Two years ago, ''Jeepers Creepers'' surprised a few people by being not entirely awful -- a real feat for a movie titled ''Jeepers Creepers.'' It also authoritatively answered the age-old question, ''Where'd you get those peepers?'' (A: The eye sockets of a screeching adolescent.)
Where does this leave its sequel? Stranded on a country road in a school bus full of succulent and supremely stupid teenagers, of course. Seems the winged, man-eating beast of the first film is now winding up his 23-day feeding frenzy, which only comes around every 23 years. (''Evil loves prime numbers'' would have made a better tag line than ''He can smell your fear.'') The kids use the occasion of being hunted by an organ-devouring demon to debate long-simmering issues of race and sexual orientation. Once that's sorted out, they proceed to make choices straight out of the ''How Not to Survive a Horror Movie'' handbook.
Thus, writer-director Victor Salva squanders all of his original movie's not-entirely-awfulness and bumbles into the realm of unintentional comedy. (Two words: Headless break-dancing.) His scenes shot in daylit cornfields are the most effectively frightening. Unfortunately, he's all too eager for the sun to set, so his computer-generated bogeyman can take to the skies. In the first flick, the ''Creeper'' -- no doubt constrained by budget -- was deceptively manlike: He drove a truck, had a penchant for arts and crafts (involving human skin), and enjoyed whistling old Johnny Mercer tunes (leaving open the tantalizing possibility that he was, in fact, Johnny Mercer). Now that he's airborne 90 percent of the time, he's just another effect -- and not a terribly special one, either.