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Jeepers Creepers. Where’d you hide those peepers? After a successful first film, there isn’t a studio out there that would not hear the money rolling in and want to do a sequel. The first film was good up to a point – after seeing the monster or Creeper as he is known, it was a whole lot less scary and even a solid start could not save it in the end. Now the Creeper has been exposed on screen will the second movie build on the suspense from the start of the first, or will it be a “Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhatten” all over again?

Jeepers Creepers 2

The Film
A golden corn field envelops the screen and a boy is fixing scarecrows to posts to keep the crows from the farmer’s crop. His father, the farmer, and his brother are back towards the house busying themselves with chores. The boy looks up at one of the scarecrows, which has the birds themselves sitting on it – “Fat lot of good they are doing” he grumbles, then out of the corner of his eye he catches the scarecrow looking at him. Turning quickly he looks upon the scarecrow to see it looking straight ahead as it was before. Puzzled he cautiously walks through the corn to the figure. Something is not right. Looking at the figures feet, huge talons replace the stuff toy feet of the original dummy he had hung. A toe moves. The boy runs.

That is how this film starts, and a lot of this will have already been seen as it is present in the trailer. The story at the farm concluded for the time being, the camera pans to a bus full of rowdy teenagers who have just won some form of team sport State Championship. Singing their victory chant, they are high spirited, that is until a tyre on the bus explodes. The driver manages to control the bus to a standstill and the school staff leave the bus to examine the tyre. It is shredded and unable to be patched up. A device not unlike a ninja’s shuriken or throwing star is embedded in the tyre. In the centre of this weapon, is a human tooth.

This tale of woe has now begun as we see a stranded bus full of kids, be picked off one by one as the Creeper forces itself on them, one at a time. There are several sub themes running throughout the film. The main one is that Scott 'Scotty' Braddock (Eric Nenninger – Malcolm in the Middle) is sure the team only got to the final because of him, and the fact that he only played for 12 minutes is an insult to him. So whilst the other players chat and are happy, he sits at the back, quietly stewing in his own anger and then decides that since the coach is black, he must have favoured some of the lesser talented black players over himself. It is a strong concept but does not really amount to much what with the Creeper eating everyone. Another sub theme follows the farmer and his remaining son from the films opening building a weapon in a shed from whatever parts are to hand in a way that would make the A-Team applaud. They then wait for disturbing radio reports to materialise and give chase.

Jeepers Creepers 2

The problem with this film is that there are a lot of plot holes. The first film at the beginning, kept the Creeper to himself, disguised as an old man, taking people with more stealth however in this film it is all out war for the most, except at times when the creature lures its pretty into a false sense of security and then pounces. Why it does this, when it has the strength of 30 men, can fly, and has weapons as well as huge teeth is a little odd. Perhaps it needs to generate fear to make the kill more pleasurable. Whilst we find out it can smell fear to hunt out specific people to eat we are not told of any other reason for it’s extra ability. Just ripping the top off the coach and chowing down would probably make everyone afraid anyway so why it goes to such lengths is beyond me. I guess it makes for a more entertaining film. In theory. The ending too, does not really make sense however I won’t go into that here.

Aside from its faults, Jeepers Creepers 2 is one of those non-scary with a lot of loud fast jumps. A lot of cheap jumps but otherwise not a lot to be frightened of. A shame as I was hoping for it to build more in the suspense but from the trailer I should have guessed this was not going to happen. What next for the beast? I can almost see it now – Jeepers Creepers 3 – set sometime in the not too distant future where the world has been destroyed by this and other similar monsters which every 23 years reawaken to cause terror on a the inhabitants of this planet. However there are some prepared for the return, who have some form of mission to destroy these beasts and who have special Mr Myagi style training to go through and then they go off to fight. Yep, I could write a screen play I think. I wonder how much MGM would pay for it? (Oh, and I say MGM as it was released under MGM in the States, but for some reason it is Fox over here).

This film is presented in anamorphic widescreen with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The print is slightly soft in places but deals with the dark set in which most of the film takes place, well. There is little to no grain present and I did not see any compression artefacts whist watching. Some odd colours appear in the films opening sequence and whilst it is mentioned on the Creeper Commentary (see extra features section) that there was a solar eclipse on the day of filming which made for some unusual light, it looks to me like this has been digitally graded to enhance the yellow spectrum of colour. I am not sure why this was done to such a degree but it certainly looks quite odd on the big screen. Overall a decent video transfer but nothing award winning, it can really only be truly complimented for the way in which it handles the night scenes.  

