Wednesday, July 29, 2009

jeepers creepers ii [2003]

there's no accounting for taste. or the lack of it. summer films are more about emotion rather than the intellect. one goes to the drive-in not to watch godard but to watch frankie and annette do what they do best, which is next to nothing. that's what summers are all about: doing great swathes of nothing. the dog days, lazy days, the summertime blues.

as an adult with a family and a mortgage those dog days are long gone. it's easy to get nostalgiac over summertimes past. easier still is drinking too much and feeling sorry for yourself that the best days are behind and lo! only infirmity and death await just a bit ahead. but why when we have the movies. it is always the present in the movies. no matter if that present is a period roman-era action flick [there's a movie i watched when a kid on tv one night that was set in ancient rome and started by some guy telling a tall tale about an ancient and humongous bell. the guy finds himself in trouble for some reason with the local police and thus starts the guy's quest and eventual discovery of that bell after many, many tribulations. i asked my old man, who was watching with me, why the guy went thru all that trouble and my old man said, because he's an adventurer. that word has had a special resonance with me ever since] or a dystopian future because it is always the present during the run of the picture.

doesn't matter if that movie is any good or no. what matters for the summer movie is the chord it strikes within the chest. i'm hard-pressed to explain why i like this movie. from every vantage this flick sucks serious butt. it is neither scary nor campy enough for the summer drive-in feel but for me it does. ostensibly about the creeper who struck in the first pic of the same name and starring justin long as the stalked kid, the creeper wakes up every 23 years or something like that and can eat for 23 days. it's favorite morsel are eyeballs, preferably eyeballs out of the heads of gawky teen-age brats.

it so happens that in this movie a busload of idiots is driving down a rather deserted [and aren't all road in horror flicks somehow deserted and without cell phone coverage?] road when the creepers strikes. that sucks because now the kids are trapped on the bus with this thing picking them off one by one. why it doesn't burst from eating too much or why we don't see the monster needing to take a huge crap i don't know. nevertheless, it's dinnertime. some kids will survive and some won't.

the direction is rather flat and lackluster while the editing does an okay job at keeping the narrative moving along. i did like the photography and the creeper is very creepy at a distance. up close the creeper just looks like a dude in a costume. ray wise lends a graceful hand as a father who lost a son to the monster and has vowed revenge. wise is a calming and beneficent actor and can rise above this tripe. justin long makes another appearance as a young man who appears in a dream to warn about the monster.

blame it on the heat or the fact that i've seen this movie at least 3 times on tv. i don't know why i like it, but the flick is redolent of something the late tv horror host bob wilkins would've screened back in the '70s. that to me is the essence of a summer flick, something seriously stoopid that you can't help but like anyway.


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