Plot: Trish (Gina Phillips) is headed home on a break from school, with her brother Darry (Justin Long) along for the ride. The two play silly road games to pass the time and throw insults around, but the boredom of the road is soon broken when a strange, eerie truck nearly chases them off the road. The same truck is soon seen at a rural church, where the driver is dumping what seems to be sheet covered, body-shaped parcels down a creepy pipe. The two roll past, but Darry soon gets a crisis of conscious, feeling the need to go back and see if those were indeed bodies. After all, perhaps one of them was still alive and in need of help. Trish is terrified at the suggestion, but agrees to a quick stop and soon, is dangling her brother down the rusty pipe, as he hears a faint voice and wants a closer look. An ambush of rats spooks Trish, who drops Darry down the pipe and in the depths, he sees countless bodies, preserved in some ritualistic fashion to form an eerie art installation. The siblings manage to get back on the road, but no one seems to believe their stories about the driver and the bodies, until the driver unleashes his violence in the open…
Entertainment Value: Jeepers Creepers is a solid, passable horror flick, but it is doomed to be looked down upon, as child rapist Victor Salva is involved. If you separate the art from the artist however, this proves to be a decent movie, though dampened by a rather ineffective villain. Aside from Salva’s presence, The Creeper is the main issue with this movie, as he simply fails to elicit scares thanks to a combination of over exposure and lackluster effects work. If he had remained in the shadows and made only brief appearances, he could have been much more effective. This is because he looks like he is wearing a discount store Halloween mask, like someone dressed up like a monster, not an actual monster himself. Despite the ridiculous look of The Creeper, he is used often and in full view, which deflates the tension of some scenes and adds unintentional humor whenever he appears. But beyond that, Jeepers Creepers is a decent flick and provides solid atmosphere and some cool visuals. The House of Pain is suitably creepy, with all the preserved corpses posed, while the various chase scenes work quite well, I think. I do the movie loses steam whenever it widens the scope beyond the road chase, but it remains passable throughout. It is a shame this movie is tainted by Salva’s sick presence, because it is an interesting horror movie. I can understand why some fans avoid his work however.
No nakedness. The Creeper does French kiss a severed head, but that’s as close to romance as this one gets. The movie does have some fun gore however, with low rent, but still cool practical effects. The eerie, preserved corpses provide some twisted visuals, while bloodshed highlights include the aforementioned tongue eating and a vehicular smash session. Some of the effects look quite bad though, such as the wings and some obvious CGI. As I mentioned before, The Creeper himself cheap and rushed, which wouldn’t be an issue, if he wasn’t featured in full sight so often. This would have been a great time for a “less is more” approach, in my opinion. The dialogue is fine, but aside from some sibling banter and hysterical psychic talk, not many of the lines are fun or memorable. But the writing does what it needs to and the choice to make The Creeper silent was a wise one, without question. No real craziness to mention, outside of the usual horror movie bad decisions. This one keeps things well within genre conventions, which works for this material. I do think the creepy artistic corpse structure deserves a point, however.
Overall Insanity: 1/10