Jeepers Creepers, where’d you get those peepers? – JM

I’ve managed to keep up my yearly tradition of watching a horror movie a night during October! I’ve seen some good ones but mostly I’ve seen some really terrible ones. Where I can, I try to keep them road tripped themed so I can review them for my blog. I’m not going to muddy the theme of this blog by reviewing movies unrelated to road trips. For this post I’ll review two that I’ve recently watched and enjoyed.

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Jeepers Creepers is a movie steeped in controversy. No it isn’t too scary nor does it have questionably graphic scenes (I’m looking at you Nekromantik!). Unfortunately the issues revolve around its director and some horrible things he’s done in his past. I’m not going to talk about it, if you want to know look it up. I’m going to simply look at it as a monster movie that can be seen on cable with it’s terrible sequel.

I am an unapologetic fan of Justin Long. His cameo in Zack and Miri Make a Porno is one of the greatest scenes ever! Watch Idiocracy and tell me his performance as the doctor isn’t golden. I can’t imagine he’s considered an A list celeb, but I’m a huge fan. According to the always accurate internet, he has a net worth of $15 million. Good for him!

As stated on IMDB the basic plot is “A brother and sister driving home through isolated countryside for spring break encounter a flesh-eating creature which is on the last day of its ritualistic eating spree. ” This creature returns every 23rd Spring to eat for 23 days. To find food he drives around in a vehicle that looks like it could be owned by Leather Face or Rusty Nail. It has the awesome license plate BEATNGU which is originally mistaken as “beating you” but actually means “be eating you.” They never explain how a creature can register it’s vehicle and get vanity plates, but I’ll allow it.

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After the truck bumps and chases our heroes for a while, it speeds past and vanishes. Sometime later the brother and sister team see the truck parked with a man outside throwing large packages down some kind of vent or sewer shoot. Long has to go back and check it out to sate his curiosity, discovers bodies, and this sets the Creeper after them. The rest of the movie involves them trying to escape and find help. Help never really comes as evident by the awkward scene where an entire SWAT team aims at the Creeper but never takes a shot.

Originally the two characters were suppose to be a couple but the director decided to make them brother and sister instead. I appreciate this move. This allows the characters to still have a strong bond and care for each other while not having to mire the plot with any sort of love story. Some movies just don’t need any romantic entanglements.

Lessons learned:

  • If a crazed person hits my vehicle and tries to run me off the road call the police. Do not ignore the problem.
  • If I see a man who looks to be disposing of bodies, don’t check it out. Call the police.
  • Try to avoid anyone with violent vanity plates, especially if they pertain to cannibalism.

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The second movie I watched is Stake Land. I really enjoyed this dark story which felt very similar to Cormac McCarthy’s book/movie The Road. It takes place in a world where a vampires have caused the fall of civilization. While pockets of people have created small towns and crazed cultists run around worshiping the vampires, the remainder of the world seems bleak and empty.

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The vampires in this story are more akin to zombies from other movies. The majority of the creatures are mindless eating machines who barely look human any more. Lestat they are not. They can still be killed via sunlight, stakes to the heart, and possibly fire. While it is a vampire movie, it feels like so much more. The vampires seem secondary to the main plot.

The story follows Mister and the sidekick he rescued, Martin. Martin is a teen who Mister takes under his wing, training him to kill and survive. Their goal is to drive to New Eden in Canada where apparently there are fewer vamps and cultists. Like McCarthy’s story, much of the movie is them just moving further and further toward their goal with fewer fight scenes than a typical action-horror movie. Overall it gives this movie the feeling of depth that other zombie, vampire, or post-apocalyptic movies lack.

Lessons learned:

  • Canada is apparently vampire free. In my trips there I have never seen any, so I have no reason to doubt this movie.
  • Travel by day, hunker down at night.
  • Vampire teeth make good currency.
  • Tai Chi can be used to train vampire killing skills.

I’m hoping that a large pandemic doesn’t occur on my trip. If one does not, the lessons learned from this film are non-transferable to the rest of my trip. I’m okay with that.

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