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November 1, 2023

A Binge too Far #36 – Castle of the recent Jeepers Creepers sequels (2017 – 2022)


Stunning promo art from Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (2022)

Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017)

Jeepers Creepers 3


This is set shortly after the events of the first film, and before those of its sequel, when the Creeper’s (ever-returning Jonathan Breck) truck is discovered by the local police, and it turns out to be a fortress of booby traps that kill ‘soldiers’ left, right, and center. This is when a cat and mouse game begins in the fields and roads of the middle of nowhere between the franchise’s monster, its hunters, and the locals.


It took a while, but our favorite Creeper is back, but writer/director Victor Salva (who also produced, with Michael Ohoven and Jake Seal) changed a lot without really changing the franchise’s tone and trademark gore and violence. What did he change and what did he keep? Predominately this is more action-oriented than the preceding duo of films (and as such it is arguably much more fun), whilst still maintaining the characteristic dark photography (this is mostly set at nights, but even when we see day shots, they are cold – cinematographer Don E. FountLeRoy was definitely in some grotesque mood while setting his shots up). The plot keeps an ambience that can thematically be found somewhere between the recent Stephen King renaissance and Predators (2010), but there are all sorts of other weird elements on display here, including some ball bombs that are reminiscent of the metal spheres in Phantasm: Ravager (2016).


Overall, considering the development hell this went through (production was about to start on several occasions and by several backers in the last ten years or so), it is a very solid film (and entertaining throughout), and it displays the skills of a filmmaker that has grown up. It received a limited release, and it is now trying its luck on the home video market, where if it does well, we might see more of the Creeper as it is known that a fourth film is the intention of Salva who has already a plot for it.


Jeepers Creepers: Reborn

Jeepers Creepers: Reborn


Young scientist Laine (Sydney Craven) and her conspiracy theorist boyfriend Chase (Imran Adams) – who is looking for the right moment to propose – travel to Louisiana (where this was actually shot) in order to attend the Horror Hound convention, where the stories they heard of the Creeper (the franchise’s original trilogy is acknowledged in one of several Meta moments) come true as he comes back older and wiser to perpetrate another long series of slayings.


Most people seem to agree that the Jeepers Creepers films are shit (I don’t, and I believe that most of the backfiring is due to Victor Salva’s scandal) yet people still watch them (otherwise they wouldn’t get made), so much in fact that this reboot – directed by Timo Vuorensola [Iron Sky (2012) and Iron Sky: The Coming Race (2019)] – is  supposedly the set-up for a new trilogy, although it found most of its troubles not from the critics or the fans’ poor online ratings, but rather from a lawsuit from Myriad Pictures who claimed that Screen Media Films who backed this co-production between the U.S. and the U.K., had no legal right to do so. The end result is nothing special, and unsurprisingly is not terrible either, yet once again it will mostly be remembered for its backstage legends, something that is a curse with these films, but also a blessing.

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