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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Victor Salva
Cast:
Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck, Garikayi Mutambirwa, Eric Nenninger, Nicki Lynn Aycox, Marieh Delfino, Billy Aaron Brown, Lena Cardwell, Al Santos, Travis Schiffner
Writing Credits:
Victor Salva

Tagline:
He can taste your fear.

Synopsis:
Set a few days after the original, a championship basketball team's bus is attacked by The Creeper, the winged, flesh-eating terror, on the last day of his 23-day feeding frenzy.

Box Office:
Budget
$25 million.
Opening Weekend
$18.365 million on 3124 screens.
Domestic Gross
$35.143 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 2.35:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 104 min.
Price: $26.98
Release Date: 12/23/2003

Bonus:
• Commentary with writer/director Victor Salva & Cast
• Commentary with Jonathan Breck, storyboard artist Brad Parker, and make-up and effects artist Brian Penikas
• Lights, Action, Creeper: Making Jeepers Creepers 2 (“Lights, Camera, Creeper”, “Creeper Creation”, “Creeper Composer”, and “Digital Effects”)
• A Day In Hell
• Deleted Scenes and Moments
• The Creeper’s Lair (Storyboard)
• Ventriloquist Creeper (Storyboard)
• Photo Gallery
• Behind The Scenes Photo Gallery
• Trailer


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EQUIPMENT
TV - Mitsubishi CS-32310 32"; Subwoofer - JBL PB12; DVD Player - Toshiba SD-4700; Receiver - Sony STR-DE845; Center - Polk Audio CS175i; Front Channels - Polk Audio; Rear Channels - Polk Audio.

RELATED REVIEWS


Jeepers Creepers 2: Special Edition (2003)

Reviewed by David Williams (January 5, 2004)

2001’s Jeepers Creepers introduced us to a demon-like bat/monster named “The Creeper” (Jonathan Breck) who wakes up for only 23 days every 23 years to feed. He usually feeds on young teenagers and keeps certain parts of their anatomy for making weapons and other unusual crafts. He looks a lot like a cross between Freddy Kruger and a giant, menacing bat and has an appetite akin to Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter. It’s quite a lethal combination.

The franchise started out with a brother and sister on their way home from spring break who had an unfortunate run-in with the Creeper. The original was a surprise hit and managed to create some genuine tension and apprehensive moments. Not really scary or gory, Jeepers Creepers was a rare gem in the fact that it was one of the better films in the horror genre in quite some time. Unfortunately, the sequel doesn’t even come close …

Salva mentions in one of the extras that he created the Creeper’s 23-year/23-day mythology so that a sequel/franchise would be next to impossible to create. However, a little prodding by his boss and mentor, Francis Ford Coppola, convinced him that a second helping of the Creeper would be a good thing. After a few script rewrites, Salva decided that he would keep the continuity from the first film and have the sequel take place on day 22 of the Creeper’s 23-day feeding frenzy … mere days after the first film ended … and while logic is futile in films like this, I’m willing to give it a shot.

In a beautifully composed opening sequence, a young farm boy is putting up scarecrows in his father’s fields and he notices that one of the scarecrows looks … well, alive. He finds that to be true in the most unfortunate way, as the Creeper’s razor-sharp claws and talons lift him up and take him away, in plain sight of his father (Ray Wide) and his older brother/ The first victim of Jeepers Creepers 2 is to be one in a long line of the Creeper’s meals before he’s forced to take another 23-year nap.

We then cut to a busload of varsity basketball players and cheerleaders returning from a state championship win. The celebratory chants from the paper-thin and non-descript teenagers is cut short when the bus gets a flat on a desolate road in Anytown, USA. Upon further investigation, the coaches and the bus driver discover that the flat was intentional, as some sort of homemade throwing star (decorated with a human tooth) is found lodged in the tire. The group fixes the bus and it limps along until another flat disables it once again. Another throwing star is found; this time, with a human navel as its grotesque decoration. Needless to say, everyone starts freaking out a bit. However, things get a lot freakier when the coach and bus driver get plucked from the ground and are taken away by the Creeper in plain sight of most of the students.

The high schoolers are scared, confined, and very alone and start a little infighting … the black kids versus the white kids, the guys against the girls, and almost everyone against a supposed closet homosexual (Travis Schiffner). These elements of human drama and dissent are supposed to add something to the story, but the homosexual angle, along with the fact that the boys parade around like Abercrombie & Fitch models with no shirts on for the first third of the film, only served to remind me of Salva’s conviction for child sexual abuse years ago. It was unnecessary and for those familiar with Salva’s past, more than a little disturbing. Add in a clairvoyant cheerleader, the farm boy’s father hell-bent on revenge, and the fact that the Creeper picks out his victims based on what body parts he requires for weapons/tools/regeneration and you’ve got the makings of a very average, nonsensical, and unremarkable horror film.

