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Jeepers Creepers 2

Every 23 years for 23 days a winged monster called the Creeper (Jonathan Breck) feeds on human prey. For 2001's Jeepers Creepers, it seemed the cycle was winding down, and in 2003's sequel Jeepers Creepers 2, the film starts on day 22 with the Creeper trying to get some last-minute snacks in. He starts by taking out farmer Taggert's son, only to anger Taggert (Ray Wise) so much that he fashions himself a harpoon to go after the beast, Ahab-style. The Creeper's planned final feast is busload of basketball players and cheerleaders on the way back from a state championship, with the most notable members of this meal being the all-around jerk Scott (Eric Nenninger), the psychic cheerleader Minxie (Nicki Aycox) and the suspected homosexual/journalist Izzy (Travis Shiffner). The kids try their best to put up a fight, but tensions in the group cause distractions that let the Creeper pick them off one by one. There are admirable ways in which writer-director Victor Salva deviates from the first film, but Jeepers Creepers 2 is a deeply flawed movie from concept to execution. With a much larger cast than the first, none of the characters get enough screen-time to register much of a presence, while the supernatural nature of the Creeper mutes the horror; it's much easier to be afraid for people you don't know when the threat is less fantastical, which puts pressure on the Creeper to become more dynamic than he was in the first film. And while he gets new tools to play with, his motivation ("I'm hungry") isn't that involving, although Salva is smart to avoid the pitfall of turning him into the sort of semi-humorous presence of a Freddy Kruger. There are other nice touches: The film is shot in a pleasantly wide ratio (2.35:1), the opening cornfield sequence has an odd, almost hallucinogenic beauty to it, there's some amusing gore, and it's always a pleasure to see Ray Wise chew scenery — though his character drops out of the film for long stretches. MGM presents Jeepers Creepers 2 in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. For a single disc, the picture comes with a gluttonous amount of extras. There are two commentaries, the first with Salva and cast members Nicki Aycox, Marieh Delfino, Shaun Flemming, Josh Hammond, Garikayi Mutambirwa, and Eric Nenninger, while the second track features Jonathan Breck, storyboarder Brad Parker, and makeup artist Brian Penikas. There's a 40-minute documentary (broken into four sections) entitled "Lights, Action, Creeper: The Making of Jeepers Creepers 2," 16 minutes of deleted scenes, moments and dialogue, two unfilmed storyboard sequences, trailers for this and other MGM movies, and photo galleries for the film, and from the making of the DVD's menus. But the best reason to pick up the disc is the 26-minute featurette "A Day in Hell," which follows Salva around for a shooting day as they work on one of the Creeper attacks. This bit gives us a real nuts-and-bolts look at the filmmaking process and is simply one of the best DVD supplements ever produced. Keep-case.
—DSH



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