Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkinhead and The Return of the Living Dead

For my last horror movie review of the October Halloween season, I was stuck on what film I should review, between two classics I love to watch during this spooky time of year. Both are cult favorites of the 1980s, having such great moments in them and, wanting to make sure I get it down in this blog, I wanted them to be part of my Halloween-themed reviews for this year. So...I decided to review them both.

By the way, pardon the rapid way this one was written, because I had to deal with giving out candies every so often as I was writing this.

What I have on the plate today are two fun films to watch: a serious creature feature and a horror comedy zombie film-1988's Pumpkinhead and 1985's The Return of the Living Dead.

Lance Henriksen is a favorite actor of mine, and well known for the parts he plays, yet always plays the second fiddle to another actor of higher caliber. But Henriksen is no slouch himself...I've seen him pull out some very different performances in a few movies over the years. In Dog Day Afternoon he was the FBI agent that didn't say much until the big climactic scene at the end of the movie; in Damien: Omen II, he had a small evil part as the sergeant of the military school that takes Damien under his wing at the end; in The Terminator, he was a flunky cop who didn't get respect from his sergeant; and we all know him as Bishop from a few of the Alien films. Many of his films showcased him as a supporting character, but he was always awesome and stood out in those parts. But my favorite Lance Henriksen vehicle has got to be Pumpkinhead.

The film opens up at night with some man running from something he seems afraid of as he screams for someone to help him. He stops at a house and bangs on the door, calling to Tom Harley (Lee de Broux). The Harley family is inside and Tom advises his wife and son that they need to keep out of it. Soon, an unseen force closes in on the man and we hear his scream as he's obviously killed.

Cut to years later and we see Ed Harley (Henriksen), a grown man now, and his son, Billy (Matthew Hurley-a Jonathan Lipnicki look-a-like), in a little country town. We see how close they are as they work on their farm together and enjoy each other's company during dinner.

Ed Harley and his son run a small store along the country highway and one day, a group of friends stop on their way to a cabin for a fun getaway, complete with dirt bikes that they've hauled with them, to pick up some supplies. Not long after, a family from town comes by to get some groceries and supplies as well and ask Harley to have some of it delivered to their house. Harley leaves his son to mind the store as he takes off to deliver the goods.

Soon after Harley leaves, two of the guys from the group of friends decide to take the dirt bikes out for a ride behind the store. Harley's son runs out at one point to go after his dog and gets hit by one of the dirt bikes as if lands from a jump.  Most of the friends go and tend to the boy to see if he can be helped, but the douche bag of the bunch, who admits he's had a few beers and claims to have a DUI on his record, takes off with his girlfriend.

When Harley arrives and sees what's happened, he runs and grabs his boy and takes him to his truck. The friends say they're sorry and claim it was an accident, but Harley pays them no mind as upset as he is. But as one of the guys asks if there's anything he can do to help, Harley turns and glares at him, then walks off.

Ed Harley, remembered the man that tried to get help that night long ago was someone who did someone else wrong and deserved what came to him. He knew that there was a witch in town that helped in that and could help him avenge his son's death. He finds her and with her help they unleash Pumpkinhead.

Pumpkinhead is the directorial debut of Stan Winston, the special effects wizard responsible for the work in The Terminator, Aliens, Predator, and Jurassic Park. In my opinion, he did a great job with this film, especially with the design of the key monster. For its time, before CGI, the effects were believable and had me cringing in my seat when I first saw it years ago. The cinematography is great and has a creepy feel as the group of friends that are trying to get away from this monster that just keeps coming for them.

Now, in a completely opposite direction, we have The Return of the Living Dead, which is somewhat of a sequel to Night of the Living Dead.

Funny thing about this film is that I never watched it when it first came out in theaters, nor did I ever rent it when it was released onto video. In fact, the first time I watched it was a couple of years ago when I decided it was high time I checked out this cult classic. But, somehow, I didn't think it was a classic and turned it off after watching fifteen minutes of it. However, after getting a little nostalgic for 1980s horror movies, I decided to give it another try and rented it again. This time, I loved it.

The film opens with Frank (James Karen of Poltergeist fame) and Freddy (Thom Matthews of Jason Lives: Friday the 13th VI fame) working in a medical supply warehouse. Frank shows the young kid what they do there and how they go about sending stuff out to medical offices and hospitals. Frank brings up Night of the Living Dead and tells Freddy it was based on a true story. He goes on to tell him that the warehouse actually holds the chemically-infested bodies that were responsible for the outbreak. Freddy doesn't believe him and wants to see it for himself. Frank gladly takes him to the basement area and shows him the drums with the government writing on them. When Freddy asks what happens if the barrels leak, Frank slaps them and says they won't, which, at that point, they do.

