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Jeepers Creepers (2001) Poster

Trivia

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The Creeper's single line of dialogue was cut from the film.
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Victor Salva wrote the main characters as brother and sister in order to eliminate any sexual tension and keep them focused on escaping the Creeper.
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The original truck from the film is owned by a private collector in Maryland, who kept it in storage awaiting the filming of JC3.
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In the scene with the cat lady, all her cats look through the screens on the windows because tuna had been smeared on them.
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Victor Salva has always said the Creeper legend is complete fiction but the scene where Trish and Darry witness the Creeper dumping a body down a well by an abandoned church was inspired by the case of Dennis DePue, a former Michigan Property Assessor who murdered his wife and was seen by witnesses near an old school house with a bloody sheet. Two witnesses also recall DePue speeding past them in a van and eventually tailing them and riding their bumper for several miles. The case was also profiled on a 1990 episode of Unsolved Mysteries (1987).
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At the time of its release this was the highest grossing film to ever be released during Labor Day weekend. The record would subsequently be broken by its own sequel, Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003).
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Director Victor Salva wanted the countryside settings for the film to have an eerie quality about them. However Salva said that the Florida filming locations were so beautiful that often times the footage for the film would have to be darkened down to give the locations a more menacing appearance.
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Gina Philips (Trish) and Justin Long (Darry) were not allowed to meet Jonathan Breck before filming (in order to get a true reaction from them when they actually did see him with his full costume and makeup), nor did they see the BEATNGU truck before the opening scene was shot. When Philips first saw the truck, she said something to the effect of: "Is that the truck? Jeepers, that's creepy."
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Jonathan Breck shaved his head for the role, inspired by the notion that the Creeper was naturally hairless and would have to "borrow" hair from victims.
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The contacts on The Creeper made Jonathan Breck blind whenever he had to wear them.
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The oath "Jeepers Creepers!" originated in the early 20th century as a polite euphemism for Jesus Christ. Jiminy Crickets was a synonym before the latter phrase was co-opted by Walt Disney as the name of a cartoon insect.
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There is a short scene after the credits that shows the old truck driving down the road and honking once again.
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Jonathan Breck's test audition scared Victor Salva so greatly he cast him almost immediately as the Creeper.
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The original title was "Here Comes the Boogeyman".
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Victor Salva originally wrote the role of the Creeper for Lance Henriksen.
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(at around 37 mins) In Jezelle's living room scene, Victor Salva's high school graduation picture can be seen doctored up to look like a record album from the 1950s with "Jeepers Creepers" on it.
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Thanks to a slash in the budget, the shooting schedule was cut down from 42 days to 35 instead.
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(at around 1h 2 mins) When Darry is looking at the missing person posters in the police station there are several comedic comments such as Tim Sullivan's hair being "dusty beaver" and his occupation being "a butcher a baker and a candlestick maker" among others.
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Justin Long's first horror film.
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The gear shift in the car was originally in the steering column. It was installed into the floorboard to fit the needs of the script.
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Debbi Morgan and Tina Turner were considered for the role of Jezelle Gay Hartman.
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Trish and Darry's car is a 1960 Chevrolet Impala.
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(at around 48 mins) When the Creeper is sniffing the beheaded police officer and then starts to eat his tongue, there is a sign behind the Creeper that says "Tastes So Darn Good!"
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The church above the Creepers lair was a real abandoned church that after the movie success became a tourist attraction until in a life imitates art moment it mysteriously burnt down a few years ago.
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After the Creeper consumes a prisoner's hand, we notice that the prisoner's severed arm has a tattoo that had part of it eaten where the hand had been. When the Creeper puts his hand on the one-way view mirror in the interrogation room to look at Trish, we observe that the remainder of the tattoo that belonged to the prisoner is now on his hand.
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It has been speculated by fans that the web/wing which comes out of the back of the creepers head, is the actual "Creeper" itself, and the human body parts are simply a means of movement and survival.
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Was shot in northern Florida, around Ocala. The highway where much of the film was shot didn't appear deserted enough, so Victor Salva got local homeowners to uproot their mailboxes temporarily.
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When Victor Salva arrived in Florida he discovered that $1 million worth of his financing had fallen through, and he was forced to cut some 20 pages of script from the end of the film. There would have been a fiery climax where Darry manages to get behind the wheel of the Creeper's truck and drives it into an oncoming train in a suicidal attempt to destroy the creature.
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Jonathan Breck, the actor of the Creeper, is 6'0. According to the "Jeepers Creepers" wiki page, the Creeper is 6 feet 3 inches tall.
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Trish and Darry interpret the license plates of cars. Their own car has the letters SVM on its license plate. It can be interpreted as "Save Me".
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Despite being portrayed as a college student, Gina Philips was actually 30 years old at the time of filming.
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Was filmed in Dunnellon, Florida in the summer of 2000.
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Justin Long had impressed writer and director Victor Salva with his performance in Galaxy Quest (1999) but what landed him the lead role of Darry was his audition, as Salva said that it contained none of the false bravado and machismo the director had seen in other male actors who were teens or young adults, Salva knew Long could appear funny or genuinely frightened, depending on what the scene needed.
