Jeepers Creepers

Directed by Victor Salva
Starring: Justin Long, Gina Phillips, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, Eileen Brennan.
MPAA Rating: R for terror violence/gore, language and brief nudity.

Review by Evelyn Gildrie-Voyles <evy@filmhead.com>
September 13, 2001

Jeepers Creepers was number one at the box office the weekend before last. It has no big name stars unless you count 70's character actress Eileen Brennan. The writer/director isn't very well known. The special effects are pretty cheesy and the film practically screams low budget. Why did so many people go and see this movie? Because it's easy to follow, aggressively dumb, and scary in that old-fashioned "gotcha" sort of way. It does what trash horror flicks should do: it lets you make fun of how stupid the characters are while still screaming your head off at the demon in bad make-up that's eating some dumb guy's tongue.

The plot is so streamlined that it almost doesn't exist. A brother and sister driving home from college get chased by a demon that regenerates itself by eating its victims' body parts. That's it; no self-conscious genre parody, no exploration of themes of family, friendship, or loyalty; no half-hearted critique of religion, society, or relationships; just screaming, running, hiding, gore, and death. The characters do all the stupid things that make gotcha horror films so fun. They stand and watch the killer, they run the wrong way, they scream when everything is fine and think everything is fine when it isn't. They allow the audience to yell "Run, look out, don't be stupid, etc." -- building up the tension 'til BANG -- the boogey man gets them and they die a really gruesome death. The audience jumps when it happens, even though they knew it was coming and then gets to feel all smug because they would never be that dumb.

The acting is above average for a horror movie. Justin Long and Gina Phillips as the brother and sister give strong realistic performances and Patricia Belcher as the small town psychic does a great job with a terrible part. Luckily the quality acting doesn't ruin the delicious badness of this movie. It's a bad bad movie which is why it's so good. The joy of Jeepers Creepers can be best described by a quote I wrote down from one of the 6 screaming women sitting behind me. "Run stupid. This is the dumbest movie I ever AHHHHHHHHHHHH. I can't watch this. Oh shit. Oh shit. AHHHHHHHHHHH. Why are they so stupid? I can't take this. AHHHHHHHHH." Now that's what a trash horror flick should sound like.


For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Jeepers Creepers (2001)

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Jeepers Creepers (2001) -- VHS
Jeepers Creepers (2001) -- DVD


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