Thursday, June 11, 2015

Movie #310: Jeepers Creepers

Jeepers Creepers is a 2001 monster movie starring Justin Long, Gina Philips, Jonathan Breck, Eileen Brennan, and Patricia Belcher. It's directed by Victor Salva, and that's kinda the problem. I'll get to that.

Trish (Philips) and Darry (Long) are driving across what looks like Kansas on their way home from college. They pass and are nearly run off the road by a huge, tank-like truck, and later pass it at an abandoned church - where they see a man in a coat throat what looks like two bloodied bodies down a sewer pipe. The truck chases them again and runs them off the road, and they decide to go back and see if the bodies are, in fact, dead (they're in the middle of nowhere so just zipping down to the police isn't an easy option; Darry rightly points out that if someone is hurt or dying back there it would be irresponsible to leave them).

They find, however, carnage - hundreds of bodies affixed to the walls in the basement, artfully stitched together. They find a diner and call for help, and receive a phone call from a strange women who seems to know all about them. The police arrive, but they learn that the church is burning, making it hard to confirm their story...and then the man in the coat (Breck), attacks as they're on the road, killing the cops.

The Creeper chases them through the countryside, and they finally hook up with the woman on the phone, a psychic named Jezelle (Belcher). She tells them that one of them is going to die screaming in the dark, but she doesn't know which one. The Creeper attacks the police station, killing prisoners to eat their body parts and heal its wounds, and then grabs Darry, shows its wings, and flies off to claim its prize...his eyes.

So, here's the problematic bit: The director is a sex offender who served time for oral sex with a minor. (I know, ew.) If you watch the movie and you don't know that, it's this very tight, creepy monster movie with a tragic and evocative ending. If you do know that, it's a monster sniffing a teenage boy's underwear and chasing him while his shirt is torn open. The movie is creepy either way, but the context of who the director is makes the difference between "nicely creepy and scary" to "BRAIN BLEACH NOW."

I can separate the two and appreciate the movie even know what a creep Salva is, but it takes some work. I like that it's a monster movie that doesn't delve into the monster's origins too deeply, and I love that it takes place in the span of a few hours. Everything about the movie is tight and tense, and that's fun.

So...it's hard to recommend, based on not wanting to give Salva money (I bought this DVD before I knew), but, it's a good horror movie. So maybe borrow it from me if you want to see it?

My grade: A-, as dirty as that makes me feel
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: Jeepers Creeper 2