Macabre Movie Mausoleum: Jeepers Creepers

I may like horror and movies that deal with hell, but man do I hate the heat. I don’t want to have to start every edition of MMM with weather updates, but when you air conditioning doesn’t work, there isn’t much else to think about.

Up this month, we’ve got a movie I could have sworn I already presented for you, my faithful gravediggers and undertakers, but the record says otherwise. It also has what it probably the catchiest jingle in a horror movie since the Freddy Krueger song.

Jeepers Creepers (2001)

Director: Victor Salva

Starring: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck

 

 

Worst twins ever! Ok, maybe they weren’t twins, but Trish and Darry are possibly the worst siblings to ever appear in a horror movie, and I say that not even being among the many people that hate Justin Long, but the two main characters, are painfully Hollywood siblings. The entire opening sequence is meant to show how related they are. Thanks movie. Anyway, things progress from there, and we begin the actual plot. The siblings come across a man who tried running them off the road a few minutes ago (in the movie), dumpingbodies down a sewage pipe near a church. He sees that they saw him and chases them in his intimidating truck. He then successfully runs them off the road, but for whatever reason, leaves it at that. He doesn’t capture them, he doesn’t kill them, he just lets them be.

From there, Darry rationalizes that they need to return to the church and the pipe in case any of the bodies are still alive. Trish, who has more sense, somehow still allows him to convince her to go against said common sense.  Darry falls down the tube because of rats, and soon finds that one of the bodies was in fact, still alive, but that guy dies shortly after anyway. Moving into a large chamber, Darry sees that the ceiling and walls are covered with bodies preserved in some fashion, but are all mutilated in one way or another.

Darry escapes the chamber, and he and Trish make their way to a diner to call the cops. While there, they receive a call from a stranger who knows Darry’s name. She also reveals that she knows about their situation. She warns him to stay away from large groups of cats, and if they hear the song “Jeepers Creepers” to run away as fast as possible.

After the cops arrive, Trish and Darry lead them to the church, but the cops are killed enroute, and we learn that the man… IS NO MAN. He’s some humanoid monster with insane strength. The siblings are able to escape as the monster feasts on the tongue of one of the cops. They stop at a house where there is a crazy cat lady and more than a couple of cats. Darry begins to realize perhaps the stranger that called wasn’t lying, but not in time to save the cat lady who has her heart ripped out by the monster.

While attempting to escape, Trish is able to run over the monster (hence forth referred to as Jeepers) several times, grinding parts of his body into dust. They watch from the car, as wings grow from Jeeper’s back, and Trish drives over him one last time.

They travel to the nearest police station, but are followed by Jeeper who makes quick work of an inmate and officer. The stranger on the phone shows up at the precinct, and it is explained that she is a psychic who has had visions about Darry, Trish and Jeeper. From her dreams, she’s learned that Jeeper is able to feed once every 23 years for 23 days. And this ties into a story we heard about earlier concerning two kids from their town that went missing 23 years ago. Jeeper feeds on humans, but only eats the parts of the body that he needs for himself. Meaning he’ll eat a leg to repair his broken leg, or bat wings to gain his wings that were shown earlier. Also, we learn that he causes fear in his victims in order to better smell them and know what parts he wants for himself.

It’s not a lot of background, and virtually none of it is explained, but that is one of the movie’s strong suits. It doesn’t waste time with needless explanations, and there are a lot of unanswered questions, none of which take away from Jeeper’s cool look or the ‘story’ of the movie, as far as the one being told is concerned.

Jeeper decimates the cops and eventually corners the siblings in an interrogation room. Where the psychic saw one of them being captured, then tortured and killed while ‘the’ song plays.

Darry is taken, although the psychic says her dream shows it was Trish. Jeeper flies to an abandoned factory of some sort, and we hear the song plays as Darry screams. The camera pans in and we find Darry strung up and the back of his head missing along with his eyes. Jeeper is shown with Darry’s eyes.

On to the rating…

I haven’t seen the sequel (yet), so I don’t know if they further explained Jeeper at all, but as I mentioned, the lack of exposition and needless explanations was a huge plus for this movie. The villain had an interesting look, and was mostly original. While I liked that the movie wasn’t bogged down, they still could have made it longer by throwing in some more deaths. The kill scenes weren’t as inventive as the Jeeper character could have allowed, but we do have that one scene where Jeeper bit out an officer’s tongue.

Trish and Darry were forgettable characters and easily exchangeable, as were the actors who played them, although Justin Long did have a few funny moments with his facial expressions.

Overall, it was a very serviceable, perhaps standalone, film. We’ll see how the sequel treats the original. Stay tuned for that in the near future.

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