Jerry Lewis once told Stanley Kubrick, the brilliant filmmaker of such films as A Clockwork Orange and Dr. Strangelove, “You can’t polish a turd.”
“You can if it’s frozen,” Kubrick said.
Taking a cue from Kubrick’s quip, Jeepers Creepers 2 was pulled straight from the freezer.
The original Jeepers Creepers began with a road trip shared between a brother and a sister.
The first half-hour presented an intimate setting of late-afternoon country roads and believable dialogue, which added tension to the simple yet reasonably natural unfolding plot, somewhat like a distant cousin of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The movie’s ending meandered about without much resolution, which made it seem ripe for a sequel.
One could say that with a little polish, Jeepers Creepers could have sat proudly among great horror films.
But the sequel fails to account for the open ending in the previous movie. Instead of using the drama of the previous movie for enhancement, Jeepers Creepers 2 abandons the unique bond of a brother and sister and replaces it with a championship-winning high school football team.
They’re on their way back home when the boogeyman strikes. The characters, such as Booky, a hopelessly geeky, glasses-wearing water boy, are quaint, if not token.
Jeepers Creepers 2 does manage to deliver with a fun combo of action and freaky scenes.
Though this movie’s integrity doesn’t echo with the same resonance as the first, it seems to be greatly influenced by Jaws.
The team is trapped inside a school bus as the monster nabs them one by one.
Later, help arrives in the form of the father of the first victim, wonderfully played by Ray Wise, who seeks revenge with his older son.
As in Jaws, they try harpoons to stop the predator, in which the success is similar, yet less tense.
The plot is simple with films like the Jeepers Creepers franchise.
In many movies, a lack of budget means filmmakers redeem the project with ingenuity, such as employing creative techniques to film a difficult shots, as seen in the first movie, or pandering to demographic audiences, as seen in the second movie.
Financially, these changes profit the Jeepers Creepers franchise, because after the original succeeded and won an audience, Hollywood took it for a sound investment and donned more teenage skin.
And that’s another curious detail: Jeepers Creepers 2 seems to have many homo-erotic moments.
In the first movie, the large, masculine monster was found with the protagonist’s underwear pressed to his face.
That’s good for a visceral effect; however, in the sequel there are many more innuendoes. The monster favors young men. This aspect is not explored or explained.
Women are secondary in Jeepers Creepers 2, even though they are integral characters.
The movie has its disappointments, especially in light of the promise Jeepers Creepers left open to Jeepers Creepers 2.
If you like escapist horror and pulp-based plots, though, and this first week of school has you frazzled, then you may enjoy kicking back and watching other people die.