It’s going on 17 years since the original Jeepers Creepers took flight, when film fans were introduced to an all-new and downright terrifying horror icon in the form of The Creeper.
Initially conceived by series creator Victor Salva, The Creeper is a winged demon that feasts on human flesh every 23rd spring, and thanks to the recent launch of Jeepers Creepers 3, there’s another harvest on the cards. But while reflecting on the breakout success of Salva’s 2001 thriller, Creeper actor Jonathan Breck discussed the franchise’s lasting legacy in an exhaustive interview with IGN.
It’s a legacy that has undoubtedly been tainted by Victor Salva’s dubious past, after the contentious filmmaker served 15 months in state prison for sexual misconduct with a minor. And though his victim, Nathan Forrest Winters, has since issued a candid statement regarding the release of Jeepers Creepers 3, the horror threequel continues to be the source of controversy within the film community.
Breck, on the other hand, is of the belief that Victor Salva deserves a second chance. That’s something we’ll leave to you, but during his chat with IGN, the series mainstay went on to draw attention to Jeepers Creepers and its runaway success.
It was back in the day when they would package a bunch of films, financiers would package eight or ten films hoping maybe one of them would hit, and it would pay for all of them. And Jeepers Creepers was one of I think ten films that was part of a package that was being done by [United Artists] at the time. Francis Coppola was producing it. And Jeepers was the one that just took off to massive success, fortunately for us.
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As for why JC made a big splash 17 years ago, Jonathan Breck pointed to the lack of classic monster movies. They don’t make ’em like they used to, after all.
I think the reason it appeals to people is because people don’t take the time to make original monster movies anymore. They’re very rare. And aside from being a horror film I think it was a good story. The writer/director, Victor [Salva], is a great storyteller above all. And so a great horror movie with an original monster but it had real characters in it, three-dimensional characters. I think all those elements, you just don’t see them very often.
In light of that limited release, the first reviews of Jeepers Creepers 3 are beginning to find their way online and, well, it doesn’t look good. Our own Robert Yaniz Jr. considered the long-in-development sequel to be a missed opportunity, writing that, “lacking in imagination or genuine scares, Jeepers Creepers 3 falls tragically short on just about every front.” Ouch.
Jeepers Creepers 3 staged a one-night screening earlier this week, and it’s understood Screen Media Films has drawn up plans for a second showing on October 4th due to popular demand. Perhaps that’ll plant the seed for a fourth film in the cult horror series? Time will tell.