Starring Jonathan Breck, Brandon Smith, Gabrielle Haugh, Stan Shaw, Meg Foster, Chester Rushing, Gina Philips
Written and directed by Victor Salva
It’s really hard to separate the past crimes committed by Victor Salva from his current work as a filmmaker, but for the sake of reviewing his latest film, Jeepers Creepers 3, the next entry into the popular cult franchise, we shall do just that. As previously stated, we are a news website dedicated to bringing you the headlines, and we cannot and will not let our personal beliefs influence how we bring you news and/or reviews. Instead, we leave it for you to decide whom or what you should or shouldn’t support.
The majority of Jeepers Creepers 3 takes place minutes after the ending of the original film. Brandon Smith returns to the role of Sgt. Tubbs from Jeepers Creepers. He’s now shell-shocked by what he just witnessed… a humanoid of some type, taking flight and disappearing into the night sky. He’s quickly joined by Sheriff Tashtego (Shaw) and explains the events that had transpired while in a complete state of disbelief. But Tashtego is a believer… a believer with a history. One that Tubbs has unwittingly now become part of. Together the duo put together a militia of sorts to combat The Creeper (played by a returning Jonathan Breck, who has not missed a step as the titular creature despite the passing of 15 years since Jeepers Creepers 2), and we’re off to the races.
From there we’re introduced to Gaylen Brandon (Foster, who steals the show with her performance), a woman with a history with The Creeper all her own. It’s been foretold that her abode is next on the creature’s list for carnage, and she’s tasked with having to protect her granddaughter, Addison (Haugh), while helping the aforementioned militia try to stop the creature before it disappears for another 23 years. In a nutshell that’s the story and divulging anything more would venture into spoilerific territory and we don’t want that.
It’s fairly apparent from the get-go that this entry of the franchise has the lowest budget of the three. Jeepers Creepers once made its home at MGM/UA, but that time has passed. Still, every cent of the budget is up there on the screen to showcase some great Creeper “hero” moments; there’s a lot of flying and of course a healthy spray of the old red stuff splashed about gleefully, but also sparingly as the budget permits. When it’s needed, though, it’s there in abundance.
One of the main complaints about the second film was its homoerotic undertones, but honestly speaking, if it weren’t for Salva’s very public past, I wouldn’t have even noticed… especially when paired against other films in which said undertones were a lot more prevalent (*cough* Elm Street 2 *cough*). Such things never bothered me personally, as I don’t really care about anyone’s sexual preference, but for those of you whom it irritated, there are no such moments at all in Jeepers Creepers 3. In fact, the film is very much in line with the original in terms of its tone.
Another cool thing about it is the fact that about three quarters of the flick takes place in stark daylight, so The Creeper is anything but hidden. He’s there causing chaos in all his gargoyle-like glory, and that’s the film’s greatest strength. Breck, through body language and some truly wild-eyed facial expressions, brings this otherworldly character to life and underscores why it’s remained so popular. Even under all that makeup he is both the glue and the key to the success of this franchise.
It’s not all a bed of roses, however… the script at times feels kind of disjointed and muddled, some of the acting is a bit on the “Man, that really could have used a second or even third take” side of the fence, and the film – though rife with Creeper action – is fairly light on any actual scares.
At the end of the day if you’re a fan of the franchise, you’ll be happy with this latest entry… which for my tastes is better than the second but just falls short of the goodness and quality of the original experience. The door has been left open for Jeepers Creepers 4, and whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. I don’t know what the next stop for The Creeper will be, but if he does resurface, we’ll be there waiting like a hunter with a rusty harpoon.