This 2001 horror flick from writer/director Victor Salva (Clownhouse, Powder) doesn’t exactly reinvent the horror genre. In fact, the cynic would say that Salva sticks so closely to the prototype that Jeepers Creepers is actually the exact sort of film lampooned in the Scary Movie horror parody franchise, which launched only a year earlier. Still, the film does manage to house some genuine moments of tension and horror even if they all come in the most expected places.
As brother and sister Trish (Gina Philips) and Darry (Justin Long) are heading home on a lonely, desolate country highway, they are nearly run off the road by a maniac in a beat up jalopy of a pickup truck. A little farther down the road, they see the driver of this same truck pulled off the road dumping what looks like a body wrapped in a bed sheet down a drainage pipe. This being a horror film, rather than getting the hell out of there as fast as they can, Trish and Darry decide to go back and investigate, because, of course that’s exactly what you do when a madman who just ran you off the road is dumping dead bodies down drainage pipes, right? When Darry slips down the pipe, he finds himself in a world of horrors worse than he could have imagined and the siblings become the target of a virtually unstoppable killer with a taste for human flesh.
If you put together A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and almost every other slasher film from the 1970s on, you pretty much have Jeepers Creepers in a nutshell. As I said, Salva’s film is not long on originality, but there are genuine scares and even some inadvertent laughs. Who could not find the killer’s theme song “Jeepers Creepers” as he gets ready to chow down absolutely hysterical? However, Salva’s absolute reverence for the horror of old is what keeps Jeepers Creepers restricted from feeling fresh, and standing out at all in the packed crowd of horror/thrillers like Scream or ultraviolent horror like Saw that dominate its era.
Scream Factory notes this new Collector’s Edition of Jeepers Creepers as being a new 2K scan of the inter-positive and it is brought to Blu-ray in an AVC 1080p encodement. It looks like it has really been meticulously restored, with a clean overall image, organic film grain, deep, inky blacks with little black crush and excellent contrasts. The shadow detail is nuanced and the flesh tones are spot on.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix for Jeepers Creepers is just the sort of mix you want for this kind of horror film. It has a lot of atmospherics and just the right amount of discrete effects in the surround channels. The dynamics are superb so the jump-scares are bone chilling. Dialogue is clear and no hints of clipping can be heard when the screams begin.
Jeepers Creepers get a big set of extras, including some new interviews and a brand new audio commentary with writer/director Victor Salva and stars Gina Philips and Justin Long.
- New Audio commentary with director Victor Salva and actors Justin Long and Gina Philips
- Commentary with director Victor Salva
- Bonus Blu-ray Disc:
- NEW Jeepers Creepers: Now and Then (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:36:45) – Features interviews with writer/director Victor Salva, producer Barry Opper, director of photography Don FauntLeRoy, editor Ed Marx and actor Tom Tarantini.
- NEW From Critters to Creepers (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:19:38) – Interview with producer Barry Opper.
- NEW The Town Psychic (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:16:34) – Interview with actress Patricia Belcher.
- Behind the Peepers – The Making of Jeepers Creepers (1.85:1; 1080p/24):
- Finding Trish and Darry (00:11:11)
- Designing the Creeper (00:06:52)
- Cars and Trucks (00:11:41)
- The Creeper Comes to Florida (00:07:33)
- Night Shoots (00:10:08)
- Making the Score (00:12:57)
- More Creepers:
- Deleted Scenes (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:17:13) – Includes an alternate opening and ending sequence
- Photo Gallery (1.85:1; SD; 00:07:56)
- Theatrical Trailer (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:54)
- Radio Spot (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:00)
The Final Assessment
Horror fans may find Jeepers Creepers offers some good scares, but also will seem uncannily familiar at most turns. The restoration from Scream Factory on Blu-ray is superbly done and looks and sounds fantastic.
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