Jeepers Creepers Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Victor Salva
Screenwriter: Victor Salva
Cast: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Eileen Brennan
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated R | 104 Minutes
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Disclaimer: In all good conscience, I cannot review Scream Factory’s new Blu-ray release of Jeepers Creepers without mentioning filmmaker Victor Salva‘s past. In 1988, Salva was convicted of sexual misconduct with the 12-year-old star of Clownhouse, his first feature film. Salva pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct, oral copulation with a person under 14, and three counts of procuring a child for pornography. He was sentenced to three years in prison, of which he served 15 months. He completed his parole in 1992, nine years before the release of Jeepers Creepers. I leave it to you to decide if separating the art from the artist is applicable in this instance.
On to the review below.
“Jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those peepers?”
Written and directed by Victor Salva, 2001’s Jeepers Creepers is a low-budget creature feature about a pair of siblings on the run from a flesh-eating demon.
On a desolate Florida highway, Trish Jenner (Gina Philips) and her brother, Darry (Justin Long), are nearly run over by a maniac in a rusted-out, beat-up truck with the license plate “BEATNGU.” Later, they spot the driver, dressed in a duster and wide-brimmed hat, shoving what appears to be a body down a sewer pipe.
Darry convinces Trish to go back and investigate. At the bottom of the pipe, Darry finds a half-dead teenager whose body has been stitched back together. Further examination of the underground lair reveals hundreds of corpses sewn to the walls and ceiling, like something out of Ed Gein’s Sistine Chapel. Terrified by this ghastly discovery, the siblings hightail it to the next town, but it’s too late. They’re the killer’s next target.
Jeepers Creepers attempts to create a new horror icon in a period when the horror genre was – for lack of a better term – dead. In the ’70s we got Leatherface and Michael Myers. The ’80s brought us Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, and Chucky. In the ’90s we had Candyman, The Leprechaun, and Scream’s Ghostface. By 2001, however, the psycho-killers of old had hung up their blades, and no new monsters had stepped up to take their place.
Enter the Creeper, played by Jonathan Breck. Like Freddy and Jason, the Creeper has a unique mythology – every 23rd spring, for 23 days, the ancient demon comes out of hibernation to feed on the flesh of humans. The Creeper can regenerate body parts by devouring the same part from a victim, a unique trait that – like his slasher brethren – makes him an unstoppable force of evil.
Jeepers Creepers has some great practical effects and a memorable monster, courtesy of designers Brad Parker and Brian Penikas, but a terrific premise is wasted on a third act filled with clichés. The relationship between Darry and Gina carries the movie, however, and Long and Philips turn in solid performances that save Jeepers Creepers from becoming another low-rent slasher movie, where you’re waiting for the unlikeable teens to get slaughtered. The Creeper remains a cult curiosity, a character that demands a better movie than what we’re given here.
Scream Factory’s release features a 1080p high-definition widescreen (1.85:1) presentation with noticeable improvements from MGM’s 2012 Blu-ray offering. For one thing, the dull and drained look of the original release has been upgraded by boosting contrast and saturating colors. The new 2K scan of the interpositive provides a clearer image while retaining a decent amount of grain structure. As for the audio, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track offers a lossless mix with deep bass and excellent channel separation.
In addition to the new 2k scan, this Collector’s Edition release comes with a new audio commentary track featuring Victor Salva, Justin Long, and Gina Philips, as well as a previously released commentary with Salva. Also included is Jeepers Creepers: Then And Now, a collection of new interviews with Salva, producer Barry Opper, director of photography Don FauntLeRoy, editor Ed Marx and actor Tom Tarantini.
There’s also two new featurettes, Critters To Creepers – An Interview With Producer Barry Opper and The Town Psychic – An Interview With Actress Patricia Belcher. The two-disc set comes complete with deleted and extended scenes, photo gallery, trailers and radio spots, and Behind The Peepers: The Making of Jeepers Creepers, a documentary included with the original DVD release.
Overall, Scream Factory’s two-disc set is a must-own for diehard Creeper fans but doesn’t feel as definitive as some of their past releases. You can purchase Jeepers Creepers, as well as Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition of Jeepers Creepers 2, at Amazon.