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Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)
Writer and director: Victor Salva
review by Steve Anderson
Every twenty-third spring for 23 days, our newest demon du jour gets to 'feed'. And we're not talking Taco Bell.
If you leave the DVD menu alone for a while, you get a variety of scary scenes, along with plenty of subtitles and bonus features, including: storyboards, deleted scenes, some truly alarming DVD specific footage if you don't touch the controls, and your choice of soundtrack languages.
It seems that America's corn belt has a new and bigger pest to worry about than ever before. A flying, flesh-eating ghoul with genius level intelligence and the sheer resiliency that made Jason Voorhees a horror icon is in full force with our giant locust of humanity, the Creeper. We begin with the launching of a legend - a young boy is taken by the Creeper in a field of corn, and out of a thirst for revenge, his father and brother take on the mantle of Creeper hunters.
In a dizzying jump-cut, we join recent state basketball champs, the Bannon Bantams and their cheerleaders, manager and sportswriter on their celebratory bus ride home. Chanting their fight song involving the word 'cock' ad infinitum, it's a surprise to everyone but the audience when a tire suddenly explodes. The driver and coaches get out to inspect the damage when they find a razor-sharp, four-pointed, throwing star made from what appears to be bone, melted iron, and a tooth. One single tooth embedded in the iron centre. Discussing the damage, they decide to carry on - what's one tire when there's half a dozen on the bus anyway?
Meanwhile, our Creeper hunters find another piece of intricate weapon smithing in their cornfield, this time a knife with a painstakingly carved bone handle. They take this nifty little knife and a posthole digger, plus a collection of other barnyard implements, to build themselves a harpoon gun to mount on the back of their truck.
Shortly after, a cheerleader has a vision of the future. Or so we think, anyway. One or more Creepers intercept the adults from the bus, and the kids file back in, panicked. The siege of the bus begins in earnest, and our cheerleading Cassandra has another educational vision, this time of the past. Just what the Creeper is, and what its goals are, are discussed in short order.
The Creeper hunters, meanwhile, are closing in on the broken down bus, and rushing to the rescue. Parenthetically, they're also rushing for their shot at some payback but let's assume they're purely atavistic.
Meanwhile, tensions on board the bus are climbing as the basketball players attempt to survive, and we discover just what the Creepers can do. One punches a hole in the metal roof. Think about that. One of these things just punched a hole in a bus. The situation gets even more alarming when one of the cheerleaders finds a javelin and shoves it upward through the punched hole�into the Creeper's head. This thing has a javelin. In it's head. And we're treated to a truly alarming scene as the Creeper pulls away half of its own head to remove the javelin. And it's still not dead. In fact, it's spry enough to launch itself into the sky and crash back down on the bus. Plus, it's still got presence of mind enough (I know, ironic, isn't it?) to launch a new scheme.
This thing is missing half its own head and it's still the smartest thing in the movie! Can you believe this? I want to see 'Jason Vs Creeper' now! That would be a fistfight, man!
Crashing back down on the bus has done some very interesting things to the doors. It seals them both shut, jammed in place. So now the teenagers have to figure out a way to get off the bus, which they do, thanks to the conveniently placed javelins.
Meanwhile, the captain of the basketball team is flexing his Hitler muscles to try and take control of the bus, as well as throw a few people off to keep himself safe. After a long back-and-forth debate that makes Lord Of The Flies look serious and literary, the Creeper returns. In an act of sheer justice, the captain of the team is carried off.
Finally, the Creeper hunters reach the bus and manage to crack off a round from that harpoon cannon. It hits dead centre... but does no damage. The Creeper flaps its wings harder and harder, and pulls the pickup truck forward like a kite drags Charlie Brown. Within moments, the Creeper removes the harpoon and tosses it down from the skies to slam into the pickup truck. They load a fresh harpoon and try again.
Several more battles ensue until a truly creepy - or should I say creepery(?) - ending.
A truly horrific scene involves a vision of three scarecrows on crosses. The one in the centre is actually the Creeper. Is this some form of comparison between the Biblical account of Calvary or was the director only using the imagery to evoke the image of crucifixion?
What was with all the shirtless guys and homosexual references? Literally tons of both in the film - I had heard that the director was gay and that had something to do with it.
Jeepers Creepers 2 sets a new standard for DVD menus, but sadly, it can't keep that momentum going through the rest of the film.
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