2003-09-19 / Columnists

MovieScope By Robert Snyder ‘Jeepers Creepers 2’ – The Bat Out Of Hell Is Back

MovieScope By Robert Snyder ‘Jeepers Creepers 2’ – The Bat Out Of Hell Is Back

MovieScope By Robert Snyder
‘Jeepers Creepers 2’ – The Bat Out Of Hell Is Back


ROBERT SNYDERROBERT SNYDER

The first "Jeepers Creepers" was released in 2001 at the time of the 9/11 tragedy. Although it may have appeared inappropriate to market a grizzly horror movie during this unprecedented period of national grief and terror, "Jeepers Creepers" served a purpose. The simple fable of the bat-winged cannibal from Hell
was so creepy and nightmarish that, for an hour and a half, it relieved your mind of the real monstrosity. I recall leaving the theater with the realization that I was stepping back into a far more frightening horror movie: 9/11 reality.

Now, on the second anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy, the
bat-winged hellion has returned and, once again, he’s hungry. Written and directed by "Creepers" creator Victor Salva and executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola, the sequel is slightly more extravagant than its predecessor…in that, the monster is now harassing a bus load of teenagers and their supervisors, rather than just a couple of kids on a lonely drive in the backwoods of the American Midwest.

However, "Jeepers Creepers 2" starts with a young boy setting up a series of scarecrows in his father’s cornfield. One of them suddenly seems to have strangely clawed feet and gleaming eyes. Before long, the boy is screaming for his dad and older brother as the creature drags him through the field and flies
off with him into the sunlit sky. The father, whose name is Taggart (Ray Wise), vows to catch the Creeper (Jonathan Breck) and builds a bizarre harpoon device, which he mounts on his truck.

As the legend goes, the Creeper sleeps for 23 years, then rises to feed on mostly teenagers for 23 days. "Jeepers 2" chronicles the last 48 hours of his latest dining cycle. Definitely slated for his dinner plate is the bus-ful of high school basketball players and staff on their return trip from winning a state championship. The Creeper first punctures one of the vehicle’s tires with star-like weapon made from human remains. Then, after ridding the bus of all adults, he locks the teens inside their yellow submarine and inspects them for their appetizing attributes. Creeper actor Breck shares a kinship to the mysterious Max Schreck of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 "Nosferatu." Both have little to do other than make faces and act scary. But that’s enough. They give you the feeling that you are in the presence of the real thing. In "Shadow of the Vampire," Willem Dafoe’s Oscar-nominated portrayal of Schreck implied that his subject did have an actual craving for blood and, in fact, was a vampire. So who’s this guy Jonathan Breck and why haven’t we seen any interviews with him on"Entertainment Tonight"? I’m scaring myself. If you want to scare yourself out of reality for a while, check out "Jeepers Creepers 2." And keep out of cornfields.


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