. Released: June 14, 2016.
Scream Factory presents Jeepers Creepers 2: Collector’s Edition. Directed by: Victor Salva. Screenplay by: Victor Salva. Starring: Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck & Diane Delano. Running Time: 104 minutes. Rated: R. Released: June 14, 2016.
Tags: Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2, Scream Factory