I won't go on too much about how it all plays out, but rest assured, everything goes ape-shit. The dead come back to life, wanting to eat brains and nothing else. But I will say that this movie is a fresh approach to most zombie films whereas the undead are intelligent and can communicate.

Some of the subplot involves Freddy's friends and how they're waiting for him to get off work so they can all go partying, so we get to see them hanging out at the adjacent cemetery. One of the most gratuitous displays of nudity in film history comes from Linnea Quigley as she just decides to take off her clothes and dance around the graves.

But, all in all, The Return of the Living Dead is a big fun movie to watch, mostly a horror comedy, but there are some good scares within.

So, what's my final "bit" on Pumpkinhead and The Return of the Living Dead?

As I'd said, Pumpkinhead is a serious creature feature that is beautifully shot and well-acted by the great Lance Henriksen. It plays out well and creates a lot of spooky ambience for the audience during the Halloween season. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and do so tonight! On the other side of the coin, if you feel like having a good laugh while being scared, please go to your local video rental store and pick up The Return of the Living Dead. You'll thank me.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed my Halloween-themed reviews. Keep on watching those scary doesn't necessarily have to be October to enjoy a horror movie.

Thanks for reading!

You can reach me on Twitter: @JustCallMeManny.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Child's Play 2

Sorry for that short sidebar review the other day…it was something I really needed to get off of my chest and it felt great to do so, but it’s time to continue my reviews of must-see horror movies for the Halloween season.

Rather than rehashing my short reviews of some of my favorite horror movies (see my Top 20 Horror Movies review), I’ve picked out some films that you may have not seen or have forgotten—like I have—over the years.

One movie I’ve seen recently is a film I haven’t seen since it was released in theaters in 1990…Child’s Play 2.  With a tagline like, “Sorry, Jack…Chucky’s Back,” how could you go wrong? Of course, that tagline makes sense when you see it in context with the poster art, showing Chucky attempting to cut off the head of a Jack-in-the-box with scissors.  Yes, the sequel to the hit 1988 original brings back that possessed killer doll to continue what he does best: evoke terror and kill.

When I first saw this movie back in 1990, I wasn’t impressed and thought it just didn’t hold a candle to the original. I never gave it another try on rental or cable TV...I just thought it was a shitty movie and shouldn’t even waste my time with it again. But as people get older, they become more forgiving (or is it forgetful?) and I started thinking about how this franchise grew and how Chucky was the one who made it what it was. Not only that, but I was getting set to visit Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios and I knew that Chucky was sometimes a staple of that event. So wanting to catch up and get a refresher on the series, I had Netflix send me a copy of Child’s Play 2 and I was glad I did.

I really don’t understand why I didn’t enjoy this movie back then. The movie is definitely a fun and solid popcorn flick that had me thinking about some of the fun movies I had seen during the early 90s.

Throughout the beginning credits, the film opens with a montage of someone cleaning up the mess that was left of Chucky in the first film. Mainly, his head is being stripped of the melted plastic and scraped off of the metal (or plastic...I can't tell) skull underneath. His teeth are cleaned and, overall, all burned and melted parts—including his eyes—are taken out. The head is remade with a new plastic skin and red hair, all attached to a new toy body. We then see that the film is taking place at the Good Guy toy factory, with the company’s owner (Peter Haskell) and the factory manager (Greg Germann) talking about the doll and how they want to make sure everything is okay with it. The manager mentions how it was a goof with someone recording bad things when the doll was first made. They then go on talking about who knows about what had happened and it’s revealed that the cops recanted their stories with the boy’s mother spending time in a mental institution. Seems that the owner wants to prove they had fixed the doll’s problems. Well, at this point, the technicians are putting the final touches on the doll, using a machine to place the new eyes in the doll’s head (they did everything else by hand, so why not the eyes?). Somehow the machine malfunctions, shooting some electricity into the doll which, apparently, brings it back to life—although we don’t find out until a little later. The manager is told to hold onto the doll until they can show it at some presentation, but he never makes it home, thanks to Chucky. Meanwhile, Chucky finds Andy and all hell—meaning, Chucky—beaks loose.

I like how they continued the story using Andy (Alex Vincent) as he's now orphaned and living with a foster family. How he was constantly blamed for doing the horrible things that Chucky was actually doing was cool (the note on his homework to the teacher, found in the basement with the electric knife). However, the kid was a terrible actor when he did the first one and he isn’t any better in this one, but it’s good to see the same actor nonetheless.

The special effects were well done and executed as believably as they could do it, seeing that it’s tough to make a doll come to life during the pre-CGI era. In the first film, there were a lot of far away shots where they used a small person or child to make it appear the doll was walking or running around. They never had any shots like that in this movie, but I wish they did because some of those shots in the first film wigged me out a little.

Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky nails it again in this one (if they ever decide to make another “Chucky” movie, they better have him on board because it won’t be the same without him) and I might note here that I think the first two films are the only semi-serious films made because the following sequels started making him a one-liner cartoon serial killer. But the close-ups showing the doll talking had a great synchronization going with Dourif’s voice, which makes for an eerie and believable quality.

Overall, the film doesn’t have many surprises and it goes along like an archetypal slasher flick, but it’s still enjoyable, even so. But with all the typical storyline that plays out, the most entertaining part of the film is the climax at the Good Guy factory. Without giving it away, the way it ends is terrific.

So, what’s my final “bit” on Child’s Play 2?

Even though the film was made in 1990—and we know that the early horror films of the 90s were very outlandish and out there—Child’s Play 2 has the feel and reminiscence of an 80s horror flick. It’s a perfect film to watch right after the original, all during the great season of Halloween. So wait until dark, turn off all the lights, keep your toys in plain sight, and put in your Child’s Play DVDs.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Universal Sudios Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood

As some of you may know, I usually use this blog as a site to review films, both in theaters and on DVD or Blu-Ray. But I’m going to post a review of my night at Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood. I’m going to keep it short and sweet, since maybe you don’t want to read any rants or praise about an amusement park attraction. However, I have a fresh in my mind, so let’s do this. Hopefully, you have an idea or a little knowledge of the Universal Studios park because I’m not going to get too much into the everyday rides and attractions they have featured there. So if I mention some details or physical aspects of the place, I hope it doesn’t lose you.

Back in 2007, I first heard an advertisement on the radio about this event taking place over there. It mentioned that patrons will be able to walk around in the back lot and go through many haunted mazes, so I was very intrigued. However, I wasn’t able to go that year, so I waited with bated breath for a chance to visit the following year.

2008 couldn’t get there any slower and the month of October finally arrived. A buddy and myself took the trek to Universal Studios, visited for the day and waited patiently for the sun to set. The way the park set it up that year was to have everyone with a Horror Nights ticket wait in a certain area of the park while they kicked everyone else out. As soon as that happened and 7 o’clock reared it’s frightening head, the lights in the park went out and the excitement began.

The featured attractions that year were the three icons of fright: Leatherface, Jason and Freddy. It was awesome! We, first, went to the Tram ride- the Terror Tram- and enjoyed the ride in the dark until they suddenly stopped and told us we had to walk the rest of the way. From then on, we followed the directions of cloaked workers with flashlights throughout a pathway.

The highlight for me was waking in front of the Bates Motel, featuring the scene recreation from Psycho III, with the high school reunion happening after an apparent bloodbath. We kept going through this area, past the motel and up towards the Bates Manor, which was another treat for me to see this iconic building and have it only a mere twenty feet away from me. After that, we were motioned to keep going through some maze and then it was through the plane wreck set from War of the Worlds.

The rest of the night, we went through the various mazes they featured throughout the park, getting the shit scared out of us. Man, I was in heaven! It was such an awesome event! Even the little puppet show they had with Chucky yelling obscenities at everybody was great. At that moment, my buddy and I vowed to come back again the following year, and we did!

2009’s event was great as well. You could see the popularity making it grow, as the event had a little longer lines and went a tad longer for us. 2010, I decided to introduce my wife to the event and she, not being a big horror fan, was scared out of her mind. In 2011, my wife and I visited the park with two mutual friends of ours and had somewhat of a good time as well.

The one thing I had noticed over the last few years is that the park became more and more crowded every year. Of course it’s attributed to the popularity of the event, so I really can’t complain. Or can I?

In 2008, my buddy and I were able to see every single maze and take the Terror Tram twice that night, still being able to call it a night at 11 PM. 2009 was a little busier, but we were still able to see everything before 1 AM. 2010 and 2011 started really showing the signs of the event’s popularity because the whole park was packed and we were only able to see a fraction of the mazes. I follow the event’s designer, John Murdy, on Twitter and noticed he advised people to visit on Sundays because there were less crowds to deal with. So, days after my 2011 visit, I told myself that next year I’d make it a point to come to the event on a Sunday.

