Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4
You have just seen a creepy looking stranger dump two dead bodies out of his
truck. Do you drive away as fast as you can, or do you go and investigate?
If you happen to find yourself in a formula horror picture like Victor
Salva's JEEPERS CREEPERS, the decision, of course, is obvious. As Trish
(Gina Philips) explains it to her brother, Darryl (Justin Long), "You know
the part in a scary movie where someone does something really stupid? This
Salva has studied the horror movie rule book well. Cell phones, if present,
will always have low batteries or get no signal. All warnings will be
ignored. People will stay and stare at a killer in action when any thinking
person would beat a fast exit. Characters will basically do one stupid
thing after another.
What JEEPERS CREEPERS has going for it are a few genuinely scary scenes
enhanced by odd camera angles and sharp editing. The performances by the
two leads are good, better than the movie deserves. As they argue about
things important and trivial, their chemistry is genuine, and their sibling
relationship always credible. My favorite character, however, wasn't human.
It was the truck -- a bizarre cross between a World War I tank, a train
cowcatcher and a farmer's old pickup. One look at this rusting hulk of a
vehicle and you know that you don't want to be caught within miles of it.
JEEPERS CREEPERS is little more than a standard horror flick, but at least
it doesn't go for camp. One thing is for sure. After watching this film,
you may never want to take a leisurely drive down an old country road as
Trish and Darryl did. It'll be a nice, safe highway for you.
JEEPERS CREEPERS runs 1:30. It is rated R for "terror violence/gore,
language and brief nudity," and would be acceptable for most teenagers
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes