Mimic, The Director’s Cut, Blu-ray (1997/2011)

by | Sep 28, 2011 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

Mimic, The Director’s Cut, Blu-ray (1997/2011)
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Josh Brolin, F. Murray Abraham, Giancarlo Giannini
Studio: Miramax/Lionsgate [9/27/11] Blu-ray + Digital Copy (2 discs)
Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9 1080p HD
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, English
Extras: Commentary track by del Toro, Video prologue by del Toro, “Reclaiming Mimic” featurette, “A Leap in Evolution – The Creatures of Mimic” featurette, “Back into the Tunnels – Shooting Mimic” featurette, Deleted scenes, Storyboard animatics, Gag reel, Theatrical trailer
Length: 112 minutes
Rating: ****½
Wikipedia describes this as a sci-fi horror film with elements of a slasher film. Del Toro was very unhappy with the original release and in his prologue expresses his pleasure at finally being able to present the film now as he originally intended. I didn’t see the original theatrical version, which Rotten Tomatoes gave a 57% rotten rating to, but I felt this one—with its several top actors and terrific monsters—is raised to the level of a really fine film, keeping in mind del Toro’s known fetish for insects, clockwork, monsters, dark places, and unborn things.
Cockroaches are found to be spreading a deadly polio-like disease claiming many of Manhattan’s children. Entomologist Sorvino uses genetic engineering to create the Judas Breed, a special insect sort of halfway between a termite and a praying mantis, that releases an enzyme which kills all the roaches. The effort is totally successful, but three years later it is discovered that people have gone missing in the subway tunnels under Manhattan, and the Judas Breed, rather than dying out in 120 days as designed, has grown into huge colonies and adapted to having humans as their new food source. They are as big as people and their mimicry development has enabled them to hold up their mandibles and look like a human head. The entomologist and her husband, who works for the CDC, must search out the insects and kill the one fertile male and the hordes of females before they take over Manhattan and then the world.
Mimic was originally a 30-minute short, and it works very well as a feature. Del Toro’s style is definitely not your usual B movie approach, and this version has a lot going for it. I can’t believe it looks any good on anything other than Blu-ray on a big screen, due to the many very dark scenes where only a few details can be discerned. The surround track also contributes to the feelings of terrible danger when the visuals don’t reveal very much. You might want to use slo-mo repeats on some of the scenes where violence happens very quickly. Everybody in the film is perfectly chosen by del Toro: especially F. Murray Abraham and Giancarlo Giannini (haven’t seen him for some time). If you’re into really creepy things, this one is a masterpiece!
—John Sunier

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