Yesterday, after purchasing my tickets for my wife and I about a month ago, we went to the event to enjoy the park with less crowds.

Upon arriving, the first thing I noticed as I drove up Lankershim to Universal Hollywood Drive was that there was a backup of vehicles. Then, as we drove up, heading to the parking structure, signs read that the event was sold out. As an unusual addition to this, parking attendants were motioning vehicles to park in the further parking structure signaling to me that this place was going to be packed.

Sure enough, it was.

The line for the Terror Tram was all the way up the escalators and beyond. I was stunned. Although the line moved fast, it was still a long wait for more of the same I had seen before. The walk in the back lot was a little different this year, a little shorter, and not as enjoyable. Seeing that I had already seen the Llorona and Alice Cooper mazes last year, I decided to check out the Universal Monster Remix maze, which is, more or less, the everyday monster house maze they feature daily at the park. After leaving there, I decided to search out the Silent Hill maze. Being that it was near the Jurassic Park Ride, we had to take the multiple escalators down just to get there, and saw that the maze had a 70 minute wait. We started waited through the line, up and down, in and out, waiting and waiting…I finally looked at my wife and said, “Let’s go home.” Knowing how much I love Universal Studios and how much I look forward to Halloween Horror Nights, she tried to persuade me to stay, but I couldn’t take it.

We went home and I felt no regrets about it.

A few things I wonder about this event: How many tickets are sold before it’s determined that it’s sold out? There seemed to be a shitload of people there, so how about making that number lower? Universal Studios must make a TON of money with this park everyday and it’s overpriced concessions, can’t they cut back the maximum capacity to let people have fun? I know a lot of people were raving about the place when we were there, but it seemed like most of them were drunk or high, which I’m sure enhanced their enjoyment of the place.

For me, all I’ll take back from this place is seeing so many faces looking miserable as they wait, wait, and wait through those long lines for up to 2 hours only to enjoy a 15 minute maze. Is it worth it? I think not. My wife suggested that maybe we buy front-of-the-line passes next year, but we still have to deal with the packed park and the craziness that ensues from it.

No, it’s not worth it.

My final “bit” on Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood?

Skip it. If you’re like me and enjoy the history of the studio’s back lot, take a day off during the week, buy yourself a VIP pass and get a great tour of the place. I love the movies over the years that have been filmed there and distributed by the studio, but I hate the gigantic crowds the place gets. For a good scare during the Halloween season, do what I’m going to do next year: find a haunted hayride and visit one of the many other parks (like Knott’s Berry Farm or Magic Mountain) to get yourself scared within some frightening mazes. Or better yet, make your own…get together with some of your neighbors and make your own fright maze. Halloween Horror Nights is overblown and over-hyped. Until they cut down the maximum amount of people that they cram in the park, I’m not coming back.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween III: Season of the Witch

"It's almost time, kids...the clock is ticking. Be in front of your TV sets for the horrorthon, followed by the big giveaway. Don't miss it...and don't forget to wear your masks. The clock is's almost time."

Following the trend of watching Halloween-themed movies this October, I went ahead and watched one of my favorites from the Halloween franchise, the Michael Myers-less, 1982's Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Constantly bagged by critics and angrily overlooked by most Halloween fans, this film is still one of my favorites of the 1980s cheesy horror flicks and I really don't mind that it doesn't include the famous pale-masked serial killer we've all come to grow and love. What it does have is an outlandish plot, a gruff protagonist who gets the girl very easily, and an over-the-top villain who's evil for no apparent reason.

Yes, the movie is laughable and really can't be taken seriously, but there's a quality about it that makes you overlook the absurdities of the plot. So you do have to check your brain at the dooror at the very least shut it down before popping this into your media playerthere's no doubt about that, but that's what made the horror movies of the 80s great, right?

Well, the movie starts with an older gentleman running forwhat appears to behis life, holding onto something as he does. He appears very spooked and we see a car is coming after him as he manages to elude it, getting help from a lowly gas station attendant down the street. The man is brought to the local hospital where we meet our protagonist, Dr. Dan Challis (the great Tom Atkins) for the first time. He treats the older gent and takes note of the man's claims that "they're going to kill us all." Later that night, a nondescript man in a suit comes in and kills the old man. He then leaves and, as Dr. Challis follows and watches, gets into his vehicle blowing himself up with gasoline. The next day, the man's daughter, Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin), shows up and meets Dr. Challis, telling him that her father told her of some goings-on at the Silver Shamrock factory that may have led to his death. She tells him that she wants to look into the place and Dr. Challis decides to go with her to help. What they find there is some really weird shit.

