Writer and director of the drama Powder and the horror film Jeepers Creepers, as well as its sequel Jeepers Creepers II.
His favorite pastimes as a child included watching Creature Features on television.
His low-budget horror film Something in the Basement caught the attention of Francis Ford Coppola, who helped him finance his first feature-length film Clownhouse.
His father was a conservative Catholic who abandoned the family.
His 1995 film Powder featured Sean Patrick Flannery as a boy with paranormal powers.