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The Creeper's truck is a 1941 Chevrolet Heavy-Duty COE (Cab Over Engine).
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Tom Tarantini portrays the car thief named Roach in the first installment and the assistant basketball coach in the second installment, Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003). He also stood in for Justin Long in some scenes of this movie.
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The Creeper is never referred to as the "Creeper" he's only referred to as "guy, man, he or it" although Jezelle refers to him as a "Demon or a Devil or just some hungry thing".
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It is not stated why Trish was not with her boyfriend when driving home with Darry. But we got a hint from Darry when he said "What has Mr. Poli-Sci-Track-Team-Guy been doing to you?" and then "Beating You?", which Trish did not deny, but was surprised that Darry guessed the "true" reason, but she relaxes when she found out he was referring to the license plate on The Creeper's truck.
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The Creepers growls were achieved by having Jonathan Breck do a very low and rough growl with his voice then adding in a very well deformed and edited inhaling sound, with a hyena for the squeaking noise.
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Florida seemed like the jungle to Victor Salva who weighed 400Ibs at the time, found the heat and humidity unbearably oppressive though he noted that Jonathan Breck had it worst having to endure the weather from under mounds of latex, there were so many noisy insects that during outdoor shots with audible dialogue a crew member had to fire a pistol before the cameras rolled in order to silence the insects to capture a take.
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The house where the cat lady lived was the home of an actual cat lady, although the films felines were provided by an animal trainer, Victor Salva had planned for a more extensive sequence inside the house but budget cuts forced him to trim the scene.
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Due to the success of this film, Victor Salva obtained the habit of mentioning or including references to Poho County in each of his future films.
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After budget cuts, Victor Salva was left with $10 million to make his movie. When it premiered it grossed $15.8 million a record for a four-day Labor Day weekend. Ultimately Jeepers Creepers earned $37.9 million in North America and a total of $59.2 million worldwide.
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In portraying the character of "the cat lady", Eileen Brennan wore cat-shaped slippers and the scarecrow that the old woman owned had a cat face.
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Gina Phillips and Justin Long were forbidden to drive in certain scenes because Víctor Salva did not want them to damage the Jenner's vehicle.
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The name of the restaurant where Trish and Darry stop is called "Opper". This is a tribute to Barry Opper, producer of the movie Critters and who collaborated in the film.
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The roadside diner was a set built for the film, but it looked real enough that passersby would try to stop and get food and gas.
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When the Creeper is whistling the Johnny Mercer standard that gives the movie its title, the whistling actually belongs to the movies editor Ed Marx his rendition of the tune was just supposed to be a place filler until Victor Salva could find someone who's whistling he liked better but he never did.
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Justin Long and Gina Philips said that Victor Salva's screenplay was so scary and terrifying that they had to put it down after reading the first 20 pages or so and come back to it hours later.
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MGM wanted more bankable names to play the two leads, but Victor Salva's longtime mentor and producer, Francis Ford Coppola used his clout to stick up for Salva's casting choices.
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The events of the film occur in the fictional county of Poho in Florida.
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The Creeper is Jonathan Brecks, favorite of his performances.
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Justin Long's first leading role, and he was only 22 at the time of filming.
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The Creepers truck was every bit jalopy it appears in the film.the exhaust system didn't work and after every take, the driver had to open the door to let out a cloud of smoke.
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The scenes of "The House of Pain" were filmed in a real abandoned Florida church. This church no longer exists because in 2003 the owners decided to dismantle it due to the fact that fans of the movie would trespass on their property to take photographs.
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Before the demonic identity of the truck driver is revealed (The Creeper), during the scene where Trish and Darry check the clothes in their car, the Creeper flies over them with Trish noticing his shadow.
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Víctor Salva was inspired by the mystery and visual horror to create this thriller.
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In Latin America the film received different titles: In Mexico it is known as Jeepers Creepers:Camino al Terror (Jeepers Creepers: Road to Terror) and El Demonio (The Devil),In Venezuela it is known as El Mensajero de Satanás (The Messenger of Satan), In Argentina it is known as Jeepers Creepers:El terror existe (Jeepers Creepers: Terror exists).
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The carving of what appears to be some kind of demon in the worktable. At first, it could be interpreted that it is the work of a serial killer who worships the devil. Later, it becomes clear that it's a self-portrait.
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Jezelle, states while looking right at Darry: It eats lungs, so it can breathe. And eyes... so it can see, The lyrics to the song "Jeepers Creepers" itself foreshadow Darry's fate heavily.
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The name of the restaurant's waitress is Beverly, this in homage to the movie "Terror in Beverly Hills" of 1989.
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At the POHO County Sheriff's Office, the missing person's board has 2 repeating references. The references are: Dusty Beaver and Lady Lake.
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The "sexy forever" camper was a, 1999 Ford E-450 Four Winds Five Thousand.
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The truck that Trish mistakens for the Creepers was a, 1942 Chevrolet Heavy-Duty Platform.
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While looking at the hand print on the cardoor handle, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment has a shadow pass over Trish, followed by the sound of a wingbeat. This comes before they discover that their pursuer isn't human, and has wings.
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In the scene with the cops at the diner, the camera often focuses on Trooper Gideon's head. He gets decapitated very shortly after.
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The cop car was a, 1994 Chevrolet Caprice 9C1.
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Cameo 

