Wednesday 24 January 2018

Jeepers Creepers 3 (USA 2017: Dir Victor Salva)

I'm not entirely sure I should be writing this. There's an active boycott of Jeepers Creepers 3 by some sections of the film-going community on the basis of the past crimes of its writer/director Victor Salva, and those sections have some pretty harsh words for anyone who crosses the cinematic picket line. Too late, I was one of those 'scabs.'

Few people with an interest in the horror movie will be unaware that Salva was tried and convicted in 1988 after pleading guilty to sexual conduct with one of the 12 year old actors in his film Clownhouse. Salva served 15 months of his three year prison sentence and was paroled in 1992. But the crime didn't stop Salva continuing to make his way in Hollyweird. Jeepers Creepers 1 and 2 were released in 2001 and 2003 respectively, and before those films he got picked up by Disney for the successful 1995 movie Powder (and against which a boycott was organised by the director's victim).

Supposedly talks for a third JC sequel were happening before 2 hit the cinemas, but various obstacles stopped the movie being green lit prior to 2015, when it ran into further problems after The Union of British Columbia Performers (it was due to be shot in Canada) warned prospective cast members away from the production because of Salva's past.

Jeepers Creepers 3 finally saw limited theatrical light of day in September 2017 after filming began and was completed earlier that year, the location having shifted from Canada to Louisiana. It limped out in this country straight to DVD with very little fanfare, dragging its rather shameful tail behind it. So, having set out the reasons for not giving it a go, what's it actually like?

Terrible. JC3 takes places roughly between the end of the first film and the start of the second, but there's no attempt at continuity or logic beyond these broadly linked events (and if you haven't seen 1 and 2 the movie will seem even more pointless). The Creeper, who seems to have morphed from his rather shadowy beginnings in the first installment to a kind of full on masked baddie, spends most of his time travelling around the countryside in his pimped up truck; think a tooled up James Bond car, but with various ludicrous accoutrements that allow him to pick off his victims from a distance.

There's a severed Creeper hand which seems to possess those who touch it (including a noticeably older 1980s regular Meg Foster, her no-spring-chickenness possibly the biggest shock in the film, even under the old age makeup), a subplot which almost unbelievably hints at abuse between a father and daughter, and enough shonky CGI moments to set your teeth on edge.

Because of the very short shooting schedule, my guess is that this was filmed based on a very loose script and almost entirely put together in the editing suite. While a couple of scenes hint at some of the inventiveness of the earlier films (mainly those of The Creeper in flight) this is a painful, desultory experience. And the closing sequence, featuring an actor from JC1 introduced to offer the possibility of a sequel, is a total red herring as the director had already made it very clear that JC3 was to be the final part.

Never say never, you my be thinking. Well I'll say it for you. Never.

No comments:

Post a Comment