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Jeepers Creepers is a 2001 horror/monster movie directed by Victor Salva, and starring Justin Long, Gina Philips and Jonathan Breck. It takes its name from the song "Jeepers Creepers", which features in the movie.The movie centers around two siblings, Darius "Darry" and Patricia "Trish" Jenner, as they take the scenic route home from college in Trish's banged-up old car, and their strange and frightening encounter on the lonely highway with what seems to be a crazed, obnoxious driver of an ominous green truck, who attempts to run them off the road. Later, from a distance, they witness the driver of the truck, dumping what appears to be bodies wrapped in bloodstained bags down a pipe, adjacent to an abandoned church. Seeing them, the driver of the truck engages the two in a terrifying road chase, but they manage to escape. Darry, against Trish's wishes, decides to go and investigate the old church in case there may be someone alive, only to make a horrific discovery. Much later, they discover that the driver of the truck is not initially as he seems...The movie was a surprise success, and was nominated for several awards, winning one of them. A 2003 sequel, Jeepers Creepers 2, followed, which wasn't as well received as its predecessor. A third movie, Jeepers Creepers 3: Cathedral (previously thought to be titled The Creeper Walks Among Us) - and possibly a fourth movie - have since been announced by MGM, but currently seems to be stuck in Development Hell. Interestingly, the script for the third movie apparently sets up a TV series.Unmarked spoilers below (for those of you who still don't know the identity of the truck driver), be warned.
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Both films contain examples of
Appendage Assimilation: The Creeper kidnaps people, takes whatever body parts of theirs he wants, and then leaves them to die.
Creepy Crows: Lots of crows are drawn to the Creeper's lair in the church basement, and the other lair he sets up in an abandoned factory. Crows are also present whenever the Creeper is around in the sequel.
Cruel and Unusual Death: In many cases, the Creeper removes the desired organs/appendages while the unfortunate victim is still alive, then leaves them to die a slow, agonising death.
Determinator: The Creeper. He'll stop at nothing to catch his prey! Even if he's lost both of his wings, an arm and a leg he'll still go to any lengths to catch whoever has something he likes! Of course, given that he needs the people he's chasing to replace damaged parts, it makes sense that injury would only make him more determined, not less.
Evil Is Funny: The Creeper, although relentless and frightening, is also shown to have a twisted sense of humour, such as the scene in the first movie with him suddenly remembering to throw the head into the truck, and a scene in the second movie when he's choosing which of the teens he wants to eat. Then there's his Vanity License Plate...
The Creeper removes and eats Darry's eyes, in order to gain use of them - while Darry is still alive. The last scene shows a close up of a deceased Darry with his eyes removed, with the Creeper looking through the gouged hole in the back of his head.
In the sequel, The Creeper himself gets a javelin right through the eye, and sticking out the back of his head.
Fate Worse Than Death: Well, you'll die eventually, but only after the Creeper is done removing your organs.
For the Evulz: At first The Creeper seems like he kills to feed himself, thus attemping to survive. However seeing all the tortures he likes to inflict to his victims it's clear he does it for pure sadistic fun at the same time.
Jack Sr. in the second film, after the Creeper is wounded, proceeds to stab it over and over again until it finally stops moving (though only because its time is up). Then he nails it to his barn and waits for the next time it wakes up, just to be sure.
Mad Artist: The Creeper does some very, um, creative things with his victim's remains. Not only does he sew the corpses together into a twisted kind of tapestry, he also makes some of his weapons from human remains, such as his throwing stars. note The first one seen is made of bone and melted down dental filling, with a single tooth for decoration, the second one is made of bone and Darry's belly button. He also has a talent for carving, as evidenced by his little self-portrait carved into his work table, and the intricately-carved designs on the hilt of one of his knives.
The scene near the beginning of the first movie, with the truck coming closer and closer...
Later, when Darry and Trish argue about the song on the car radio, while the Creeper standing upright on the roof of the police car is visible behind them through the rear window.
