Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)
27th December 2003
It's the last day of the feeding frenzy and the Creeper has already taken his first victim of the day. Meanwhile, a bus load of basketball players and cheerleaders are returning from a championship game down the East 9 Highway when one of the rear tyres is blown out. Whilst investigating the blown tyre the bus driver discovers that a strange throwing object made from bone and teeth has pierced and shredded the tyre. Since the bus is temporarily disabled the teenagers decide to make the most of the opportunity and sunbathe and generally hang out. With night fall looming and no signs of rescue the driver decides to carry on with the remaining tyres. But when another tyre is blown by a similar throwing object the bus is unable to continue and the driver decides to sit the night out until they are able to contact a recovery team or a passing motorist comes to their aide.
However, as night falls the Creeper starts to picks off his first victims. Starting with the bus driver and then the teachers, the teenagers soon realise they are being stalked by a horrifying evil that attacks silently from above. The remaining group must put their differences aside and join forces in a hopeless struggle against a hideous enemy which is picking them off at will. With the bus radio broken and their mobiles phone failing to get a signal their frantic calls for help go unanswered. However, there is a faint glimmer of hope. A father hell bent on revenge for the loss of his son is out looking for the Creeper and he's heading in the direction of the bus.
The picture is bright and colourful with a high level of detail and texture throughout. Whilst the majority of the film occurs at night the initial daytime scenes are handled with ease with plenty of detail and rich colour tones. Once the night arrives the colours remain rich and well defined without over saturation or excessive contrast. The bit-rate remains above average throughout and there are no signs of artifacting or outlining. Naturally, with this being a recent release the print is free from any dust scratches and other picture imperfections.
The soundtrack is just as good as the picture with the powerful audio score taking centre stage during the more dramatic scenes. The sound is rich and dynamic with a fair amount of activity in the surround channels whilst the LFE channel is kept busy during the many Creeper attacks. The only negative point to the surround mix would be that it only tended to be used during the more dramatic scenes and it would have been so much more involving if there had been more ambient effects. The dialogue forms an important part of the film and it remains clear and precise in the centre channel throughout the film with no bleeding to the other channels.
The menus are well thought out and nicely presented. They are pleasantly animated and scored and are in keeping with the horror genre of the film. After inserting the disc you get a number of trailers for releases such as Alien, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the rather scary looking Wrong Turn. They are interesting to watch through once but they can be skipped (although not all at once). The introduction to the main menu certainly gives you an idea of what's the film is all about and it all looks rather promising. Each menu is scored whilst the special features menu is animated and a little confusing to work out how to select items from. However, you just need to be patient. A torch will slowly move around the menu highlighting the various menu options and once you get to something of interest just select it. It's certainly a nice touch, although it can be a little annoying as you impatiently wait for the required menu option to be highlighted.
There's no doubting that the extras really do add value to the package and writer/director Victor Salva has certainly embraced the DVD format. Whilst the actual film may disappoint, the extras are up there with some of the best. The two audio commentaries are interesting enough with the main yack track containing information from Victor Salva and the principle cast members. Unfortunately, whilst Victor Salva is interesting enough, the comments from the teenagers tend to be the usual banter and laughter and most of their information is only gained from prompts from Victor. The second track contains a commentary from storyboard artist Brad Parker, effects artist Brian Penikas and even Jonathan Breck who plays the Creeper. It's hard to call, but the commentary from Victor Salva is slightly the better of the two as he manages to give more background information on the films production.
Highlight of the disc are the two featurettes. The forty minute Documentary covers most aspects of the films production and once the usual pats on the back have been dealt with from the cast it actually becomes rather interesting to watch and learn about the films visuals and makeup techniques. However, the peach in the extras is the A Day in Hell featurette. This follows Victor Salva on and around the set as he deals with the day to day goings on of producing a feature film from directing scenes to keeping an eye on the costumes and the special effects work.
There are Three Featurettes on the creation of the Creeper. The first is a 10 minute look at the design and the extensive and time consuming make up of the Creeper from storyboard artist Brad Parker and director Victor Salva. The second is a 4 minute look at the CGI effects from the initial wire frame to the final fully rendered scene. The final feature is a 4 minute storyboard sequence of the Creepers lair which was deleted from the film before filming began. There is also about 15 minutes of deleted or extended scenes. These scenes are post production so they are good quality and must have been cut from the theatrical release for timing or pace purposes. It's just a pity they weren't available as a seamless branching extended version of the film or at least had some form of commentary to indicate why they were cut. The extras are rounded off with the Teaser Trailer, Theatrical Trailer and a number of Television Shorts. All in all, not a bad set of extras which fans of the film are sure to enjoy.
If you like your horror films, and especially the first Creeper film, you'll find it reasonably interesting and worth a look in. Unfortunately, the general film fan will find little to keep them entertained and staring out of the window soon becomes a far more interesting prospect. With the director ignoring the classic horror clichés and having a baddie that looks remarkably like a flying version of Freddy Krueger there is very little to make you jump. You even find yourself cheering for the Creeper as he takes out the annoying kids and heckling the screen as the most irritating one continues to defy death.
Mind you, there is no doubting the directors enthusiasm for the project. You only have to listen to the audio commentaries and watch the excellent behind the scenes footage to witness that. However, it is the hideously weak script and the fact that Hollywood has failed to come up with an original, and scary, horror film for years makes Jeepers Creepers 2 a big disappointment. If you want a scare then get yourself a copy of Alien Special Edition (the trailer at the beginning of the disc is scarier than the main film!) or The Blair Witch Project.
Although there was never meant to be a sequel, with the writers attempting to make it as difficult as possible to create a sequel, I have this nasty feeling that the ending of this film leaves the perfect opportunity for a Jeepers Creepers 3. Let's just hope that won't be for another 23 years.
- Cast and Crew Commentary
- Creeper Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Making Jeepers Creepers 2
- A Day In Hell - Full Day Set Visit
- Creeper Composer
- Creeper Creation - Makeup
- Digital Effects Featurette
- TV Spots
- The Creeper's Lair Storyboards
- Photo Gallery