Jonathan Breck: (at around 1h 11 mins) The Creeper, without makeup, appears as a policeman.
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Tim Sullivan: horror film actor and director appears on a wanted poster in the police station - a nod from a friend Brad Parker who worked in the art department of the movie.
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Director Cameo 

Victor Salva: Body in The Creeper's "house of pain".
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

(at around 1h 24 mins) It's Justin Long in makeup at the end as The Creeper, not Jonathan Breck.
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When Darry and Trish are on the road they see the license plate BEATNGU and take it as 'beating you', but later in the film they realize it can also be taken as 'B eating you'. (Be eating you.)
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(at around 56 mins) The Creeper originally had one line of dialog in the film. After he kills the old cat lady and holds her body upright, revealing his true face to Darry and Trish, he originally said "She don't smell too good, Darry..." before tossing her corpse aside. This line was cut and replaced with silence as the producers thought it would be more effective to have the Creeper say nothing. Still, you can see The Creeper's lips move in sync with the line if you look closely.
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(at around 2 mins) In the beginning of the film, Darry tells Trish that she once actually did something decent for him and that's a part of history she can't change. This is a strong allusion to the ending of the film where Trish tries to give her life for Darry's, but ultimately fails.
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In the end of the film when Justin Long's character, Darry, is heard screaming, it is actually Tom Tarantini, who also had the minor role of car thief Austin McCoy as well as Coach Dwayne Barnes in Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003). Tarantini stood in for Long, as he was busy shooting Season 2 of Ed (2000), while this scene was filmed.
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Body Count: 7.
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(at around 1h 14 mins) When Trisha and Darry first meet Jezelle, she reveals that she hears one of them screaming in the dark. Darry is frantically asking her who she hears. Jezelle turns to Trisha, and the audience is led to believe it's her. However, towards the end of the film, you can plainly tell it's a man screaming. Jezelle may have looked at Trisha because she could tell how scared Darry already was, and simply didn't know how to tell him that his screams were the ones she heard.
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In the screenplay ending, Darry does not scream as the camera moves through the factory. The camera pans through the place until finally the camera is in the basement. Darry's eyes are sewn shut and he is added to a display of other dead bodies.
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It is in the last 20 minutes of the film that the true and demonic identity of the driver of the truck is revealed, explaining that it is an ancient demon known as The Creeper
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