Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jeepers, Creepers: "Creepers" (1985)

I want to start this review with another personal story.

When I was in elementary school, I saw "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" starring Diane Keaton. Keaton was naked, I was in love. I was a movie buff, even back then, so I decided to write my own movie. It was called "Looking for Mr. Goodbar 2," in which Keaton's character survived her stabbing, and kept sleeping with other men. This dramatic milestone ran eight pages, in screenplay form, and I was very proud of my sophisticated use of the word "fuck" throughout. Then I showed it to my dad...I did not try another screenplay until I was in college, and my screenwriting still sucked.

Why the story? First, this will serve as proof that I thought up the idea for Goodbar 2 if Hollywood tries it (anything's possible, just look at "Species II"). This also draws an analogy to the script for "Creepers." "Creepers" is one of the most juvenile-written movies of our time.

Argento is such a good director, there are scary scenes here, scenes you have never seen before. Connelly is gorgeous, but a little stiff as an American girl who is sent to a boarding school in Switzerland, and becomes involved in solving a series of murders. Pleasence is wasted, as he always is, as a bug doctor who befriends Connelly.

There are two different good film ideas in the script. One is "A crippled bug doctor and a young student solve some horrific murders at a Swiss boarding school." The second is "A young student gets through her lack of friends by finding out she can communicate with bugs." Blending the two ideas is a serious flaw. There are parts of this that scared me to death, and parts where I yelled "oh, Dario!" because what he was giving me as a viewer was so poorly thought out.

I realize I saw the butchered 82 minute version of the originally titled "Phenomena" but there are plot points in here that are so beyond the reach of belief, they must be seen to be believed. (* * *) out of five stars.