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  Jeepers Creepers II Spare PartsBuy this film here.
Year: 2003
Director: Victor Salva
Stars: Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck, Garikayi Mutambirwa, Eric Nenninger, Nicki Aycox, Marieh Delfino, Diane Delano, Thom Gossom Jr, Billy Aaron Brown, Travis Schiffner, Josh Hammond, Lena Cardwell, Al Santos, Justin Long
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: News is breaking of a find of many dead bodies by police, and as this happens a farmer (Ray Wise) witnesses his youngest son being taken away by a huge winged figure which was posing as a scarecrow. Meanwhile, a school bus containing a basketball team and its cheerleaders is driving through the same country when a tire is burst. The driver and coach stop the bus to investigate, and they see that the tire has been shredded by a sharp, star-shaped object fashioned from bone. Now they are stranded in the middle of nowhere and night is approaching...

When Jeepers Creepers was a surprise hit in 2001, it was the biggest success of the wave of backward-looking horrors of the time that unashamedly harked back to seventies fright films like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. This sequel, also written and directed by Victor Salva, takes place the day after the events of the previous film, which set out the rules that the villainous Creeper (Jonathan Breck) feeds for 23 days every 23 years. The little boy was taken on day 22 of this cycle, and now it's day 23, the last day of the rampage until the monster goes into hibernation once more.

Instead of opening out and building on the first instalment, Jeepers Creepers II is a scaled down affair which, in spite of its bigger effects budget, bravely confines the action to the school bus for the greater part of the running time. Rather than a rerun of what we've already seen, with two main characters being hunted down across the land, this is more of an ensemble piece, which concentrates on the panicky teens, all the while cutting back to the farmer preparing to battle against the Creeper.

Interestingly, the teens aren't a tremendously likeable bunch at first, with a bullying hierarchy where one character, Izzy (Travis Schiffner), is verbally abused for supposedly being gay, and the apparent main character Scotty (Eric Nenninger) has a grudge against the black members of the team who he thinks are being favoured over him during the games. The only, really corny addition to the potential victims is Minxie (Nicki Aycox) who, in a contrived device, has a psychic link to the Creeper, and suffers dreams where the plot is explained to her for our benefit.

The teens are divided up by the Creeper into those who have what he wants and those who don't (he works this out by the smell of their fear, unusually). But they - and we - don't know who he's really after; unfortunately, this mystery element is thrown away when most of the kids are so interchangeable. Although lacking the grim ending of the original, the follow-up is better than you might expect, with solid suspense sequences and grotesque moments (e.g. the impaled head), and shouldn't disappoint those who enjoyed the first film, who, let's face it, will make up most of the audience. Music by Bennett Salvay.

[Extras on the DVD include two commentaries - a lively one with Salva and the cast and a "Creeper" one - plus an abundance of featurettes, deleted scenes and trailers.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Victor Salva  (1958 - )

American writer and director who favours creepy subject matter. After a short film, he made his feature debut with horror Clownhouse, but it was seven years later that he directed his next, Powder. It was then revealed he was a convicted paedophile who had molested one of the young stars of Clownhouse. After thriller Nature of the Beast and drama Rites of Passage, he enjoyed an unexpected success with Jeepers Creepers, which he followed with a sequel, and chiller The Watch.

 
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