Fans planning to use their peepers to watch Jeepers Creepers 3 may be out of luck as the film was supposed to hit theaters for just one night only on September 26, 2017. However, due to popular demand, it looks like the Creeper may soar into a few more cinemas now for a second showing on October 4. The only problem is that some audiences may find the subject matter hard to stomach if the reviews are anything to go by.
Not only have fans reacted poorly to the cheap production values on display, but it sounds as though Jeepers Creepers 3 may also offend audiences thanks to themes of child molestation that are reportedly part of a key character's back story. This wouldn't be the first time that a horror movie has pushed the boundaries of taste, but this becomes far more unnerving when you realize that director Victor Salva is a convicted pedophile.
Victor Salva's Criminal Charges
Back in 1988, Salva was arrested for the sexual abuse of child star Nathan Forrest while working on the set of a #horror movie called Clownhouse. After serving only 15 months of his original three-year sentence, Salva's next movie was none other than a Disney film called Powder. Upon its release in 1995, Forrest openly called for a boycott of the movie, and Salva never worked with Disney again.
However, Salva found his greatest success yet just a few years later with the Jeepers Creepers franchise, which became a fan favorite among gore-hounds when it debuted back in 2001. Following the release of a sequel in 2003, Salva's work subsequently fell from prominence until Jeepers Creepers 3 was officially green-lit in 2015.
Production soon hit an obstacle though when the Union of British Columbia Performers (UBCP) issued an official warning against Salva, urging actors to avoid auditioning for Jeepers Creepers 3. As if Salva's criminal past weren't unnerving enough, Deadline reported that this particular casting call was looking for someone to play an 18-year-old girl called Addison, one whose stepfather made “overtures” at her when she was just 13 years old.
How Child Molestation Is Explored In 'Jeepers Creepers 3'
Following this controversy, Canadian production on Jeepers Creepers 3 was moved to the States where Gabrielle Haugh was cast in the central role of Addison Brandon. At first, it was unclear whether the backstory described in Haugh's casting call would be explored in the final cut of the movie, but now that Jeepers Creepers 3 is out, IGN have argued that the controversial themes of child molestation remain.
According to a review by IGN, the film includes allusions to Addie's abuse at the hands of her step-father, including dialogue from one character who openly defends the abuse:
"Can you blame me though? I mean look at her. The heart wants what it wants, am I right?"
Salva may not be the only director who's continued to work following incarceration for sexual assault, but the fact that he may be actively alluding to this in his movies is certainly a cause for concern. Fans of the #JeepersCreepers franchise will have to wait and see whether this controversy will devour the potential success of another sequel or whether the series will continue soaring above the cornfields. The Creeper may rise again one day, but perhaps Salva's work should stay buried.
Will you watch Jeepers Creepers 3? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!