This week, The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles takes on a walk down memory lane with a look at two of Scream Factory’s latest spine-tingling releases — 2001’s Jeepers Creepers and it’s 2003 sequel, Jeepers Creepers 2. Here is a quick rundown on both films for the uninitiated:
Jeepers Creepers Synopsis: “On a desolate country highway, two homeward-bound teens (Gina Philips and Justin Long) are nearly run off the road by a maniac in a beat-up truck… and later spot him shoving what appears to be a body down a sewer pipe. But when they stop to investigate, they discover that the grisly reality at the bottom of that pipe is far worse than they could have ever suspected… and that they are now the targets of an evil far more unspeakable – and unstoppable – than they could have ever imagined!”
Jeepers Creepers 2 Synopsis: “When their bus is crippled on the side of a deserted road, a team of high school athletes discover an opponent they cannot defeat – and may not survive. Staring hungrily at them through the school bus windows, the “Creeper” returns again and again. But when the teammates discover that it’s selective about whom it attacks, it will test their ability to stick together – as the insatiable menace tries to tear them apart!”
REVIEW: Being a “youngin”, I was only 9 years old when Jeepers Creepers made its debut on Labor Day of 2001. It was my first full foray into the horror world. The movie itself scared the hell out of me. From the opening truck chase to the haunting shot at the films conclusion; I didn’t sleep for weeks after my first viewing. A funny thing happened during these moments though…I began to crave that feeling. Being scared was an adrenaline rush that I had to achieve over and over again. I started asking my parents about other horror movies and what else I could watch. Yes, I was 9, but my parents were perfectly aware of what I could handle. I even met Jonathan Breck, the Creeper, at a horror convention when I was 11 years old. The rest was history and I’ve been a horror fan ever since.
A decade and change has passed since this “historic moment” and my love of this film hasn’t changed. Regardless, this release, as well as the sequel, is both interesting and controversial. I want to avoid the politics involved with this release as I only learned about the director’s past a few years ago. If one can separate the art from the person then they should have no issue enjoying these releases. At times I question this view point but I always arrive at the same decision to enjoy the films for what they are. I definitely understand the other view point and I respect that. That will be the only mention of the director controversy, if you would like to know more then do your own research. Now let’s concentrate on what we’re truly here for. These two creepy creature features have received the Scream Factory treatment and they’re better than ever.
Creepers begins with brother and sister, Darry (Justin Long) and Trish Jenner (Gina Philips) heading home for spring break. The two are playing road games and ultimately getting on each other’s nerves. As the two are distracted a terrifying old truck flies up behind them and terrorizes the young duo. Once the truck finally passes, our “heroes” begin to collect themselves”. Shortly after, Darry sees what he believes is the truck’s driver dumping bodies down a sewer pipe. In true horror movie fashion, Darry decides that it is his duty to find out what was dumped down the pipe. After investigating the situation shenanigans ensue. Darry and Trish are being hunted by one of the most terrorizing monsters of the 21st century. I won’t say much else for the unlikely chance that there are people who haven’t seen this movie. I will however state that the final shot of the movie gave me nightmares for weeks to follow.
The film itself is phenomenal and a movie I can honestly watch time and time again. It has a creepy yet tongue in cheek atmosphere that pulls its audience in. It’s a horror movie that isn’t afraid to have fun. Justin Long and Gina Philips are perfect as the siblings who annoy the hell out of one another but would take a bullet for each other. Patricia Belcher does an amazing job as Jezelle, the creepy psychic who knows how our story will unfold no matter what is done.
The Scream Factory release is similar to others. It brings back old features from past releases while including new interviews with the cast and crew. The most notable new feature is the commentary track featuring Long, Philips, and Salva. There’s some truly funny and interesting stuff; I can’t recommend listening to it enough. Honestly, if you’re a genuine Jeepers Creepers fan I definitely suggest picking this up. If you aren’t then you’re probably not considering it in the first place. Now, this release was a bit different then past Scream Factory releases due to the fact that it was put out simultaneously with its sequel, Jeepers Creepers 2.
The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles has been watching wrestling since his emergence out of the womb on April 10th of 1992. Dylan is an obsessive fan of both horror and comic books. You may see him sharing his opinion on just about everything on the internet or maybe even working the MonsterMania Con on the east coast. A lifelong WWE fan, the first event he can remember watching was Wrestlemania 11. Since then, he has surrounded himself with the world of wrestling in multiple facets. You love him and he loves you! Follow him on Twitter at @thedylanlyles
In an interview for the new release, Victor Salva considered Creepers 2, the Aliens to Jeepers Creepers’ Alien. I couldn’t agree more. Although I wouldn’t consider it a classic like the sequel to Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, I would definitely say it is more action packed with an increase in set pieces and decrease in actual scares. Jeepers Creepers 2 hits home with any high school athlete as it begins with a high school basketball team heading home from a game. Of course the “Creeper” foils any plan of getting home with any homemade…… “flesh made” weapon you could think of. The only thing preventing each student from being ripped to shreds is the vengeful father, Jack Taggart (Ray Wise), who wants our villain to pay the ultimate price after the monster itself took Jack’s youngest son. An awesome ensemble cast of young actors round out this action packed monster movie that you honestly don’t see enough of any more.
I thought this was a great sequel that may have skipped out on the creepy factor but added in the fun factor. Once again the Scream Factory release delivers with new interviews with the cast and crew. However, there are some downsides. There are no new interviews with any of the younger cast members and every bit of behind the scenes footage is from old releases. No new commentary on this disc sadly. There’s also a shockingly absent Jonathan Breck on both releases. The only our “Creeper” shows up is in features that were present on previous releases.
As stated, if you’re a fan of the movies definitely pick these up as they are the quintessential releases. I’m not here to convince you on your feelings or change your mind. If you have no interest and you’ve made it this far then thanks for supporting us at ICON VS. ICON. For those of you actually interested, Jeepers Creepers and Jeepers Creepers 2 was released on June 14th and can be ordered from amazon.com or www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/scream-factory.
Obsessed with all things horror, video games, comics and vinyl, Dylan has been surrounded by all things geek culture since birth. Along with writing for Icon Versus Icon he’s also the co-host for the year long Christmas podcast, “Christmas 365”.
“No wimps. No False Metal.”