31 for 31: 'Jeepers Creepers'/'Cube'

For the whole month of October, our Kevin Stairiker will be watching a horror movie a day and cataloging his findings in a new feature called “31 for 31.”

Jeepers Creepers

Where to begin? Starting off this month-long experiment with a movie like this is auspicious at best, but there was at least a thought process behind it. Trailers for this movie creeped me out to no end when the movie was first released in 2001, but I could never bite the bullet and watch it. Admittedly, I was nine in 2001, so I hope I can be forgiven.

“Jeepers Creepers” finds a brother and sister duo, played by Gina Philips and an especially hammy Justin Long, traveling home from college. Of course, that goes awry when they accidentally drive into the general area of The Creeper, who really goes by the name “The Creeper.” Before anything is explained, before you actually get a look at the terrible design of The Creeper, there is the basis for a good movie. The first 20 minutes or so of “Jeepers Creepers” is actually frightening, though once you find out that The Creeper has wings, it makes the opening car chase retroactively look very silly.

Silliness is kind of the name of the game with “Jeepers Creepers.” I lost count halfway through of the amount of hilarious cuts to a shocked-looking Justin Long doing his best scared teenager face. The comedy of it all becomes apparent by the film’s end, when our two heroes run from set piece to set piece, getting all manner of normal townsfolk killed just by asking them questions about their current danger.

Arguably, the most heinous sin of this film is ruining the jazz standard “Jeepers Creepers,” which serves as the sign that your day is about to get much worse. This film gives me no hope for the sequel, or even the allegedly-overdue threequel, which is currently being filmed.


Death count: 7
How many days and springs until The Creeper comes back: 23
# of times the camera cuts to Justin Long’s shocked face: 
Eyes that Justin Long starts the movie with: 2
Eyes that Justin Long ends the movie with: 0

Total movie death count: 7
Watched via: HBO GO
Worth the watch? No
Final grade: 2/5 jazz standards.



After the buzzkill beginning of “Jeepers Creepers,” I knew I was playing with fire by watching another low-budget movie released around the same time frame. However, I could not deny the pull of the “Cube.”

Take the classic Twilight Zone episode “Five Characters in Search of an Exit,” add mathematics and mescaline, and you’ve got yourself a “Cube.” Taking the concept of “bottle episode” to the max, the entire film takes place in the nightmarish Cube, a fortress designed for…something. The movie is scant on details but heavy on exposition, giving you brief entries into the lives of those stuck in the Cube, but not much on why the Cube is there to begin with.

Honestly, that’s a good thing. You don’t really need to know the who, what, where or why of the Cube, it’s enough that it just is. Various traps keep the protagonists guessing at every turn, until they figure out that the Cube is heavily based in mathematics. The movie is excellent at creating a tension that gradually turns into a sense of dread for the characters. They’re not meant to make it out alive.

It’s shocking that there aren’t a million “Cube” films at this point, as the ground could be re-tread endlessly without having to repeat anything, due to the size of the structure. There has been an official sequel and prequel, though the personal jury is out on if they’re any good. The CGI hasn’t aged well, but the Cube is an interesting idea that I’m sure will be remade in the next ten years, if not sooner.


Death count: 5
Pierogies wasted by Dr. Holloway’s entrance to the Cube: “a couple”
Number of rooms in the Cube: 17,526
Number of rooms actually built for the film “Cube”: 1
Times Quentin is about to go crazy on someone else: 12

Total movie death count: 12
Watched via: DVD
Worth the watch? Yes
Final grade: 3.5/5 cubes


31 for 31 viewing list.

  1. Jeepers Creepers (2001)
  2. Cube (1997)
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Posted in Arts+Culture, Arts+Culture – Lancaster, Movies, Television

Kevin Stairiker is a features writer for Fly. He is a graduate of Temple University and enjoys writing in third person. When he isn't writing, he's probably playing guitar for a litany of bands, reading comics or providing well-needed muscle at The Double Deuce.

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