Jeepers Creepers (2001 film)

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Jeepers Creepers
Jeepers Creepers film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byVictor Salva
Produced by
  • Tom Luse
  • Barry Opper
Written byVictor Salva
Music byBennett Salvay
CinematographyDon E. FauntLeRoy
Edited byEd Marx
Distributed by
Release date
  • August 31, 2001 (2001-08-31)
Running time
91 minutes[2]
Budget$10 million[3]
Box office$59.2 million[3]

Jeepers Creepers is a 2001 horror film written and directed by Victor Salva. The film takes its name from the 1938 song "Jeepers Creepers", which is featured in the film. Francis Ford Coppola executive produced, and the film stars Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, and Eileen Brennan. Philips and Long play two siblings who become the targets of a demonic creature (Breck) in rural Florida. The film is an American and German co-production.

Two sequels were released, Jeepers Creepers 2 in 2003 and Jeepers Creepers 3 in 2017.


Trish Jenner (Philips) and her brother Darry (Long) are traveling home from college for spring break. As they drive through the Florida countryside, an old and rusty truck briefly and threateningly tailgates them. The vehicle eventually passes them. They later see the same truck parked next to an abandoned church with a man sliding what appears to be bodies wrapped in blood-stained sheets into a large pipe sticking out of the ground. The man notices Trish and Darry’s car pass by and attempts to run them off the road.

After escaping, Darry convinces Trish to go back to the church and investigate. At the church, Darry hears noises coming from within the pipe and crawls inside with Trish holding on to his feet, but ends up falling in. At the bottom, he finds a dying man with stitches running down his stomach, and hundreds of other bodies sewn to the basements walls and ceiling. After Darry escapes, the two flee the scene and attempt to contact the police at a diner. At the diner, they are phoned by a strange woman who warns them that they are in danger. She plays the song "Jeepers Creepers", confused they ignore her warning. Later, Trish and Darry leave, with two police officers providing a security escort. As they travel, the police learn that the church has caught fire, and any evidence of bodies has been destroyed. The police are then attacked and killed by the mysterious driver, who loads their bodies into his truck. After hearing the same song again on the radio and pulling over they witness the Creeper exit the police car and suck the tongue out of the dead police man's face. They drive off in terror.

Trish and Darry stop at a reclusive old woman's (Brennan) house, and beg her to call the police. The woman complies until she notices the driver hiding in her yard. She attempts to kill him, but the driver kills her and reveals his inhuman face to Trish and Darry, before pursuing them once again. Trish repeatedly runs the driver over with her car but they are horrified to see a giant wing tear through his trench coat and flap in the air. They drive to the local police station, where they are approached by psychic Jezelle Gay Hartman (Patricia Belcher). She reveals herself as the woman who called them at the diner and tells them the true nature of their pursuer: It is an ancient creature, known as "the Creeper," which awakens every 23rd spring for twenty-three days to feast on human body parts, which then form parts of its own body. She also tells them that it seeks out its victims through fear, and, by smelling the fear from Trish and Darry, it has found something it likes, but she does not know what.

The wounded Creeper arrives and attacks the police station. After cutting off the power, it gains entrance to the cells and eats the prisoners to heal. The Creeper is swarmed by police but kills a number of them and evades capture. Trapped, Jezelle warns Trish and Darry that one of them will die a horrible death. Darry demands to know who, and Jezelle looks at Trish. The Creeper finds them, but spares Jezelle as she does not have anything it wants. The Creeper corners Trish and Darry in an upstairs interrogation room, and after sniffing and tasting them, the Creeper throws Trish aside and chooses Darry. Trish offers her life for her brother's, but the Creeper escapes out of the window and flies away with Darry. The next day, Trish is picked up by her parents, and Jezelle returns home in regret.

In the Creeper's new hideout, an abandoned factory, it is revealed that the Creeper has removed the back of Darry's head and taken his eyes. In a post-credits scene, the Creeper drives his truck into the sunset and honks its horn.


  • Justin Long as Darius "Darry" Jenner
  • Gina Philips as Patricia "Trish" Jenner
  • Jonathan Breck as The Creeper
    • Breck also plays a Bald Cop
  • Patricia Belcher as Jezelle Gay Hartman
  • Brandon Smith as Sergeant Davis Tubbs
  • Eileen Brennan as the Cat Lady
  • Jon Beshara as Trooper Robert Gideon
  • Avis-Marie Barnes as Trooper Natasha Weston
  • Tom Tarantini as Roach


Jeepers Creepers was filmed in north-central Florida in the summer of 2000.[4] Filming locations in the area include the former St. James Church in Ocala, the former Reddick High School in Reddick, and SW 180th Avenue Road in Dunnellon.[5]

