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Jeepers Creepers

The main problem with Jeepers Creepers is that the song is about as ridiculously un-scary as you can get, and you can't help but hum it to yourself throughout the picture.

I'm not sure how they missed this one in development.

Music can make a movie scary. A few piercing piano notes and you have Halloween's eerie/spooky/freaky theme. A deep base line back and forth and you become so afraid of the water, you hesitate to take a bath. But Jeepers Creepers? Most of the songs from Muppets Take Manhattan are more frightening than Jeepers Creepers.

So there's one strike against it.

The second problem is the tag line. "Jeepers Creepers: What's eating you? But we're all singing the song, and that's not the line in the song. It should be "Jeepers Creepers: Where'd you get those peepers?" Not quite as scary, but so much more true to the song. And let's face it, is there any other reason for naming a horror film Jeepers Creepers other than taking full advantage of the song? It's not like they're falling over each other to make "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy From Company B" into a horror franchise.

Strike two.

And now, the actual movie.

Wanna get real scared? Go see the first half of Jeepers Creepers, then walk out and make up your own second half of the film. Don't let them start explaining what is actually going on, because it ruins what was promising to be a truly terror-inducing experience.

The movie opens with suggestive questions. Who is in that truck? What did they shove down the pipe? What is in the pipe? Why are the leads actually going back to look into the pipe? (That's more of a "Doh! Idiots!" thought than anything else.) What is that noise? Why am I so scared?

The second half of the movie is filled with let downs. What was the purpose of that character? Why isn't anyone being smart? Is that really what this has all been about? Can I get my money back?

The first half of the film had me jumping, screaming, biting my nails, being an all-around pussy. The second half of the film made me feel personally slighted. As if the director of the film came by my house and ate all the good cheese and laughed at my collection of Huey Lewis memorabilia. It left a bad taste in my mouth, the kind you get when you're told that whatever it was you just ate, it certainly wasn't ham.

The entire film is a set up for a bad pun. We, the audience, are the punned. It's an outrage.

It's also a true shame because the first half of this movie is scary. Scary because you can believe it. It's based in reality. A sick, twisted, horrible reality.

Then it becomes a really silly monster movie. And like Jenny McCarthy, once it's taken off its clothes and shown you the goodies, there really isn't any reason to stick around.

What's it about? Well, there's this brother and sister who are driving home from school for spring break. Then they almost get run over in an homage to Steven Spielberg's Duel. Then they see said homage parked by an old building, with the driver of said homage dumping what looks like bodies down what looks like a large pipe. Then the homage comes after them again. Then they escape from the homage. And then, for God knows what reason, they decide to go look down the pipe. It is at this point that you may bonk your forehead with the character's stupidity. Any movie that relies on the idiocy of it's characters to move the story along is a lazy, bloated chop-job.

But it's still scary. Oh yes. It is still scary.

But do yourself a favor. As soon as the brother and sister start running into people who aren't dead, dying, or trying to kill them, leave. That's your signal that the movie is about to get lame. Especially once the phone rings. Huge cue to walk out. Huge.

Jeepers Creepers gets all sorts of ratings. Part 1 gets 3 3/4 Babylons. Part 2 gets 1 1/2 Babylons. The movie as a whole gets 2 1/4 Babylons. It could have done much better. But then, it was probably doomed the moment they chose Jeepers Creepers over Itty Bitty Pretty One for the title.

But I'm not quite sure why, on IMDB, it says that if you liked this movie, they also recommend Rain Man. Don't get that at all.

Editor's Note:

I saw this movie with the SMC in one of those theatres where to seat arms go up and it's one big couch -- bad idea. The word pussy doesn't even begin to describe it.

Jeepers Creepers
Rated: R
Directed By: Victor Salva
Starring: Gina Philips, Justin Long and Jonathan Breck. If you get to Patricia Belcher or Eileen Brennan, you've gone too far and have only yourself to blame.

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