Long, long after that was the case, a Horror Film called, of all things, Jeepers Creepers about an irritable semi-driver and the two college kids he's stalking began being advertised. Judging from the advertisements this was a cheesy, nutty, fruitcake fright flick with the quality, originality and acting of a Barbara Streisand flick, but without the horror. However, when I saw both the American Zoetrope and the United Artists logos on the previews, I realized that I must have been mistaken! This must be an artistic and surprisingly fascinating movie of deep terror and high minded dialogue.
A brother-sister pair of college students is traveling home to visit the old family, when an old, ugly-ass truck with the personalized license plate "BEATNGU" tries to run the kids off the road. That's bad enough, but when the kids witness the Bubba Ho-Tep-looking truck driver dumping partially-eaten bodies into a drain pipe, the kids forget they don't have Scooby-Doo with them and decide to investigate. This is only the first of many, many, many ridiculously dumb decisions that these Ivy Leaguers make over the next hour and a half or so.
Over the course of the plot, loosely laced together by stupid moves that only happen in B-Grade horror movies, Darry and Trish Jenner (Justin Long and Gina Philips) meet up with a psychic and piece together the facts. This isn't a truck driver at all, but some ancient Demon with Bat Wings who arises once every 23 years and eats Human Body Parts for 23 days. He keeps the rest shellacked in the basement of a church like some Rob Freakin' Zombie Sistine Chapel ceiling. "The Creeper", as the demon is known, detects the body parts he needs by smelling the fear of his quarry... hence his trying to run people off the road. They know all these imagination-stretchers because, thankfully, that Psychic has come along to tell them. Madame Jezelle (Patricia Belcher) might as well have held up the hole-riddled script and started scotch taping pages five through Fifty-Three!
The thing I love the most, though, is the damned truck! So he uses his truck to get around and to scare the shit out of people to sense their fear and thusly, survive... But here's the thing... He's a big scary demon! I don't know about you, but some winged, flying cocksucker swooping at my car would scare the pheromones out of me a hell of a lot more than a near-miss with the service Van from "Walt's Plumbing and Supply!" The fact that he can fly makes me wonder why he got a truck in the first place...
And what about "How"? Can't you see the Creeper in a used car lot, kicking those tires and picking out the best big-Corellian-ship for the highway? How many letters did he get from "First Advantage Loan Center" starting with "Dear Mister Creeper, This is our third attempt to contact you. You are seriously behind on your Truck Payments, and we soon may be forced to repossess your Demon-Posessed Vehicle!" Between that, Insurance Claims, visits to the Haberdasher, and practicing the fine art of flesh varnishing, it's no wonder the guy only gets around to having dinner four times a century! He's tired, man! I don't know about you, but I would ADORE being a fly on the wall as the Creeper was registering his personalized license plate! How many combinations did he try before settling on "BEATNGU"?
"We're Sorry Sir, but 'SATNSON', 'KICKASS', 'MUNCH I', 'BLAKWNG' and 'EATLUNG' are all taken! How about 'BEATNGU'?
"Oh, that'd be Dandy, thanks!"
Okay, okay, okay, but it's not all bad. There are some cool and fun moments if you leave your logic with the Coat Check girl. Though it's never actually scary, the Creeper itself looks pretty nifty, as does his (lol) "House of Pain"! There are two scenes on the highway which are beautifully choreographed and worth a second look, and there is a sense of wonder about what the hell is going to happen to these two idiotic college kids.
But there's a big lack of continuity in Salva's "That'll Do!" directing, from early on when the same bumper gets smashed thrice (in between each smash-shot that bumper's in pristine condition) to the very last scene which ends ridiculously, like Coppola ran out of funding for this project. The ending itself is so remarkably insulting it's hard to believe, but needless to say, this movie would have resulted in the same ending whether it was an hour and a half long, or five big fat minutes... the story is actually a page long with fry-daddy loads of fattening breading to stretch it out to 90 minutes.
But this is a "B-Movie" after all and it has its merit as a silly fun flick, completely illogical, but fun with popcorn. It wasn't a good movie, but I had fun imagining all the ramifications of Hell-Spawn driving Semis. Make a drinking game out if it! It's still worth Two Stars out of Five. Oops... I've just run out of fund-
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