The Creeper–Id Personified
The other night I was watching JEEPERS CREEPERS 3 again, after earlier in the day debating with a friend of mine (Hi, Christy!) about whether it was or was not superior to the first sequel. I said yes; she said no. She thought the third one focused too much on the Creeper’s truck, whereas I thought the second one suffered by NOT including the truck as a character in the film, as it was featured in the original JEEPERS CREEPERS. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Watching the flick again, I was struck by this thought: the Creeper is writer/director Victor Salva’s Id given celluloid flesh. Perhaps by giving life to his own dark side, bringing it to life on the screen, he hopes to expunge it, or at least to contain it.
Who can watch that underwear-sniffing scene in the original film now without cringing a little, knowing what we know about Salva. (If you’ve been keeping house under some oversized stone the past few years, Salva is a convicted pedophile. This has led some to call for a boycott of his films, and is the reason why the excellent JEEPERS CREEPERS 3 only got a two-night release in theaters and is already playing on SyFy. Not that I’m complaining about the latter. I now have the movie recorded.) Rather than vilifying Salva for it, as some have, and do, and without in any sense excusing or forgiving his past misdeeds, he should be given credit for the effort, if it is, in fact, an attempt to deal with, process, and control his personal demon through his art. If the Creeper is a scapegoat for Salva’s personal sins, as I suspect, let us hope the veneer of the silver screen is strong enough to keep him imprisoned.