For anyone who loved horror movies at the turn of the millennium, Jeepers Creepers will always be remembered fondly. Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those peepers...
Sadly, the scares on-screen were marred by a terrible fact: Convicted child molester Victor Salva directed the movie. However, for the truth behind this, we have to go back further in movie history.
Director Victor Salva was only in his late 20s when he directed his first feature-length movie, Clownhouse.
The movie is about three young brothers who are terrorized by a bunch of deranged escaped mental patients dressed in clown costumes. The youngest of the brothers, Casey, was played by 12-year-old Nathan Forrest Winters.
During filming, Salva kept Winters behind on set, where he secretly filmed himself forcing the kid to give and receive oral sex. When Winters told his parents about the abuse, the authorities raided Vincent Salva's house.
They found enough pornographic material of children -- including the tapes of 12-year-old Winters being molested -- to sentence Salva to three years in prison, of which he served 15 months.
You may expect that Victor Salva's career would have been ended by the ghoulish revelations -- viewing Clownhouse with the knowledge of Salva's crimes is certainly an uncomfortable experience -- but this was not the case.
Salva was hired to direct fantasy drama Powder starring a hot-off-Jurassic Park Jeff Goldblum... for Disney.
Yup, Disney. It's not a great boon for a convicted pedophile to be helming a family movie for the company who makes all of children's dreams come true, but somehow this happened.
Nathan Forrest Winters, six years older when Powder was released but still rightfully upset, protested the release of the movie. With five friends, Winters held up signs saying: "Victor Salva: Writer, Director, Child Molester" and "Support the Victim, not the Victimizer" outside screenings of Powder in L.A.
Winters said of the incident:
"Please don't spend your money on this movie. It would just go to line the pockets of this child molester. I needed to face this. I've lived through years and years and years of pain and trauma. I'm being healed daily. It's unreal the amount of stuff that's built up all these years that's starting to be released. But it doesn't work like, 'Boom! -- I'm OK now.'"
2001: Jeepers Creepers
Nathan Forrest Winters has never acted again after his experience on set for Clownhouse at the hands of Victor Salva. Salva, however, has gone on to direct a string of successful movies, not least the 2001 horror hit Jeepers Creepers.
Horror fans have been waiting a long time to see the much-anticipated threequel, Jeepers Creepers 3. Here's what Victor Salva himself has to say about it:
"What will go before cameras as Jeepers Creepers 3 is a new and terrifying chapter from the Jeepers universe. We are bringing back the Creeper’s truck, and will be addressing the big questions about The Creeper: what it is, where it came from and why it does what it does."
Victor Salva certainly understands The Creeper; maybe that's a case of 'it takes one to know one.' Do you think that Salva should be forgiven for his crimes or that an alternative director should be found for Jeepers Creepers 3?