Digi-Schlock: JEEPERS CREEPERS (Scream Factory 2 Blu-Ray Set)

Jeepers Creepers benefitted from arriving in the salad days of the DVD format, earning a nice special edition during its original home video release as well as a blu-ray drawn from the old HD master.  Scream Factory has recently revisited the title for a fresh high-def overhaul, not only bringing it into the digital realm but expanding JeepCr-bluit into a two blu-ray set.  The results are manna for monster movie fans.

The transfer used here is a new 2K scan taken from the interpositive and it does well by a film whose second half relies on nighttime exteriors.  The daytime stuff really benefits from the bump in color while the nocturnal material has new levels of detail and clarity.  The film’s 5.1 stereo track is presented in DTS-HD form and sounds great, offering a carefully layered soundscape with great use of the film’s full-blooded orchestral score and plenty of surround speaker activity.

Fans will be happy to know the DVD’s special edition extras are revived here and enhanced with a new slate of recently-shot material.  Here’s the breakdown of what you’ll see:

Commentaries: Two are included.  There is a vintage track that dates back to the original DVD release and it’s a solo session with writer/director Victor Salva.  It’s a good nuts-and-bolts track with Salva offering a mixture of on-the-set stories, appreciations for his collaborators and his motivations behind various story choices.  There is also a new track that reunites Salva with stars Gina Phillips and Justin Long.  The trio has a nice rapport, laughing a lot as they relive the challenges and joys of the shoot.  There’s a lot about the rigors of the shoot, the amusing moments off-camera and the actor/director relationship.  It’s fun, with lots of wisecracks from Long.

Jeepers Creepers: Now And Then (36:45): a retrospective piece built on interviews with Salva, editor Ed Marx, cinematographer Don FauntLeRoy and producer Barry Opper.  It starts off by going deep on the development of the script and casting tales then gets into the challenging nature of production, which included budget issues that led to last-minute script cuts as well as abandoning the film’s intended finale.  Everyone appreciates the experience butJeepCr-03 is also frank about the challenges of working with a big studio.

From Critters To Creepers (19:38): Opper returns for a nice solo chat that provides an overview of his career as a genre film producer.  He talks about working with Roger Corman on his first production, Android, and this part also includes a wild tale about star Klaus Kinski.  He also talks about how Critters transformed from a one-off into a franchise and how he got involved with Jeepers Creepers.  Opper comes off well here and fans will appreciate his dedication to giving new talent a chance (example: his Critters sequels provided early gigs for Leonardo DiCaprio and Angela Bassett).

The Town Psychic (16:34): an interview with actress Patricia Belcher, who enhanced Jeepers Creepers with her work as a troubled clairvoyant.  She discusses how she developed her perspective on her character’s psychological terrain, offers a few fun tales from the set and talks about the unexpected cost of shooting one of the monster encounters.  It closes on an interesting note with her thoughts on horror cinema.

JeepCr-04Behind The Peepers: this six-part documentary dates back to the original MGM Special Edition DVD and offers around an hour’s worth of material.  The individual segments are devoted to how the filmmakers chose the film’s two lead actors, creature design, how they tackled the challenges of car shooting and stunts, the special effects and performance aspects of creating the Creeper and the musical score.  There’s an EPK style to it but fans will appreciate the tons of quality behind-the-scenes footage included here, including some great footage of the orchestral scoring sessions.

Deleted Scenes (17:13): An interesting array of snips here.  A lot of it is devoted to additional dialogue between the two leads but there’s also a memorable director’s cameo, a moment where the Creeper speaks and a more vague alternate ending that was improved on by the finished version’s capper.

Other Extras: an eight minute animated image gallery, a theatrical trailer and a radio spot.

To read Schlockmania’s film review of Jeepers Creepers, click here.

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