For many of you who associate the Halloween franchise with Michael Myers might find this film a little strange seeing that it has nothing to do with the masked killer whatsoever. As a kid, I, too, thought this outing was a little odd and preferred not to watch it when I had the chance. It's there, when you correlate it with the franchise as a whole that it's most noticeable as an anomalous chapter to the whole story. But if you've ever read or heard John Carpenter's idea for the franchise, you'd understand what this movie was supposed to be. See, Carpenter saw Halloween II as the end of Michael Myers. I mean, come on...Loomis and Myers went up in flames in the blast and we saw Michael fall beside Laurie Strode and burn, practically melt, to death. How do you continue a franchise with the main baddie gone? No, what Carpenter wanted to do, was to have a different story every Halloween, sort of an anthology of movies throughout the years, and I thought that was brilliant. But, alas, the horror audiences of the 1980s weren't ready for that.

The performances in Halloween III: Season of the Witch are pretty much what you can expect since the actors didn't have much to work with. The story is pretty crazy, so I give them props for being as straight-faced as they were. Tom Atkins, as he is in every film I've seen him in, is the every-man, playing it cool and getting the girl so easily.  Anyway, he, at least, has two children that he promises his ex-wife he'd take trick-or-treating, but decides to forget about that to go and join this strange woman to investigate some novelty factory in some other town. Stacey Nelkin as the love interest played her part very well, considering how her character ends up. And let's not forget the villain, Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy), as the owner of Silver Shamrock and master of the diabolical scheme to kill everyone on Halloween, all for the sacrifice for Samhain...I think.

Even though this film was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, the whole movie is very Carpenter-esque, which is probably because the cinematography was done by Dean Cundey who worked a lot with John Carpenter. The film has a very eerie mood and can be very frightening at some times, which I think had a lot to do with Cundey's skills.  Not only the cinematography, but the music definitely makes you think of Carpenter, since heas well as Alan Howarthwrote the eerie score for this film.

One thing you better prepare yourself for is the commercial jingle you'll hear throughout the film. It's the song for Silver Shamrock Novelties, selling the Halloween masks seen on screen. Basically it's to the tune of "London Bridges," but be ready for it sticking in your brain regardless. I can hear it right now, as a matter of fact.

The scenery is pretty cool as they shot most of the film in the town of Loleta, California (called Santa Mira in thefilm). It's an appealing small town near the coast, but works perfectly as a place where everything just doesn't seem right.

The film features some pretty gruesomeyet coolkill scenes. I found myself squirming in my chair during some of these scenes, because they're that horrific.

But, for the most part, this movie is silly fun. I mean, unless you don't think a factory in the 1980s is able to create lifelike robots posing as people and the same factory to have the means to steal one of the boulders from Stonehenge to bring to America then you'll have to problem with the logistics of this movie. I won't give away the ending, but I must implore to you to please understand, this movie was made in the early 80s and we didn't have many television channels like we do today, so keep that in mind when you see that last scene.

By the way, a few cameos in this film: one from the original Halloween movie that you'll see on TVs a couple of times and the voice on the television commercial that tells us "it's almost time" is director Tommy Lee Wallace.

My final "bit" on Halloween III: Season of the Witch? It's a bit of nostalgia for me to see this, especially being that it's a movie from the 1980s. Capturing the feel of October is a tough thing to do, seeing that it was more than likely filmed at a different time of year. I love the idea that Carpenter was trying to go with the franchise and kind of wished he was successful at it, but the better decision was made at resurrecting Michael Myers to return and return and return. This is definitely a must-watch for me every October and it can be seen in order from part one or just view it as a standalone flick. If you look at Tommy Lee Wallace's oeuvre of films, you'll see that this is probably his best piece of work...but that's not saying much. No offense to him because I love this flick.

Thanks for reading and have a Happy Halloween!

You can reach me on Twitter: @JustCallMeManny.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Jeepers Creepers

Halloween is around the corner, so that always means I need to break out all my fall-themed horror movies to have a month-long marathon of films of that ilk. Besides the obvious choices of going through the Halloween franchise of movies, I love to watch some other gems that scream of fall.

