Those familiar with the ongoing saga surrounding Jeepers Creepers 3 know one thing for certain: Victor Salva is scum. What is a major point of contention, however, is whether fans who plan to see the film are tacitly endorsing child abuse. Spoiler: The answer is no, but that hasn’t prevented a polarization that’s pitting horror fans against one another. It’s an emotional issue that’s easy to condemn but difficult to reconcile. And whether you’re planning on seeing Jeepers Creepers 3 or not, the fiction will be intrinsically bound to the ugly truths behind the franchise’s production.
[For a summary of writer/director Victor Salva’s criminal past and why many horror fans are choosing to boycott Jeepers Creepers 3, follow the link embedded in this article. We are also including a link to a statement from Nathan Forrest Winters, Salva’s abuse survivor. We support everyone who chooses to boycott this film but will continue to bring interested readers unbiased reporting.]
The release of Jeepers Creepers 3 has been the source of continued controversy and confusion. It was reported in August that the film would premiere on September 26th in a one-night-only screening held at participating AMC and Cinemark Theaters. This announcement was later retracted when sources close to the production claimed it was a mistake, but the retraction was later retracted when the event was confirmed. Meanwhile, an advanced screening (which was technically a World Premiere—more on that in a bit) was arranged in Los Angeles for September 13th; the event sold out and was to feature cast members from all 3 Jeepers Creepers movies. That event was canceled, however, when activists threatened to protest outside the theater every day between now and the screening.
Bottom Line: September 26th is the only time Jeepers Creepers 3 will screen theatrically. The film will follow on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Related Article: Victor Salva’s Abuse Survivor Addresses Cancellation of “Jeepers Creepers 3” Premiere
Having worked with the coordinator of the September 13th event, I was privy to information that has been previously unreported. Even before the advanced screening was canceled, JC3 producers were actively working to undermine the event. They forbade the organizer from promoting the event as the “World Premiere” as they didn’t want it to distract from the September 26th nationwide event—a strange request, as excitement from the 9/13 event would have increased anticipation for the AMC/Cinemark screenings. But it turns out, this is only one example of the film’s producers actively working against its best interests—and hardly the most profound.
Another source close to the production has confirmed that a deep feud now exists between writer/director Victor Salva and the film’s financiers. Things have gotten so acrimonious, initial reports claimed producers passed on a worldwide distribution deal with Lionsgate in favor of the one-night-screening event. While the Lionsgate deal would have pushed the film’s release back to March 2018, it would have ensured greater financial returns—even with the ongoing controversy surrounding the movie.
As for the cause of this intense feud, my source was mum. Still, it isn’t difficult to imagine that it all goes back to Salva’s unshakably deplorable reputation. While financiers must have been aware of Salva’s criminal history, they were probably unaware of the extent of its impact. When most of us saw Jeepers Creepers and Jeepers Creepers 2 in the early 2000s, much of Salva’s past was unknown to those outside the film industry. Now, with the internet, the filmmaker’s deeds are well known, making them a necessary component of any conversation about Jeepers Creepers, past present, and future.
Victor Salva was never officially blacklisted, but he’s been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion. After this tumultuous production, I can’t imagine Salva ever working in Hollywood again—which is, objectively, for the best.
Jeepers Creepers 3 will come and go and, soon after, become a memory; nothing more than a short chapter in horror history. Horror fandom, however, will never die; I look forward to putting this film in the rearview and returning to life as normal. How about you guys?
Check out the poster and synopsis for Jeepers Creepers 3 below.
Official Synopsis: Taking place on the last day of the Creeper’s twenty-three-day feeding frenzy, as the skeptical Sargent Tubbs teams up with a task force hellbent on destroying the Creeper for good. The Creeper fights back in gory glory as its enemies grow closer than ever before to learning the secret of its dark origins.
The film features Meg Foster, Gina Philips, and Jonathan Breck.