Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Review: Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)

Director: Victor Salva
Starring: Ray Wise, Eric Nenninger, Nicki Aycox, Jonathon Breck
IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0301470/

Here is the impression I get from this movie: MAKE A FRANCHISE OUT OF ME! DO IT NOW!

But otherwise...yeah, it's actually not too shabby. I've been told time and time again that this movie is a horrible piece of garbage, but what I see when I watch this is a pretty decent, enjoyable horror flick. A sequel to the first Jeepers Creepers movie, which told us a charming fable about two kids whose curiosity and morality gets the better of them, so an ancient monster ripped their eyes out, this movie asks many important questions. Like, is the kid in the denim jacket really gay? How can you make heavy artillery weapons to fight off said ancient monster in less than 24 hours? Is the kid in the denim jacket really gay? What is the story behind the strange weapons that appear to be made out of human flesh? And is the kid in the denim jacket really gay?

Yes, this movie is certainly easy to make fun of. I mean, how can you not; it's a horror movie with dumb kids on a school bus, of course it's going to be easy to poke fun at. The basic story is that it's nearing the end of the Creeper's month-long reign of terror, and he'll soon be gone again for another 23 years. He's getting pretty desperate, and we see him steal away the small son of a local farmer, and then the chaperones of a school football trip before the action kicks up. The first hole is almost immediately noticeable as we see the farmer and his older son put together an arsenal of cannons and weapons in less than 24 hours to fight off the monster, who they seem very sure that they can take.

Now, I do admit that it's a plot device that never gets old; the woebegone father out for revenge, and I like the bleak outlook as the movie actually had the nads to kill off a little kid. But that hole...is just too big to ignore. You're telling me they made all that shit and figured out exactly what to do with that weird tribal looking weapon thing they found in that short of a time? You could argue that they already had the weapon put together but...why the fuck would a small country farmer family like this have such destructive weapons then? That goes beyond silly and into actually horrifying.

Other things I like about this movie: The setting. Just like the first movie, this desolate, cornfield-stricken country road setting is just fucking awesome, and I would love to see more horror movies utilize them. The acting, like the first movie, is pretty decent, and I never have trouble believing that these people are who they say they are.

The other main plot point here is the kids on the bus. They're mostly sports jocks, with the main guy being this muscular blonde jock named Scotty. Scotty is mad because he only got to play for twelve minutes in the final game. Stop the presses! He's basically a huge dick to everyone, but somehow his character is just kind of enjoyable to watch, because we all know someone a little bit like this. Although I do have to wonder about his conflict with the black guy. Isn't "Don't you want to call me something else?" about twenty years old as a point of contempt these days? I mean it's not even like most of the bus is white, anyway. Try getting with the times, writers!

But at least they represent every race and minority here - from the black female to the psychically sensitive to the Philipino-Hispanic-Asian-whatever-it's-supposed-to-be guy to even Izzy, who everyone thinks is gay. I'm glad a low budget horror movie that most people won't ever see is being politically correct! Because...you know. That's just so important when you're being chased by a winged hellion who wants to eat you alive.

So the movie explodes into a cauldron of fast moving survival horror as they try to put their heads together and find a way to beat the monster. It's pretty fun, if not exactly stirring cinema, and I don't see much to really hate here. Although I do have to take issue with the fact that Izzy thinks it's a good idea to flip over the car and turn it into a hunk of burning rubble like it's some natural instinct. There's some Darwinian natural selection for you. And since it's been like 7 years without another Jeepers Creepers movie, I think we can say the same for this would-be franchise, too.