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Jeepers Creepers 2
Stars: Jonathan Breck, Ray Wise, Nicki Lynn Aycox, Billy Aaron Brown, Thom Gossom, Jr. and a cameo by Justin Long
Director/Scriptwriter: Victor Salva
United Artists
Running Time: 104 minutes
Rating: R
Website: <http://www.jeeperscreepers2.com>

One of the surprise horror hits of late was Jeepers Creepers_ a tale of a flying monster who gets to feed on humans for 23 days every 23 years. Who knows why this particular time set, but the setting makes an interesting story. In the first film, The Creeper picked off teens and centered on a brother and sister, who stumbled on his lair. This scenario resembled a torture chamber from Lord of the Rings.

In the sequel--and yes, there had to be a sequel--a group of high school students returning from a game are The Creeper's target. This guy is particular in choosing victims. Perhaps watching his cholesterol count? Anyway, the film begins in a red tint, which lets the audience know something dreadful is about to occur. The Creeper is on the prowl as it is nearing the 23rd day when it must finish its fleshy harvest. Woe unto the teen who wanders into the cornfield to check on family scarecrows. Need I say more? Enter the busload of teens that finds the bus continually crippled by ripped tires. They are absolutely stranded in the middle of nowhere while some flying "thing" starts to pick them off one by one. All is not lost, as the father of a lost teen has put together a kind of harpoon on the back of a pick-up. Said harpoon is intended for only one thing: bringing down the flying Creeper. Will the teens in the school bus survive repeated Creeper attacks? Will the harpoon-truck find the school bus? Why didn't the bus driver stay on the main highway? Why does this film seem to have a budget of $10,000? (costume and make-up for Creeper, jeans and t-shirts for teens, one old school bus and a few acres of cornfield.)

The idea of a flying, thinking Creeper is a novel one. There wasn't that much information given in the first film, but the second almost gives too much. We have close-ups of the character that actually winks at his intended victims. This is a Freddy Krueger trick. Then, there is the harpoon on the truck, which gives a Jaws flavor as in hunting the Great White. I kept waiting for Richard Dreyfuss to appear with his shark cage. There are elements of Alien, also, with the Creeper's bark-brown color and ability to regenerate parts of itself. In fact, with the success of Freddy vs. Jason, why not have a slugfest in 2004 between Freddy, Jason and Creeper? Creep and Fred could wink each other into oblivion, while Jason lumbers after them. Why doesn't Hollywood ask me for plot ideas?

Jonathan Breck, who played The Creeper in the first film, is back. Ray Wise, the harpoonist, is the other recognizable name; otherwise, anyone could have been on the school bus and played the team and cheerleaders. There was an explosion that rocked the school bus, but I couldn't figure what caused it. The film is interesting at the beginning and end, but the middle is a hodge-podge of screaming, running hither and yon, and people daring each other to be brave. Oh, and unlike Freddy vs. Jason_ the kids keep their clothes on. Jeepers Creepers 2 has enough scary moments to satisfy fans and probably the best one is at the beginning of the film. Working those cornfields just isn't what it used to be.

Copyright 2003 Marie Asner
Submitted 9/4/2003

A bus of teens returning from a championship game is about to make a deadly and unexpected stop in Jeepers Creepers 2. The film takes places days after the events in the last film, detailing the demonic title character as he enters the final day of his feeding frenzy.

As established in the first film, every twenty-third spring for twenty-three days, a creature emerges to feed, and naturally, its food of choice is human beings--and it is very particular about what it eats. The scent of fear drives the creature as it strives to induce fear in potential victims in order to determine its needs before selecting and consuming a victim.

The creature has disabled the bus on a remote section of highway in an effort to graze off the inhabitants on its final night of feeding. It accomplishes this feat in several hit-and-run raids as it carries off victims only to return at a moment's notice, keeping the inhabitants trapped.

Mainly unknown actors comprise the cast, as Ray Wise is the only name of note. The cast does a decent job of conveying fear, and upping the hostility as they soon turn on each other over their various petty issues with each other. Sadly, they are not able to provide any tension, as I was expecting to see a bit of 10 Little Indians where the audience has to guess who is going to be killed next. Instead, the film unfolds in a fairly predictable manner and offers few surprises.

The tone of the film is different from the last movie, as it is largely set in a single locale instead of having the creature follow its prey down the highway and appear in different locales. The characters also do not stand around and watch as the creature attacks; they do react--and at times, attempt to fight the creature as well.

While the film is better than the first movie, it is still largely devoid of any scares and becomes repetitive after a while as one can only watch a band of teens preyed upon for so long before becoming bored. The lack of any chemistry amongst the cast, as well as the lack of character development, does not allow the audience to care much for the fate of the characters; thus, much of the audience is lost.

There is some potential in the series as the title character is an interesting villain; with the right cast and script, this possibility could really have been intriguing. I suspect that audiences have not seen the last of the Creeper, and let's hope that the third time will be the charm as part two is a step forward from the first, just not enough to allow the film to take off.

Gareth Von Kallenbach  9/4/2003

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