Jeepers Creepers 2 is presented with a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 English soundtrack. This track is fairly average and while the surround channels are used it at times feels a little basic and that the sound is not always as directional as it should be. Bass levels are above average to enhance the “jumps” the film tries to give however nothing too impressive occurs here either. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand however, and the score does not intrude into the film – actually I felt the score was not prominent enough at times. Interestingly enough there is a forth audio track available on this disc labeled as an Audio Description track which I assume is for blind or poorly sighted people. During times when there is no dialogue, a voice explains what is happening on screen. I think this is the first time I have noticed this on a DVD and therefore kudos to whoever commissioned it. I doubt it will see that much use in comparison to the standard track but I was glad to see the movie being made available to a wider audience.

Jeepers Creepers 2

The Creeper Commentary features Jonathon Breck (Creeper), Brad Parker (Storyboard, Illustrator and Creeper Designer) and Brian Penikas (creature & makeup effects supervisor). I was not expecting a lot from this track however there is very little technical information here which makes it easier on the ears than I anticipated. Whilst there are still a few “Wow look at this scene” from Parker there is also a good amount of talk about the creature, the make up associated with it and even speculation on its origins. They mention the creature could be from biblical times, and possibly a cursed human. At one point in the film the Creeper is on a cross, and in the scene there are three crosses in total making it look like the Creeper is a crucified Jesus. Apparently this is supposed to be scary from a religious point of view. I am not so sure however.

The second Commentary features Victor Salva (writer and director) and most of the principle cast of the film. It must have been a full room – I could list them all but I really don’t think you want me to! Salva starts out by talking about the “Every 23rd Spring” line and about how he wanted to include it so that after the first film, there would not be a sequel as it would have to be 23 years in the future. But there are ways around this sort of thing and hence, the second film was made. The idea of including everyone from the cast works well as it allows the director to take lead and offer information on each scene as the film progresses but also by calling on members of the cast for each of their scenes. This makes it quite a varied look at the film and from this both tracks are certainly exceed expectations for such a film as this.

The Deleted Scenes, Moments and Lines run for fifteen minutes and do not come with a commentary or the ability to select each one individually. Some are missing sound effects but for the most they come complete with music and are presented in such a way that they look “finished”. A few are replacements for scenes in the movie, whilst others are either extended or new scenes removed from the final cut. Some of the longer ones are quite interesting and add to the film as a whole so I can only assume they were removed due to time constraints or to keep the film moving at a faster pace. A scene near the end explains that the crow sounds were added digitally after the filming was done as the live crows failed to perform on cue.

Jeepers Creepers 2

The Gallery is a selection of photos taken during and behind the scenes of filming. There are 35 in total and include shots from the deleted Graveyard scene. The Making of Jeepers Creepers 2 is a feature broken down into six parts. These are The Making of (14 minutes), Creeper Composer (10 minutes), A Day in Hell (27 minutes), Creeper Creation (12 minutes) and Digital Effects (4 minutes). These MGM made featurettes feature good interviews with the writer/director as he explains how Francis Ford Coppola convinced Salva to make a sequel. The digital effects section is also fascinating and the average day for the director whilst filming (A Day in Hell) shows how hard it is to work on projects like this.

TV Spots and Trailers is a section comprising of a widescreen theatrical trailer and teaser trailer which both include with 5.1 sound. The teaser trailer is the most laughable bit of marketing I have seen for a long time – absolutely appalling. There are two and a half minutes showing approximately nine TV spots which feature a lot of advertising for The Sun newspaper. Lots of “voice over man” make each one not in the least suspenseful, and uninspiring to boot. A poor show indeed.  

This film was quite a large let down as it was neither truly scary nor horrifically gory. I think it failed to build in areas that it could have succeeded in and unless you have a fear of scarecrows, I doubt very much that you will be hiding behind your sofa for this one. The DVD is presented well enough, with a smattering of good extra features and a couple of worthwhile commentary tracks. One issue I did have was with the menus. Whoever at Fox who believes DVDs should come with trailers before the menu and that can only be skipped individually needs their head examining. Those of us that really don’t care about watching trailers should be able to hit the MENU button and go straight into the action. Also, the Special Features menu is animated and only allows you to select the feature you are interested in when a spot light rolls over its title. It is a cute effect but a little annoying if you want to watch one of the last features as you have to wait for it to be highlighted. When the spotlight finished going over all the features, it made PowerDVD stop working having the same effect as hitting the STOP button. Strange indeed.

If you enjoyed the first one, I would certainly consider seeing this as you will more than likely enjoy this too. However it might only be worth a rental as I can’t really see the need to see a film like this more than once or possibly twice. If you want to be properly scared, I’d check out <a href=";s=2&c=930">Wrong Turn</a> instead (review linked on the right).