Every 23rd spring, for 23 days, it gets to eat... Why? No idea. And what exactly is this bat-winged freak-creature that likes to sup on unwitting roadsters' exquisite floppily-doppilies? Who cares? Writer/director Victor Salva doesn't, and he's not made this sequel to answer any questions about the origins of `The Creeper' (Jonathan Breck).
But then, as a storyteller, Salva's more concerned with effect than cause. After all, when a malicious flying monster's swooping down on you with dinner on its mind, you're not exactly pondering whether or not it's a demon, an alien or an aberration of science. You're thinking: ""How the fuck do I live through this?""
What's more, Salva's dumped the kind of logic flaws that scuppered his first movie after half an hour. That film's revelation that its mysterious, truck-driving bad guy was actually a giant bat-thing instantly reduced a taut road thriller into bottom-shelf nonsense: if it can fly, why bother to chase its prey in a battered old truck?
Starting out with the silly monster angle gives more scope for interesting character interaction, too. On a final feasting spree, The Creeper cripples a school bus packed with jocks and cheerleaders. As it closes in on them and picks out its chosen victims, the hot-blooded adolescents turn on each other, almost Lord Of The Flies-style.
Ray `I Killed Laura Palmer' Wise's Ahab-style Creeper-hunter - armed with pick-up-mounted harpoon gun - kills the atmosphere somewhat and the stalk-kill-retreat structure becomes repetitive, but Salva's (largely) single-location setting makes for a massive improvement on the original. Just don't expect anything more than a silly monster flick...
Contains nothing as good as the first movie's best moments (meaning the early Duel-likechase scenes), but sorts out its worst elements. Result: a half-decent creature feature.