ⓘ Jeepers Creepers (2001 film)
Jeepers Creepers is a 2001 horror film written and directed by Victor Salva. The film takes its name from the 1938 song "Jeepers Creepers", which is featured in the film. Francis Ford Coppola executive produced, and the film stars Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, and Eileen Brennan. Philips and Long play two siblings who become the targets of a demonic creature in rural Florida. The film is an American and German co-production.
Two sequels were released, Jeepers Creepers 2 in 2003 and Jeepers Creepers 3 in 2017.
Trish Jenner Philips and her brother Darry Long are traveling home from college for spring break. As they drive through the Florida countryside, an old rusty medium-duty truck a 1941 Chevrolet COE drives around them erratically. The vehicle eventually passes them. They later see the same truck parked next to an abandoned church with a man sliding what appears to be bodies wrapped in blood-stained sheets into a large pipe sticking out of the ground. The man notices Trish and Darry watching him and attempts to run them off the road.
After escaping, Darry convinces Trish to go back to the church and investigate. At the church, Darry hears noises coming from within the pipe and crawls inside with Trish holding on to his feet, but ends up falling in. At the bottom, he finds a dying man with stitches running down his stomach, and hundreds of other bodies sewn to the basements walls and ceiling. After Darry escapes, the two flee the scene and attempt to contact the police at a diner. At the diner, they are phoned by a strange woman who warns them that they are in danger. Confused and frightened, they ignore her warning. Later, Trish and Darry leave, with two police officers providing a security escort. As they travel, the police learn that the church has caught fire, and any evidence of bodies has been destroyed. The police are then attacked and killed by the mysterious driver, who loads their bodies into his truck.
Trish and Darry stop at a reclusive old womans Brennan house, and beg her to call the police. The woman complies until she notices the driver hiding in her yard. She attempts to kill him, but the driver kills her and reveals his inhuman face to Trish and Darry, before pursuing them once again. Trish runs the driver over with her car, but they are horrified to see a giant wing tear through his trench coat and flap in the air. They drive to the local police station, where they are approached by psychic Jezelle Gay Hartman Patricia Belcher. She reveals herself as the woman who called them at the diner and tells them the true nature of their pursuer: It is an ancient creature, known as "the Creeper," which awakens every 23rd spring for twenty-three days to feast on human body parts, which then form parts of its own body. She also tells them that it seeks out its victims through fear, and, by smelling the fear from Trish and Darry, it has found something it likes, but she does not know what.
The wounded Creeper arrives and attacks the police station. After cutting off the power, it gains entrance to the cells and eats prisoners to heal. The Creeper is swarmed by police but kills a number of them and evades capture. Trapped, Jezelle warns Trish and Darry that one of them will die a horrible death. Darry demands to know who, and Jezelle looks at Trish. The Creeper finds them, but spares Jezelle as she does not have anything it wants. The Creeper corners Trish and Darry in an upstairs interrogation room, and after sniffing and tasting them, the Creeper throws Trish aside and chooses Darry. Trish offers her life for her brothers, but the Creeper escapes out of the window and flies away with Darry. The next day, Trish is picked up by her parents, and Jezelle returns home in regret.
In the Creepers new hideout, an abandoned factory, it is revealed that the Creeper has removed the back of Darrys head and taken his eyes. In an older version of the film, Darrys agonizing screams are heard before his corpse is shown. In a post-credits scene, the Creeper drives his truck into the sunset and honks its horn.
- Gina Philips as Patricia "Trish" Jenner
- Justin Long as Darius "Darry" Jenner
- Breck also plays a Bald Cop
- Jonathan Breck as The Creeper
- Avis-Marie Barnes as Trooper Natasha Weston
- Brandon Smith as Sergeant Davis Tubbs
- Eileen Brennan as the Cat Lady
- Tom Tarantini as Roach
- Jon Beshara as Trooper Robert Gideon
- Patricia Belcher as Jezelle Gay Hartman
Jeepers Creepers was filmed in north-central Florida in the summer of 2000. Filming locations in the area include the former St. James Church in Ocala, the former Reddick High School in Reddick, and SW 180th Avenue Road in Dunnellon.
Due to time and budget constraints, the films original third act was cut, so the films ending is not what Salva intended. Some parts cut from the first film became parts of the sequel.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 46% based on 112 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 5.1/10. The sites critical consensus reads, Jeepers Creepers has a promising start. Unfortunately, the tension and suspense quickly deflates into genre cliches as the movie goes on." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Scott Foundas of Variety wrote that it is "the most conventional and least imaginative of the recent crop of high-class fright movies". Stephen Holden of The New York Times called it "a cannier-than-average teen horror movie" that "disintegrates into a shoot-by-numbers monster hunt". Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film "has the scariest opening sequence of any horror picture in recent memory" but becomes an "amusing horror-comedy, spooky and jolting but too literally preposterous to regain its initial aura of suspense." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote that the film starts off well but quickly degenerates into cliche.
Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "D" on an A+ to F scale.
4.1. Reception Box office
Jeepers Creepers opened in 2.944 theaters and took in a US gross of $37.9 million; it later made $21.3 million internationally, making a total of $59.2 million worldwide.
It broke the record for the highest ever Labor Day opening weekend four-day gross, holding the record until the 2003 release of its sequel, Jeepers Creepers 2. After the 2015 Labor Day weekend, Jeepers Creepers holds the #7 spot and the #5 spot goes to its sequel. Allowing for films that had been released prior to Labor Day, Jeepers Creepers holds the #16 spot for the Labor Day four-day weekend, with the #9 spot going to Jeepers Creepers 2.
4.2. Reception Awards
- Nominated: 28th Saturn Awards – Best Horror Film
- Nominated: International Horror Guild Award – Best Movie
- Nominated: 28th Saturn Awards – Best Young Actor: Justin Long
- Nominated: 34th Sitges Film Festival - Best Film
In 2003, a sequel was released, Jeepers Creepers 2. Events in the second film take place four days after the first film. The Creeper and Darry are the only characters to appear in both films, although they are not the only actors to appear in both films. In the first film, actor Tom Tarantini appears as the minor character "Austin McCoy" AKA "Roach" who is a car thief and regular in the Poho County jail. In the second film, he portrays "Coach Dwayne Barnes".
On September 11, 2015, Jeepers Creepers 3 was officially greenlit, with a planned 2017 release. Victor Salva returns as director, Jonathan Breck returns as The Creeper, and Gina Philips returns as Trish Jenner, her first screen role in five years. Production was halted in 2016 until it resumed in February 2017, and completed in April. The film opened for what was said would be only a one-night showing on September 26, 2017; it was then shown again October 4, and it was announced that it would air on the SyFy channel on October 28, with a Blu-ray/digital release on December 28, 2017.