When Darry is in the church basement and bends over to tie his shoe, you can clearly see several of the Creeper's victims' bodies pinned to the walls and ceiling before he notices them. A few seconds earlier, if one looks closely, some bodies can be seen in the darkness before this reveal.
In the sequel, as the other characters look away, the audience witnesses the Coach suddenly get snatched by the Creeper into the sky, leaving only his flare behind.
In the sequel, before the Creeper jumps on the front of the bus you can see the silhouette of the Creeper behind the back door.
Nice Hat: The Creeper often wears a wide-brimmed hat to help hide his inhuman features.
Nigh-Invulnerability: The Creeper practically defines this trope. No matter how much abuse he takes, he always gets back up again to kick some serious ass. Of course, he does get weaker the more damage he takes, but he is still highly dangerous even with a limb missing or part of his head destroyed. Heck, in Jeepers Creepers 2, even after having part of his head utterly destroyed, he's still not dead.
Jezelle: "I think it's eaten too many hearts... for its own to ever stop."
Nobody Poops: Averted - Darry and Trish stop to pee in a field on the way home, and several male characters from the second movie stop to take a leak when the bus stops due to a puncture for the first time. Interestingly, according to Word of God, Justin Long (Darry) was actually peeing for real in the former scene, and Salva just decided to Throw It In.
Off with His Head!: Happens to Gideon in the first film, and to Dante in the second. There's also the tale of the prom couple Kenny and Darla: "They never found her head." Darry later discovers that she did indeed lose her head - and the Creeper sewed it back on.
Oh, Crap: Darry and Trish have a great Oh, Crap moment when they see the Creeper's face for the first time and realize that he isn't human.
At the beginning of the second movie, Billy gets one when he looks at one of the scarecrow's feet and sees claws...
When the students finally venture out of the bus, and one of them looks up to see the Creeper hovering in the skies above them.
Once Is Not Enough: Subverted. While once is not enough (being hit with a car, being stabbed with a harpoon, etc), really, neither is any other amount of times. It will never stay down. Though damaging it enough will slow him down at least.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Darry and Trish are very rarely referred to as Darius and Patricia. The sequel has Deaundre "Double D" Davis and Andy "Bucky" Buck.
Psychic Powers: Jezelle, whose powers are the subject of much skepticism by the other characters (at least initially). Minxie from the second movie also develops them, and is plagued with dreams/visions of Darry telling her about the nature of the Creeper.
The Reveal: That the driver of the truck is actually the Creeper, and is very, very far from a crazed humanSerial Killer, but that he is an inhuman creature that feeds on human beings (and then preserves their corpses as a form of art). He grows more and more monstrous as the film goes on, shedding clothes and revealing more of his horrifying anatomy.
Also, when the end of the film reveals which sibling the Creeper wanted all along: Darry (and his eyes).
Rule of Scary / Rule of Cool: The Creeper can sew, carve, knows mechanics and about license plates... When you think about it, it doesn't make much sense...
In the second movie, it's hinted that the Creeper has been around for thousands of years. That's plenty of time for him to learn about, well, EVERYTHING.
Or maybe when he eats someone's brain, he absorbs their memories. A seamstress for sewing, a mechanic for mechanics, etc.
Scary Scarecrows: The Creeper poses himself as the scarecrow in the Cat Lady's yard. Then disguises as one in Jack Sr.'s cornfield in the second film. Which is creepy as hell.
Shout-Out: Steven Spielberg's Duel, from the "bumper-cam" shots of the truck riding their tail to the line about the truck being "souped up." The truck is also the same style as the killer truck in Spielberg's film.
Super Strength: The Creeper is way stronger than something of its build should be. In the second film, it's able to drag (and then flip) a pickup truck while in-flight, having been speared by a (presumably quite heavy) harpoon launcher bolted to the back.
To Serve Man: The Creeper feasts on human beings every 23 years, for 23 days. However, he only eats parts of them that smell good to him (he possesses an incredible sense of smell), or parts of them that will regenerate something of his that he has lost.
