The 2000s have been littered with youth-based horror films. Since horror has come back into fashion they have been cranked out endlessly by indie filmmakers and Hollywood alike, which horror fans like myself really have no problem with at all. And while some of the output has been repetitive or cookie cutter, some film were real standouts, and some of those standouts have also been forgotten or lost in the mix. Two such films have received the Collector’s Edition treatment this month from Scream Factory, Jeepers Creepers and Jeepers Creepers II.
Jeepers Creepers stars Justin Long and Gina Philips as Darry and Trish, a brother and sister on their way home from a Spring Break vacation who witness someone dumping something mysterious down a tunnel. But when their curiosity takes over and they investigate, they stumble upon a disturbing hideout and end up being pursued by the occupant of the cave. But it turns out it is not as simple as some deranged person; it is something far more dangerous.
Jeepers Creepers II picks up a few days after the original film as a busload of high school basketball players, their coaches and cheerleaders find themselves stranded on a deserted road and hunted by a mysterious winged creature. As a local farmer and his son set out to hunt the mythical beast it becomes a dangerous game of cat and mouse for everyone as the Creeper claims victim after victim.
Not only is Jeepers Creepers a fantastically fun horror film but this series manages to do something not many can. It produced a sequel that is just as good as the original. Writer/Director Victor Salva wrote solid screenplays for both films and established a great mythology surrounding The Creeper and managed to make unique and entertaining movies that never quite stoop to the clichés the genre is so used to. Justin Long had only made two movies before Jeepers Creepers but his jittery mannerisms and charisma are already in full swing here and along with Gina Philips they are a great pair. And it is refreshing to have a brother and sister at the center of a story for a change instead of the usual romantic couple.
And as far as Jeepers Creepers II is concerned, it takes the story in a completely different direction and makes it more of a survival film instead of a pursuit/road movie but it works exceedingly well. Aside from Ray Wise the cast are mostly unknowns but they all do a good job of making the characters a little more substantial than the typical fare and the pace and manner by which they all encounter The Creeper is surprising, fast paced and a hell of a lot of fun.
Both films get the Collectors Edition treatment from Scream Factory and there are loads of great features for fans on both films. Jeepers Creepers boasts a new 2K transfer and a new commentary track as well as a second disc full of goodies including Jeepers Creepers: Then And Now documentary featuring interviews with Writer/Director Victor Salva, Producer Barry Opper, Director Of Photography Don FauntLeRoy, Editor Ed Marx And Actor Tom Tarantini and much more.
Jeepers Creepers II features 2 audio commentaries as well as a new doc called Jeepers Creepers 2: Then And Now featuring new interviews with Writer/Director Victor Salva, Director Of Photography Don FauntLeRoy, Editor Ed Marx And Actor Tom Tarantini, A Father’s Revenge – An Interview With Actor Ray Wise, Don’t Get Off The Bus – Interviews With Actors Tom Tarantini, Thom Gossom Jr. And Diane Delano, A Day In Hell – A Look At The Filming Of Jeepers Creepers 2, Lights, Camera, Creeper: The Making Of Jeepers Creepers 2 Featuring Writer/Director Victor Salva, Actors Travis Schiffner, Josh Hammond, Billy Aaron Brown, Eric Nenninger, Nicki Aycox, Director Of Photography Don FauntLeRoy And More…
Both of these films pack more for your money than most of the Blu-rays out there. Jeepers Creepers and Jeepers Creepers II are both very highly recommended.