As I stated before, the characters in Jeepers Creepers 2 were paper-thin and practically nameless and it’s unfortunate that we have to spend so much time with them inside the small confines of a school bus. Watching them run from one side of the bus to another – from one window to the next – looking out in the darkness for the Creeper gets old very fast. It also doesn’t help that the dialogue they’re given comes right out of the “Horror Movies For Dummies” handbook. We have no emotional investment whatsoever in these students and could really care less if any of them make it out alive by film’s end. They’re simply sustenance for the Creeper and are randomly snatched from the bus and/or the ground only to disappear into the night and become the Creeper’s next meal. Big whoop.

For a horror film, Jeepers Creepers 2 wasn’t really that bloody or gory … it’s rather reserved, as most of its violent moments are more implied than explicit. However, there’s no genuine horror or suspense generated either and the script is as inane as the formulaic characters on the school bus. Quite simply, the film comes across as forgettable and dim. Why Coppola chose to attach his name to this sequel is a mystery and I wouldn’t recommend a viewing to those other than hardcore fans of the Jeepers Creepers franchise.


The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

The second installment of Jeepers Creepers not only comes with more Creeper, but it comes with more picture as well as the aspect ratio has been bumped up to an anamorphically-enhanced 2.35:1 widescreen transfer for the sophomore effort. The film looked really nice and detailed, but it presented some small, albeit nit-picky issues that kept it from obtaining a higher score than it did. That’s not to say the transfer was bad – it was far from it – it’s just that Jeepers Creepers 2 presented some unusual flaws for such a recent, big name film.

That being said, the film looks really sharp and defined for the most part and the colors and hues in the film come across very strong and properly saturated. There was some noticeable filtering employed in the film for effect and MGM’s transfer made sure that it didn’t become too overpowering or distracting. Certain amounts of softness seemed deliberate and caused the image to come across a bit supple and less defined, although not at distracting levels. Bleeding or smearing were not a concern whatsoever and the film always maintained excellent contrast and balance throughout. Black levels were strong in the film and allowed for acceptable shadow detail and delineation. The master print for the film seemed to be in pristine condition, as flakes and flecks were held nicely at bay. I did notice a couple of instances early on, but they were of the “blink and you’ll miss it” variety. I’ve seen stronger transfers overall in other MGM titles, but for what it’s worth, Jeepers Creepers 2 looks pretty nice.

The image does suffer from a few anomalies however, as there was some subtle blockiness and compression artifacting noted from time to time, as the single-disc seems quite full with its roster of supplements and alternate audio tracks. Edge enhancement and haloing were also seen, but failed to distract from the picture itself. While these seem to be some pretty major problems coming from a studio like MGM on a rather big title for them, they actually aren’t that severe and don’t detract from the viewing of the film too much at all.

MGM’s transfer was well-done, but not quite up to snuff with other hyped films of the time. Even so, Jeepers Creepers 2 looked pretty impressive and fans will find little fault with the studio’s efforts.

MGM outfits Jeepers Creepers 2 with a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio transfer that suits the material well. The track does an excellent job of engaging the viewer, as it allows for a very atmospheric and moody presentation. While it’s not on par with some of the bigger action blockbusters of 2003, Jeepers Creepers 2 comes across as a very pleasurable auditory experience.

The film is full of activity and it translates well to the DVD, as your system will get a decent workout while spinning Jeepers Creepers 2. There was a pleasing amount of surround activity that will engage your speakers often and it all sounds great … exhibiting excellent dynamics, frequency response, and fidelity. Sound design was clever and effective for what is essentially a low-budget feature and it really made viewing the film more pleasurable than had the principals simply gone through the motions. Front surrounds remain actively engaged throughout, while your rear surrounds kick in during the more active scenes in the film and add nice reinforcement for Bennett Salvay’s very impressive and always appropriate score. Low end was very strong during the film and again, added nice strengthening for the score, while dialogue was always front, center, and easily understood.

Along with the Dolby Digital 5.1 option, we also have selections for Spanish and French tracks in Dolby Stereo Surround, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. Ultimately, MGM has created a well-rendered and authored track for Jeepers Creepers 2 and fans will find themselves impressed with the studio’s efforts.

MGM’s disc comes with some really nice supplemental material that includes a couple of Audio Commentaries. One features writer/director Victor Salva & Cast, while the other features Jonathan Breck, storyboard artist Brad Parker, and make-up and effects artist Brian Penikas.

