There were key movies in my life that helped to make me who I am today. Movies that I have loved from the moment the opening credit rolled and still love now. This blog series is about those, My guilty pleasures, my favorites, my escapes. Some were very popular, others not so much. Some of these will have some real life take-aways, others are just for fun.
Today we move a little further into modern day with a film that really surprised me. Jeepers Creepers.
Today’s Key Movie:
A brother and sister run afoul of The Creeper, a being who only emerges every 23 years….to feed. Now the target of it’s hunger, it will stop at nothing until it gets them.
Why this movie?
When I left home for the final time I made it a point to rent films every week from the local grocery store. As usual I would gravitate to horror films even though it would mean I would be watching them alone and usually late at night. This was one that I picked up on a whim based on the description on the case. It looked interesting and frankly I was up to pretty much any horror film at the time. To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
Jeepers Creepers is one of those rare horror films that become instant classics from the very first moment you watch it. With a well paced story and a terrific cast, it manages to build on itself in every single scene never wasting a moment and always moving forward. Every ounce of dialogue is important to either the characters or the story and every scene is key to the narrative. Horror is rarely this perfectly done and for that, I love this film.
The thing that makes this film unique is not the creature, The Creeper, although he is a fascinating being who is diminished only by the subsequent sequels, but the two leads Gina Philips and Justine Long. Philips and Long play siblings Trish and Darry, two students who are on their way home for their break. Along the way they encounter the Creeper and, in an attempt to help this things latest victims, find themselves in the sights of this new and very interesting new creation. Their chemistry as siblings and their dialogue really make you care about these people in their desperate attempt to escape the Creeper. To say Long and Philips are great is not nearly enough praise, they sell their characters through and through making them so utterly believable that you actually fear for their lives. I won’t spoil who or what this Creeper is or isn’t but it is a really cool reveal and one that makes you want to know more of the lore behind this demonic creature who only appears every 23 years.
Unfortunately, there is a significant issue that I learned about while researching this film and it simply can not go ignored. While this film is terrific, it has been marred by controversy as the writer director, Victor Salva, has a rather sordid history involving child pornography and sexual assault. I was unaware of this at the time I first watched this film and only discovered the depth of it while writing about this film for you today. While such a thing should have little baring on the film itself, it does significantly mar it for me. Salva has served his time for this offense and seems to have made amends for what he did, but you can not ignore this when watching his films. That being said, this is where you, as a viewer have to decide if art and artist are separate things, and that is not a subject we will be discussing here. While I will not praise Salva himself, the Jeepers Creepers itself is well done and can not be dismissed. To dismiss this film would deny you a chance to see the talent of Long, Philips and the rest of the cast, they are fantastic and deserve to be recognized for their skills and talent. Without them, this film would not be what it is.
I guess this is best summed up in a quote from the recent TV series Lovecraft Country. ‘Stories are like people, loving them doesn’t make them perfect. You try to cherish their virtues and overlook their flaws’ … ‘But the flaws are still there…’
OK, where do I get this movie?
If you are still interested in this film, you can pick up a copy pretty cheaply here, or, if you dont want to own it, you can find it streaming from time to time. It’s good, despite the Director’s history, this is one of the best horror films of it’s time. Give it a go, it’s solid.
Late To The Game 4/8/2021
If you would like to read more reviews please check out the rest of the Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday.
For more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here. and, If you dig Music, I have a semi regular series called Stand Out Albums that covers some of my favorite records I have come across in life.
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!