A mention of child molestation in “Jeepers Creepers 3” is drawing revulsion because the film’s writer and director, Victor Salva, was convicted of child molestation in 1988.
The 59-year-old filmmaker was convicted in the molestation of Nathan Forrest Winters, an actor in his film “Clownhouse,” who was 12 at the time. Salva was also convicted of videotaping the sex act and of possessing commercial videotapes and child porn magazines. He served 15 months out of his three-year sentence.
According to IndieWire, the third installment of the “Jeepers Creepers” franchise does not depict any child molestation, but does include a scene in which two characters discuss why a teenager named Addison (Gabrielle Haugh) no longer lives with her stepfather.
“Can you blame him though? I mean look at her,” one character says, according to a review of the film by IGN’s Adam Dileo. “The heart wants what it wants, am I right?”
Dileo later said the line was removed for the theatrical cut of the film, but was included in a screener sent to critics. The film has been shown in a theater only once.
Last year, reports surfaced that a casting notice for the main role of Addison was looking for an “18-year-old actress [to play a character] who at the age of 13 had been sent to live with her grandmother after her stepfather ‘started making overtures’ to her.” Haugh was cast in the role.
According to The Independent, production was delayed after the Union of British Columbia Performers (UBCP) crafted an official warning against Silva and urged actors not to audition or accept the part in the movie after the casting call revealed that detail.
IndieWire said “Jeepers Creepers 3” will return to theaters on Oct. 4. Salva is already working on a fourth film in the franchise.
Silva has been the target of disgust and outrage before: In 1995, Winters, his victim, picketed a screening of Silva’s film “Powder” and urged people not to see the film. Silva issued a statement to the Los Angeles Times: “I paid for my mistakes dearly.”
Screen Media Films, the distributor of “Jeepers Creepers 3,” as well as production companies Infinity Films and Myriad Films, have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Matt Saver, Salva’s attorney, has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment. It is unclear whether he still represents the filmmaker.
A rep for Haugh declined to comment.
See other reactions to the movie below.
Read the IGN review for Jeepers Creepers 3 and if you thought Victor Salva would avoid child molestation jokes in his script, you'd be wrong.
— Justin Yandell (@JustYandelI) September 27, 2017
Ask yourself this:
What does it say to rape survivors when they see "directed by Victor Salva" on a new movie?
Don't even answer. Think.
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEmovienerd) September 27, 2017