The first commentary features Salva and his cast of teens (Eric Nenninger, Josh Hammond, Nicki Lynn Aycox, Marieh Delfino, Garikayi Mutambirwa and Shaun Flemming) and they have a really great time in joining their director for this feature-length affair. With so many participants, you might imagine that the commentary is pretty lively … and you’d be right. There’s rarely a dead or dull moment here and all involved seemed to have had a really great time working together on the film, as well as on the commentary. There are more light-hearted moments than not here and surprisingly, there were even some decent (albeit breezy) comments included about making the film itself. Salva spends a lot of time heaping praise on his actors and doesn’t delve too deep into his processes for writing and/or directing, but he’s a welcome addition to the track nonetheless. While not the most informative commentary on filmmaking methods and particulars, this was a very raucous and boisterous affair that was a lot of fun to listen to, even if you didn’t care for the film itself.

The second commentary, aka the “Creeper Commentary”, was a lot of fun as well. Breck and his two cohorts offer a lot of insight into what it took to bring his rather menacing character to life on the big screen (from stunts to makeup to digital effects) and they have a lot of fun offering up anecdotes from behind-the-scenes and on the set. It’s a very lightweight and lighthearted affair and fans of the film should really enjoy this informative and breezy affair.

The DVD boasts a lot of great footage from behind-the-scenes and on the set, as Salva’s participation allows for some great insight and featurettes on MGM’s release. The big supplement here is entitled Lights, Action, Creeper: Making Jeepers Creepers 2 and it’s broken down into four different sections: “Lights, Camera, Creeper” (15:22), “Creeper Creation” (11:18), “Creeper Composer” (9:14), and “Digital Effects” (5:21). In the first selection, Salva discusses the sequel in great detail and how he had never intended to create a sequel at all. He tells us how Francis Ford Coppola convinced him to do one and all of the major script rewrites that took place while the film was being developed (JC2 was originally supposed to follow the characters from the first film and the kids on the bus were simply a side-story). He also espouses his young cast (full of many actors in their first feature), the digital effects and stunts used in the film, and even the camaraderie on the set.

”Creeper Creation” is a pretty straightforward supplement that takes us through the process of creating the Creeper and how storyboarding initially brought him to life. We also get some input here from the effects and make-up artists and they show us how they took the concepts from paper and brought them to a three-dimensional reality. “Creeper Composer” is pretty telling as well, as we get a nice featurette on composer Bennett Salvay and the really great work he did on composing the score for Jeepers Creepers 2. Lastly, we have “Digital Effects” and in surprisingly the shortest feature of the bunch, we see a lot of montage footage of before, during, and after effects of characters and elements seen in the film.

A Day In Hell (26:42) is next and it runs as a video diary from the 41st day of shooting as we follow director Victor Salva from the time he’s being driven to the set until the end of shooting on that particular day. Salva does a lot of commentary over the video and fills us in moment by moment what’s going on. He was also “mic’ed” all day long, so we get to hear his remarks and observations throughout the long, laborious day. This was a really great feature and it gives us just a taste of what a day on the set of a feature film is like. Good stuff.

Following are Deleted Scenes and Moments (15:50) and here, we get a nice helping of deleted scenes and lines from Jeepers Creepers 2. The scenes run back-to-back without any introduction or separation and they are all anamorphically-enhanced with feature film quality. Some scenes were good, some were tossers and while their inclusion was appreciated, it would have been nice to have a bit of commentary accompanying them.

The Creeper’s Lair (4:07) and Ventriloquist Creeper (1:26) are two storyboard sequences that present us with storyboarded ideas that never made the final cut of the film. Both are given snippets of the film’s score to accompany them.

A couple of still galleries are included on the disc as well. One is in the form of a Photo Gallery (6:59) that runs as a slideshow with publicity stills, stills from the set, and stills from the film itself. There’s also the Behind The Scenes Photo Gallery that gives us 50 or so navigable stills (using our –LEFT- and –RIGHT- remote buttons) from the DVD menu shoot. (The DVD menus incorporate the Creeper from time to time).

Rounding out the disc is the film’s Theatrical Trailer, as well as a promotional bit for Other MGM Releases which includes trailers for MGM Means Great Movies, Jeepers Creepers, Shredder, Bulletproof Monk, and some cover shots for other MGM DVDs.

Totally forgettable and uninspired, Jeepers Creepers 2 fails to generate any horror or suspense at all. Salva should have stuck to his “no sequel” mantra and kept from trying to cash in on a very memorable … and quite popular … first film. If more sequels are in the works for the Creeper that are this bland and insipid, maybe Salva should release them as often as the Creeper himself is … every 23 years. A weekend rental at best and only for hardcore fans of first film at that.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.9444 Stars Number of Votes: 36
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