There's major irony, in that writer/director Victor Salva deliberately constructed the original “Jeepers Creepers” as sequel-proof… but executive producer Francis Ford Coppola urged him to squeeze some life in what became a classic B-movie horror flick, with a more streamlined narrative, and lacking some of the stupid character moves that affected the first film.
MGM/UA's DVD is packed with every conceivable extra fans of the diptych would want, though the commentary tracks are largely unnecessary. With multiple featurettes covering the production, the tracks fill in some minor gaps that make for generally light listening.
Assembling a good chunk of his teenage cast, Salva plays father hen to his companions, as the group watch and recall mostly trivial moments from filming, though there's some good nods to the expert stunt and effects crew during suspense sequences. The second track gathers Creeper actor Jonathan Breck, makeup man Brian Penikas, and illustrator/graphic artist Brad Parker, and the tone and content more or less focus on makeup, the memorable traits of the Creeper, and a deleted “Creeper's Lair” sequence that was dropped prior to shooting.
That sequence, along with a dropped ‘ventriloquist' scene involving a dead character, are showcased via animated storyboards with music score, in separate galleries. Another deleted scene that was filmed – a dreamlike graveyard sequence, littered with cadavers – appears with a fully mixed soundtrack in a montage of deleted scenes and “moments,” arranged chronologically, in a separate gallery.
Composer Bennett Salvay also gets his own featurette, and there's some excellent examples of shock scenes married to Salvay's arresting symphonic music. Split-screens balance the finished material with footage from the recording session, and director Salva also engages in a brief Q&A with the composer.
The remaining featurettes are fairly straightforward, showing some production scenes, actor Breck getting dressed up as the Creeper, and a montage of the film's crisp digital effects. The best featurette remains “A Day In Hell,” in which a small camera crew follows Salva on Day 41 of production.
Deliberately constructed to show the often slow pace of filming, it's also a good overview of the economical planning that gathered green screen and the school bus set in an airplane hangar, with Salva overseeing both aspects simultaneously from his director's chair. Tired yet resolved in spite of the usual production demands, Salva's more down-to-earth here as a director making a horror flick, instead of the idyllic portrait from his effusive cast and crew in “Lights, Camera, Creeper.”
© 2003 Mark R. Hasan