Victor Salva: Should He Still Be Making Films?

Victor Ronald Salva, born March 29, 1958, is an American film director. He has been making films since he was just 12 years old. One of his favorite pastimes as a kid was watching Creature Features on television and is a self-confessed “Jaws baby”.

In 1986, he made the low budget 37-minute short horror film “Something in the Basement” which attracted the attention of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. Who in turn helped Salva finance his first feature-length film, “Clownhouse”. And this is where things go wrong.


While directing “Clownhouse”, Salva, then 29, molested one of the film’s actors, 12-year-old Nathan Forrest Winters. The sexual acts were videotaped by Salva, who pleaded guilty to one count of lewd and lascivious conduct, one count of oral copulation with a person under 14, and three counts of procuring child pornography. Salva was sentenced to three years in prison. He served 15 months of the sentence before being paroled, and has registered as a sex offender.


Salva reports that his biological father abandoned the family and that his stepfather was often drunk and physically abusive. Whether this was an explanation or an excuse for his actions, it has never been made known.


After being released from prison, Salva had a series of odd jobs, while trying to get hired as a film director, living off some financial support given to him by Coppola. Seven years after “Clownhouse”, Salva made another film, “The Nature of the Beast”. In 1995, he directed the Disney-financed “Powder”. Nathan Forrest Winters (then in his 20s) publicly boycotted the film to bring attention to Salva’s sexual misdeeds, which contributed to the film’s less-than-stellar box office. The subsequent media coverage of Salva’s criminal history, and speculation as to why Disney would hire a convicted sex offender, ensured that Salva would not make another film until 1999’s “Rites of Passage”.

Salva went on to write and direct the popular horror film “Jeepers Creepers” (2001) and its sequel “Jeepers Creepers II” (2003). In 2006, he directed “Peaceful Warrior”, which opened up to mixed reviews. Salva has wrapped production on “Rosewood Lane” in 2011, a thriller starring Rose McGowan and Ray Wise, and the next he will direct is “Jeepers Creepers 3: Cathedral”, the third and final film in the Jeepers Creepers franchise.

The future for Victor Salva looks very bright. There’s no doubt over his film making abilities, but there’s no denying his past, no matter how much Hollywood and everyone else tries to bury it, He IS a convicted paedophile who abused Nathan Forrest Winters, scarring the young boy for life. In short Salva, in my opinion, should NOT still be in the industry! Some argue he has done his time and that it’s time to move on. I always say would you still feel the same if he did to you as a child what he did to Nathan Forrest Winters?

2 thoughts on “Victor Salva: Should He Still Be Making Films?

  1. I agree with you 100%. He should not still be in the industry. I have 2 young children and I would be horrified if something like that happened to them and the man responsible was able to go on with his life while my child would probably need therapy for the rest of his/her life. I had no idea about his history and if I did I would not have watched the Jeepers Creepers movies. I will now NOT be watching part 3. Thank you for opening my eyes to this disgusting fact about Salva.


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