Villain Song: Jeepers creepers, where'd you get those peepers...?note The Creeper doesn't actually sing it, but he whistles it.
The Voiceless: The Creeper (the only noises he makes are primal cries and grunts), although a deleted scene does reveal that he is capable of human speech, and confirms Darry's fear that the Creeper does indeed know his name.
There was also, apparently, a scene planned for the sequel in which the Creeper was to be heard speaking, although that scene was never filmed.
He's also heard whistling the song "Jeepers Creepers" in the first movie.
Domestic Abuser: Trish's (only mentioned; never seen) ex-boyfriend is implied to have been one towards her.
Enforced Method Acting: Justin Long and Gina Phillips didn't see the Creeper truck for the first time until they were on-set. In addition, Jonathan Breck made sure he didn't meet either of them until they were all on-set together.
It eats lungs, so it can breathe. And eyes... so it can see...
The lyrics to the song "Jeepers Creepers" itself foreshadow Darry's fate heavily.
The carving of what appears to be some kind of demon in the worktable. At first, it could be interpreted that it is the work of a serial killer who worships the devil. Later, it becomes clear that it's a self-portrait.
From Bad to Worse: Darry and Trish think that being run off the road by a maniac in a truck is bad initially. From that point on, things do indeed get much, much worse for them, and it never really stops.
Game Face: The Creeper does this at the end to intimidate the cops, just before he flies off with Darry.
Groin Attack: What the Cat Lady does to Darry. With the butt of her shotgun. Owww.
Incest Is Relative: Darry calls Pertwilla County, Florida the "Incest Capital of the World". In addition, he assumes it's what was wrong with the mad driver at first.
Jerkass: Trish comes across this way with regards to how she treats Jezelle.
Jump Scare: The first blare of the truck's horn. Also, the scene following Darry's discovery in the church basement - Trish desperately attempts to start her car after she sees what she initially thinks is the Creeper truck returning to the church, only to slump back, relieved, when it turns out to be a different vehicle. Cue Darry suddenly slamming himself against the car window, completely scaring the crap out of Trish (and the audience).
The moment when Darry discovers what he assumes to be a corpse in the basement... then the "corpse" suddenly starts thrashing around.
A Love to Dismember: Subverted. What the Creeper does to Gideon's severed head initially looks like this, but it turns out he's dining on the poor guy's tongue.
Never Mess with Granny: The aptly-named Cat Lady, to an extent - she may be old and frail, but she certainly isn't afraid of whipping out her shotgun to deal with anyone who trespasses on her property (and those who threaten her "babies"). Although she proves to be less than a match for the Creeper.
Nothing Is Scarier: Used many times, to great effect. A good example would be the first Meaningful Background Event of the Creeper truck coming up behind Trish's car - it looms up on her and Darry quickly and silently, and there is no music score.
Together in Death: A more twisted example than most: Kenny and Darla's preserved corpses, as a part of the Creeper's human tapestry, are tightly holding hands.
Too Dumb to Live: Darry. Oh Darry, why did you have to insist your sister turn that car around?
Trailers Always Spoil: The theatrical trailer completely gives away the fact that the Creeper is... not human. Additionally, the end of the trailer shows a shot of the Creeper about to take off with Darry. It's only shown for a split second, but still...
What a Piece of Junk: The Creeper's 1941 Chevy COE is old, seriously beat-up and crappy-looking (not to mention creepy as hell), but it can effortlessly catch up to Trish's car. It is strongly implied to have a souped-up engine.note (Speculated to be the result of a 383 chevy crate motor with a supercharger)
Why Did It Have To Be Rats?: It seems likely that Darry may have a fear of rats, if his reaction to seeing a load of them in the pipe is anything to go by.
Death by Pragmatism: Double Subversion for Scott. He vacillates back and forth on a variety of self-serving plans trying to figure out if it's safer to stay on the bus or make a break for it. Inevitably, the plan he finally decides on benefits everyone but him.