Due to time and budget constraints, the film's original third act was cut, so the film's ending is not what Salva intended. Some parts cut from the first film became parts of the sequel.[6]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD and VHS on January 8, 2002 by MGM Home Entertainment.[7]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 46% based on 113 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Jeepers Creepers has a promising start. Unfortunately, the tension and suspense quickly deflates into genre cliches as the movie goes on."[8] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[9] Scott Foundas of Variety wrote that it is "the most conventional and least imaginative of the recent crop of high-class fright movies".[10] Stephen Holden of The New York Times called it "a cannier-than-average teen horror movie" that "disintegrates into a shoot-by-numbers monster hunt".[11] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film "has the scariest opening sequence of any horror picture in recent memory" but becomes an "amusing horror-comedy, spooky and jolting but too literally preposterous to regain its initial aura of suspense."[12] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote that the film starts off well but quickly degenerates into cliche.[13]

Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "D" on an A+ to F scale.[14]

Box office[edit]

Jeepers Creepers opened in 2,944 theaters and took in a US gross of $37.9 million; it later made $21.3 million internationally, making a total of $59.2 million worldwide.[3]

It broke the record for the highest ever Labor Day opening weekend four-day gross, holding the record until the 2003 release of its sequel, Jeepers Creepers 2.[15] After the 2015 Labor Day weekend, Jeepers Creepers holds the #7 spot and the #5 spot goes to its sequel.[15] Allowing for films that had been released prior to Labor Day, Jeepers Creepers holds the #16 spot for the Labor Day four-day weekend, with the #9 spot going to Jeepers Creepers 2.[16]



In 2003, a sequel was released, Jeepers Creepers 2. Events in the second film take place four days after the first film. The Creeper and Darry are the only characters to appear in both films, although they are not the only actors to appear in both films. In the first film, actor Tom Tarantini appears as the minor character "Austin McCoy" AKA "Roach" who is a car thief and regular in the Poho County jail. In the second film, he portrays "Coach Dwayne Barnes".

On September 11, 2015, Jeepers Creepers 3 was officially greenlit,[20] with a planned 2017 release.[21] Victor Salva returns as director, Jonathan Breck returns as The Creeper,[20] and Gina Philips returns as Trish Jenner, her first screen role in five years.[21] Production was halted in 2016 until it resumed in February 2017,[22] and completed in April. The film opened for what was said would be only a one-night showing on September 26, 2017; it was then shown again October 4, and it was announced that it would air on the SyFy channel on October 28, with a Blu-ray/digital release on December 28, 2017.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Jeepers Creepers". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  2. ^ "JEEPERS CREEPERS (15)". British Board of Film Classification. June 26, 2001. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Jeepers Creepers". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
  4. ^ Salva, Victor (July 6, 2010). "THE CREEPER STILL CIRCLES HIS 3RD AND BIGGEST FILM". Poho County Line. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "Jeepers Creepers". Then & Now Movie Locations. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  6. ^ Waddell, Calum (February 24, 2018). "Jeepers Creepers". Minds of Fear: 30 Cult Classics of the Modern Horror Film. Baltimore: Luminary Press. ISBN 9781887664578.
  7. ^ Rivero, Enrique (December 7, 2001). "MGM DVD Series Features the Writer". Archived from the original on December 23, 2001. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  8. ^ "Jeepers Creepers (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  9. ^ "Jeepers Creepers Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  10. ^ Foundas, Scott (August 26, 2001). "Review: 'Jeepers Creepers'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  11. ^ Holden, Stephen (August 31, 2011). "FILM REVIEW; Whatever It Is, It's Awfully Hungry". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  12. ^ Thomas, Kevin (August 31, 2011). "Clever 'Jeepers Creepers' Pushes Too Far". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  13. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (October 18, 2001). "Jeepers Creepers". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  14. ^ "Jeepers Creepers". CinemaScore. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "All Time Labor Day Weekend - Opening". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  16. ^ "All Time Labor Weekend - All Movies". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Nominees for 28th Annual Saturn Awards". UPI. March 14, 2002. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  18. ^ "IGH Recipients: 2001". International Horror Guild Awards. International Horror Guild. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  19. ^ "Festival Archives: 2001". Sitges Film Festival. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  20. ^ a b McNary, Dave (September 11, 2015). "'Jeepers Creepers 3' in the Works From Producer Francis Ford Coppola". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  21. ^ a b Orange, B. Alan (March 22, 2016). "Jeepers Creepers 3 Shooting Next Month, Gina Philips to Return as Trish?". MovieWeb. Watchr Media. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  22. ^ a b Gallagher, Brian (January 11, 2017). "Jeepers Creepers 3 Shoots Next Month with Original Director". MovieWeb. Watchr Media. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  23. ^ Mentioned in the director's commentary audio track on the Jeepers Creepers DVD

External links[edit]

Preceded by
American Pie 2
Box office number-one films of 2001 (U.S.)
September 2
Succeeded by
The Musketeer