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Jeepers Creepers II (2003)

Written and Directed by Victor Salva

  What I found interesting about this film was the reason for Salva writing the story-line of the creature feeding every 23 years for 23 days being so that he didn’t have to write a sequel. However it had been Francis Ford Coppola (executive producer) who convinced him of otherwise. Picking up exactly where the first one leaves off, Salva initially was going to make the story concerning Gina Philips’s character Trisha as she hunted down the Creeper. But Victor discovered that what was supposed to be a simple side-story actually had a lot of potential for its own movie and decided to make the sequel about them. Deciding to make the Creeper more “juicer” and darker and give him as well a bit of personality. He did seem somewhat playful, toying with these kids as they get trapped.

  Starting in a corn field on the 22nd day. We see Jack Taggart Sr. (Ray Wise) working on his farm as son Billy (Shaun Fleming) fixes the scarecrows out in the field. His eyes playing tricks on him as he believes to have seen one of the scarecrows turn and look at him. Approaching it apprehensively, he sees its feet move and takes off, though being no match for the winged monster. Eventually caught. Father and brother Jack (Luke Edwards) chase after the beast which flies off with Billy, leaving the two in disbelief of what had just occurred. We are then averted to a school bus with basketball players, cheerleaders, and coaches returning from the State championship game of which they had won. They get a flat tire as Bus Driver Betty (Diane Delano) finds some sort of weapon penetrated within it and their radio brings news from a nearby county. Speaking of the church that burned (from the original) and how the body count had been up to 300 with not one body being complete.

  Back at the bus the guys lay out on top the bus to tan as the girls sneak away for a smoke break. Wait, is that right? Though back at Jack’s farm we see him creating a weapon of some sort to prepare for his upcoming battle. It seems the bus driver had decided to keep steady but to go forth with driving since already after dark and having no means of contacting anyone else. One of the students Minxie Hayes, (Nicki Aycox) has a dream where she sees Darry (cameo Justin Long) and Billy from earlier as they point to the cornfield to reveal the darkened creature throwing yet another of his self-made weapons. Taking out one more tire and putting them at a complete stop. They get out and put flares on the road as their coach goes missing without anyone even noticing until too late. The bus driver is next to disappear as the kids soon witness their other coach lifted up by The Creeper for their first almost look at him.

  Jack hears of the location from his police scanner and sets off with his son. The kids on the bus get antsy in their pursuit of escape and begin to turn on one another. Minxie is the first to notice the creature on the side of the bus as they become face to face with him. He winks at one, smiles at another and finally points out his next victims for all to see. Rattling the bus and trying to get in, proving too much for Minxie as she passes out and has a vision of Darry once again. He explains the creatures legacy and she wakes to relay the message that “it” was picking out who it wanted earlier. Doubting her new-found awakening as Scotty (Eric Nenninger) questions her dream, insisting on knowing what she was told. Jack and his son soon get a hold of the people on the bus as they reply they were trying their best to get to them but that it could take a while (on the radio). What they soon take as a victory switches to a loss as a student is ripped out of the bus though saved by Rhonda (Marieh Delfino) who impaled the creature through the roof of the bus.

  What appears as the monster flying off turns into him having flown into the air to crash down onto the bus as his wing rips through the middle. Finding themselves trapped inside, its wing envelops Dante, (Al Santos) leaving just his decapitated body. They leave the bus and do their best to outrun the winged beast who had taken flight and used his weapons to take out two more kids. The farmers find Minxie who had taken off further than the others and they pick her up to return back to the bus. Jack shoots the Creeper right through his body as he begins to lift the truck with one final shot to his head. Casing him to rip through the bus with Jack barely losing his life. A what would be victim is saved by it being the end of the monster’s time; Jack getting the last laugh. The kids walk away a bit more scarred than before and this “bat out of hell” is used to make a quick buck or two until the 23 years later, give or take a day or two.

Final Thoughts: For someone who didn’t want to make a sequel to begin with, I’d say it wasn’t too bad. I think I liked how they did the monster in the first film better though. He looked almost, too funny with how “shiny” they made him. The Director had stated liking new faces for his films which was evident; just not sure they held up. It’s clearly a B movie. Not that there’s anything wrong with that either. No one really stuck out as far as being a main contender, since there were so many survivors. So, I assume the third one will be something involving finally coming back after all those years and finishing what he started with the ones he choose, blah blah. I’d say I’m more nervous to see the third match up to the two prior.

  I liked the bit of the Creeper hanging down and toying with the kids. It seemed like almost a different creature altogether because of the behavior that was chosen for him in the first. There wasn’t blood and guts everywhere either as they went for the subtle approach but I could have done with at least a little. When they do get attacked it wasn’t as though the things that happened weren’t cringe worthy or your heart didn’t race just a bit faster. It just could have been more. Overall however, a good next installment in a genre where it seems rarer than finding a white tiger. (Sorry, I’ve watched Casa de mi Padre recently) Hopefully for the next one they can make the kills a bit more raunchy and not forget that it’s what the Creeper already has that makes him eerie and to not take away from that. His costume did look better but he can be just as scary from afar while angling it to where we don’t see too much of his face. Since we’ve already seen more than enough of it now.