Jeepers Creepers has always had this unfair shadow hanging over it thanks to the real-life monstrous actions of writer/director Victor Salva. Salva was convicted of raping a minor in the 80's and served only 15 months of a three year sentence. If you think that's really fucked up and he deserved harsher punishment, well, you're not alone. Many horror fans have condemned this movie because of his actions, and I don't think that's the right way to go. We still watch Roman Polanski's movies. We still watch Kevin Spacey's movies. At least, some of us do. I think it's crucial to separate the work from the people who create it. Otherwise, we'd have to shelve everything Harvey Weinstein ever produced. Okay, time to step off my soap box and talk about this movie.
Jeepers Creepers is a super creative, super creepy monster movie that starts out as a road thriller. Siblings Darry (Long) and Trish (Philips) are driving through the Florida backroads when they come across a mysterious man dumping a body in a sewer pipe behind a church. He sees them and follows them in his giant truck, trying to run them off the road. Turns out this guy, called the Creeper (Breck), is an ancient flesh-eating monster who is in the middle of his 23 day killing spree where he replaces his worn out organs with fresh ones. Now he has Darry and Trish's scent, and he won't stop until he gets what he wants. Also, his arrival is heralded by the jazz standard "Jeepers Creepers." It's a wild ride from beginning to end and a really thrilling movie.
Jeepers Creepers deserves to take on a legacy of its own free of Victor Salva. Thankfully, the new one is no longer in his hands, so that may be about to happen. But I urge more people to put this one back in the rotation and celebrate it for the freaky, gory monster movie it is.