Friday, December 16, 2011

#487. Jeepers Creepers (2001)

Directed By: Victor Salva

Starring: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck

Tag line: "Fear takes a road trip."

Trivia:  The original truck from the film is owned by a private collector in Maryland, who keeps it in storage awaiting the filming of Jeepers Creepers 3

Jeepers Creepers starts off with a bang. There are scenes at the beginning of this film that crank the tension up as high as it can go, and while the movie does eventually fizzle a bit, these early moments drag you so deeply into the story that you can't wait to see how it all ends. 

While driving home from college, Trish (Gina Philips) and her brother Darry (Justin Long) are nearly run off the road by a rusty, old truck. A few miles down the highway, they spot this very same vehicle parked next to an abandoned church, where a strange, masked man is throwing bundles, shaped exactly like human remains, into a sewer drainpipe. The siblings decide to investigate, but what they find chills them to the bone. Now running for their lives, it isn't long before Trish and Darry discover the masked killer hot on their trail is not entirely human. 

Poor Trish and Darry were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. We first spot the stranger's truck flying towards them through their car's rear windshield. We see it, but they don't, and when the damn thing pulls right behind them and hits the horn, it scares them both half to death. Once it darts by, the siblings shake off the unsettling experience, yet the calm doesn't last for long. When they next see the truck, its driver's dumping what looks like human remains down a sewer pipe, and the two can't help but wonder what's going on. Unfortunately, the driver also sees them, and it leads to a high-speed pursuit, with Trish and Darry barely escaping with their lives. Yet this is nothing compared to what happens when they return to find out what, or who, is at the bottom of that pipe. Believe me, “tense” isn't a strong enough word to describe this scene! 

Where Jeepers Creepers falters is the later sequences, when Trish and Darry learn more about the stranger. They even meet up with a medium (Patricia Belcher) who fills them in on the man (or should I say creature) that now wants them dead. As the stranger's bizarre identity is slowly revealed, he loses some of his menace, and the film's intensity, so prominent early on, leaves right along with it. Still, Jeepers Creepers, is a hell of a ride, and may just have you glancing nervously at your rear view mirror the next time you're alone on a country road.


fred said...

Another guilty pleasure...My wife and I saw this while in HI on our honeymoon in the days following 9/11. This movie helped us take our mind off the disaster for a while...

DVD Infatuation said...

Fred: Thanks for the comment!

I noticed when i was researching this film how close its release date was to 9/11. Interesting how it served as a diversion for you and your wife. I wonder how many others had a similar experience with it?

Thanks again, and I hope you and your family have a great Holiday!

tobylaek said...

I just recently found out that the first part of Jeepers Creepers (which, in my opinion, is the best part of the film) was very much inspired by (or ripped off...however you may see it) a real crime and the Unsolved Mysteries re-enactment of it. Check it out: