Jeepers Creepers 2 Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Victor Salva
Screenwriter: Victor Salva
Cast: Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck, Lena Cardwell, Drew Tyler Bell
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 2 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, 2003’s Jeepers Creepers 2 picks up three days after the events of the first film. Jack Taggart Sr. (Ray Wise) and his sons, Jack Jr. (Luke Edwards) and Billy (Shaun Fleming), are placing scarecrows in a cornfield when the Creeper (Jonathan Breck) attacks. The flesh-eating demon drags Billy through the field before spreading its bat-like wings and flying off, leaving the Taggart family horrified.
Later, a school bus full of high school athletes is stranded on a deserted country road. The kids, their coaches (Thom Gossom Jr. and Tom Tarantini), and the bus driver (Diane Delano) quickly realize that they are being hunted by the Creeper, who has disabled the bus with a shuriken made of teeth and bones. While the Creeper picks off the team one by one, the Taggart family decides to do some hunting of their own.
Jeepers Creepers 2 is competently made, but it lacks the suspense – and the scares – of its predecessor. As a sequel it delivers on bigger set pieces, improved special effects, and more bloodshed, but the writing fails to give us any compelling characters. The teenagers are entirely unlikeable, and I found myself excited by the prospect of watching the Creeper turn their school bus into a smörgåsbord. The only remotely interesting human in the movie is Taggart Sr., and that’s thanks to Ray Wise, who has turned in countless memorable performances in cult favorites like RoboCop, Twin Peaks, and Digging Up the Marrow. Without Wise’s vengeful, harpoon-launching farmer, Salva’s film doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
Presented in 2.35:1 widescreen in 1080p high definition, Jeepers Creepers 2 was originally released on Blu-ray a few years back as part of a double feature set from MGM. As for Scream Factory’s two-disc Collector’s Edition, no mention is made of a remaster, so I’m assuming this is the same transfer from the previous release. In any case, it’s still a solid transfer, with bold darks and bright golds. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround track is an aggressive mix, with plenty of directional effects and nice channel separation.
What Scream Factory’s release lacks in a new transfer, it makes up for in bonus materials. Jeepers Creepers 2 comes complete with Jeepers Creepers 2: Then and Now, featuring new interviews with Salva, director of photography Don FauntLeRoy, editor Ed Marx and actor Tom Tarantini. Also included are A Father’s Revenge, an interview with Ray Wise, and Don’t Get Off the Bus, which includes interviews with Tom Tarantini, Thom Gossom Jr., and Diane Delano.
There’s also A Day in Hell, a look at the filming of Jeepers Creepers 2, and Lights, Camera, Creeper: The Making of Jeepers Creepers 2 featuring Salva, actors Travis Schiffner, Josh Hammond, Billy Aaron Brown, Eric Nenninger, and Nicki Aycox, and more. Also included is Creeper Composer – an interview with composer Bennett Salvay, and Creeper Creation, featuring interviews with production illustrator Brad Parker, special make-up effects artist Brian Penikas and Jonathan Breck.
Rounding out the set’s special features are storyboard renditions of scenes not filmed, a visual effects reel, deleted scenes, and a photo gallery, as well as the theatrical trailer. That’s over two hours of additional content for a film that, if I’m being totally honest, is pretty forgettable. There’s a lot of potential for the Creeper as a modern horror icon, but until a story can be written that adequately services the character and makes us care for his victims, all that exists are bits and pieces of brilliance amidst the mediocrity.