Every 23rd Spring, for 23 days, it gets to… eat.
So years ago my sister was looking to watch something on TV and put on Jeepers Creepers 2. I saw the part where he is a scarecrow, or actually pretending to be one, I guess. After that scene she changed the channel as she either thought it was too scary for me, or was tired of my asking questions about who the guy was and why he was doing that.
Since then I have never seen another Jeepers Creepers film, but the other day my friend and I were having a scary movie marathon and decided to check it out. She had never finished it, and I had never seen it before; so we thought we’d make good company.
So the film starts off with Darry Jenner (Justin Long) and his sister Trish (Gina Phillips) are heading home for spring break. They play a game of guessing the meaning of license plates as they drive. They are having a pretty uneventful trip when a van comes behind them and drives all crazy, frightening them.
The car eventually goes around them and they see the license plate says “BEATINGU”. They think that is the last of him.
They continue driving when they see an old church. And just who should be there? The guy who was driving frantically earlier. They see him dump a black bag tied up with rope that resembles a body down a large pipe. They quickly decide to call the police, but can’t because the phone is dead.
Trish: [Darry’s cell phone las a low battery] The point of having a portable phone, idiot, is so that it works when you need it.
Darry: I have a power cable for it.
Trish: Yeah, and I have a cigarette lighter *that doesn’t work*!
Darry: G****** it! What did I say? My car! We should’ve taken my car!
As they continue past, the guy sees them and drives after them, scaring them again, and running them off the road.
When they get their car running again, they decide to do the smart thing and drive until they can find a phone and report what happened.
Oh wait, no they do not do that. They decide to go to his place and investigate it.
He is crazy, he has twice tried to run you off the road, and you are pretty sure that he just killed someone. WHY WOULD YOU GO THERE???!!
I thought these people were so stupid. No sane person would do that, that is until I saw what this was based on.
The director and writer insist that the film was an original concept and not based on anything but I think that is a lie. There is an Unsolved Mysteries episode that was aired in 1990, 11 years prior to the film, and is about a couple who likes playing games with license plates and has a similar experience of almost being run off the road, seeing a man toss a body, and trying to “investigate” it. One Youtuber put the two right after each other, and it is clear that Jeepers Creepers is based on this tale.
The killer in that case turned out to be Dennis DePue, a Michigan man, who murdered his wife when she wanted to leave him.
Anyways, so the two are stupidly looking around the area, when Darry gets the bright idea that he will go into the pipe and try to see if anyone is in there in need of help, while Trish holds his feet. All I can say is, bad idea.
Trish:[Darry wants to climb down in the pipe leading to the Creeper’s House of Pain] You know the part in scary movies when somebody does something really stupid, and everybody hates them for it? This is it.
Yes, you guys never should have gone there, but called the police.
So of course Darry falls in, when the two are surprised by some rats.
When he goes down into this pit he finds all kinds of horrors. Bodies that missing things, one that have been cut open and re-sewn. Some have been sewed together. Truly creepy and disgusting. And all the bodies are attached to the walls, like some crazy spider web/wall/cave thing.
Trish waits for him on top, not even looking to see if the PERSON IS COMING BACK!!! Seriously what is wrong with you?
Eventually Darry comes up, but they never explain how he got out. He is extremely traumatized, especially after he saw a dead girl from their home town’s body.
They drive to the nearest phone and to get gas. There they get a call on the pay phone from Jezelle Gay Hartman, the local psychic.
She knows all about them and warns them to get away. The creeper will be after them. They think it is a prank, hangup and call the police.
When the police get there they don’t really believe Darry as he sounds out of his mind.
The car license was registered years ago, and no longer valid. Some of the things he says, the people, have been missing for over twenty years. If they were dead that long, how was the body still full of skin? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but they decide to follow the two and head out to the church.
This next scene I thought was done really well. I liked how they do all the action with the Creeper in the background, through the back window. And watch for the sign placement when the Creeper eats the policeman.
After that they try and stop somewhere for a phone, and end up at a cat lady’s house. She’s pretty awesome as she grabs her shotgun and starts shooting the Creeper up, not letting him in her house. He kills her though, and reveals what he looks like. And it is pretty gross. He’s like a bat-person thing, and even has wings.
Trish hits the Creeper with her car and then runs over it five times. You go girl! You keep doing that, make sure that sucker is extremely injured or dead.
[after running over the Creeper]
Darry: Is he dead?
Trish: They never are.
They go to the police station and try to report what has happened, but the cops don’t really believe them. There they meet the psychic Jezelle, who tells them the Creeper is after them. Every 23 years, for 23 days, he hunts people; taking those he can who have organs he can eat and will become a part of his body. He smells something in Darry and Trish; although Jezelle isn’t sure which one he is after.
The Creeper is wounded and his body all broken in places. He cuts the power at the police station and feasts on the prisoners to heal himself. The police try to stop him but can’t.
Meanwhile Jezelle has warned the two that one will die a horrible death. She tells them they need to get away and stays behind to try and fight the creeper. The creeper doesn’t want her, and throws her aside, hunting the brother and sister.
He goes after the two, and takes Darry. Trish tries to change his mind and pleads for her to take him; but he looks at her and goes off with Darry.
The police check the abandoned church and find everything like Darry said; but no Creeper and no Darry. He has found a new lair, and has taken Darry’s eyes.
I thought the film was alright. I didn’t think it was that good, and there was a lot of stuff unexplained; but I guess I’m in the minority as it was a huge hit in theaters and for Long’s career, had a sequel that made even more money, and will be getting a threequel next year.
To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)
For the previous post, go to Night on Bald Mountain: Fantasia (1940)
For more Justin Long, go to You’re My Exception: He’s Just NOT That Into You (2009)
For more psychics, go to Someone Has Erased His Memory: Total Recall (1990)