So even though I'm starting a little late (I usually pop in these DVDs and Blu-Rays the first week of October), I opened my media binder and brought out Jeepers Creepers.

This one movieas well as the sequelput another icon of horror on the map. We've had Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Pinhead, Chucky on pedestals, crowning them with the cult status of the embodiment of a character that scare the shit out of us in these movies.

In 2001, another icon took up the huge mantle: The Creeper. But before I talk about him (or "it"), let me synopsize this film.

The film opens with Darry (Justin Long) and Trish (Gina Philips), brother and sister, driving through the countryside in a vintage car belonging to Trish. Trish had just picked up Darry from college to bring him home for school break. They're making small talk, doing the out-of-state-license-plate-game, and making fun of some RV travelers. Suddenly, we, the audience, see a vehicle closing in behind them in the distance. Trish and Darry aren't aware of this until the vehiclesome old truck that looks like a small locomotiveis right on their ass. It blares the vehicle's horn, sounding almost like a fire engine's blast, and startles the brother and sister. Darry, behind the wheel of his sister's car, is unnerved as the mysterious vehicle blasts the horn over and over, staying directly behind their car. Darry keeps waving and yelling for the vehicle to go around them and after a while, it finally does.

Later, as the brother and sister are driving along, Darry notices a building off the road with the familiar truck parked in front. Both he and Trish notice a dark figure in the back, pulling something wrapped in a sheet out from the back and dumping down a large storm drain protruding out of the ground. As they watch, the figure turns suddenly and stares, following them with his gaze. Not long after Darry picks up speed and trying to get out of the area quickly, the vehicle is back behind them, really blaring the horn and tailgating. As the truck smacks into the car a few times, Darry loses control and drives off the road. The truck keeps going, leaving Trish and Darry behind. Darry and Trish agree that it was probably a body that was dumped and decide to go back to investigate (Trish, reluctantly).

After getting to the building, which happens to be an old church, Darry climbs inside the grounded drain pipe to get a good look but falls in, dropping him into some big underground basement. What he finds down there is more horrifying than he had ever imagined.

I don't want to give too much away, in case you haven't seen this flick. Although, if you haven't seen Jeepers Creepers, you shouldn't call yourself a horror movie fan. But just in case, if you are a newbie to this film, or horror in general, I'll keep this spoiler-free. But basically, The Creeper is after Darry and Trish as they try to find a way to keep away from him.  Unfortunately for them, they experience some gruesome images and go through a nightmare before the movie ends.

First off, the story is a nice original work, not your typical slasher fest and not really a supernatural outing either. The direction by Victor Salva is pretty good and well-paced, keeping the audience going along and never really a dull moment. There are a lot of eerie scenes that make you feel uncomfortable, not to mention scared. Without mentioning who, or what, he is, The Creeper is pretty terrifying.

Justin Long gives a great performance in this film, appearing unraveled and spooked, making you feel and believe what he's experiencing. After his character finds out what's beyond the drain pipe, Long puts on a believable performance as he's nearly catatonic after seeing the horror underground.

Jonathan Breck, as The Creeper, does an awesome job, but it might be the make-up and his size that help him in his performance.

The idea of this new icon of fright is superb and I wish MGM would get on the ball with Salva's idea for part 3. In this day and age, most studios want remakes, but it's so refreshing to see an original story or intelligently written sequels to an already established franchise.

After watching this film, you may still be confused as to who, or what, The Creeper is exactly. So, in that respect, I'd say watch Jeepers Creepers II right after this one. It's not as good as the original, but it's a worthy sequel nonetheless. You'll find out a little more about his background to answer any questions you may have had in the first film.

So, anyway, what's my final "bit" on Jeepers Creepers?

The film has a feel of the 1980s horror movies with a quickly established new horror icon set. Instead of having a bunch of teens you don't care about getting killed one by one, you have two protagonists you root and care for. The movie institutes a creepy mood most of the time and is shot nicely, mostly during the night (a must for a horror movie in my opinion). Above all else, if you haven't seen this movie, you need to go out and rent it or purchase it. It's a must-own for any horror movie enthusiast out there.

A couple of trivial factoids:
Victor Salva has a couple of cameos; once as one of the bodies displayed in The Creeper's "house of pain" and the other is his picture on the sleeve of the record album during the phone call scene.

Well, thanks for reading and enjoy the Halloween season!

You can reach me on Twitter: @JustCallMeManny.