Movie Reviews 91 – Mimic (1997)

mimicI first saw this movie years ago at a get together with some friends in which we typically chose some B movie to watch and crack jokes over. The lamer, the better. But we were all a bit surprised to see that this movie had a bit more going for it than your typical low budget horror movie. Director Guillermo del Toro wasn’t yet a household name and honestly still hadn’t found his rhythm yet, but that was just around the corner and you can see the emergence of his talents here.

There is a deadly New York epidemic afflicting all the kids and scientists are trying everything to solve the puzzle when young entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) discovers that the plague is being spread by cockroaches. She and a senior partner develop a new strain of roaches, a ‘Judas’ bug, that not only kill the others, but will themselves die off after a generation, lacking the ability to reproduce.

Amid the reluctance of her one time mentor distressing over messing with nature, Susan becomes an instant celebrity and savior. Of course we soon get to the the inevitable turnaround when we find out that this new species have found a way to survive, practically a staple of Sci-Fi and Horror movies. Nothing remotely new here. But there is a twist and it’s literally a big one. The new species have not just managed to survive but they have gone to the most extreme of adaptations, specifically geared to combat their one true enemy, man himself.

The movie takes place mostly in subways, sewers and other forgotten subterranean pits under the Big Apple with lots of bugs and nastier things. Sure a lot of it is a stretch and there are plot holes aplenty, but it’s not all bad with some pretty neat effects and what can only be described as ‘squishy’ scenes. Watch shoe shiner Giancarlo Giannini as he follows the clickety-clack sounds of scattering roaches to find his autistic son who has crept into an abandoned building in search of the roaches. Only this time the roaches aren’t scattering!

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