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Mimic
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FAQ for
Mimic (1997) More at IMDbPro »

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FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Mimic can be found here.

What is 'Mimic' about?

In order to eradicate Strickler's Disease carried by cockroaches, entomologist Dr Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) genetically engineered an insect, which she named the Judas Breed, capable of killing the roaches. The solution works, but it becomes apparent three years later that the predators, who were supposed to die off after one generation, are surviving, have evolved to mimic human form, and are now preying on humans.

Mimic is based on a short story by American scifi writer Donald A.Woldheim [1914-1999]. The story was adapted for the screen by American screenwriter Matthew Robbins and Mexican film-maker Guilliermo del Toro, who also produced the movie. It was followed by Mimic 2 (2001) and Mimic: Sentinel (2003).

No. Strickler's disease was made up for the movie. There is a real condition called Stickler (note no 'r') Syndrome, a mutation in certain genes involved in the formation of a class of proteins called collagen, and the symptoms often show up in childhood. However, Stickler Syndrome is a hereditary condition; it is not passed by cockroaches.

Susan theorizes that the reason they evolved so rapidly is because she increased their metabolism, which also sped up their breeding cycle. Tens of thousands of generations over a three year period no doubt resulted in many mutations. She points out that it took only 40,000 generations for apes to turn into humans. She also points out that some bugs evolve to mimic their predators or prey, e.g., a fly can look like a spider or a caterpillar can look like a snake, so the Judas Breed must have evolved to mimic their prey...humans.

How does the movie end?

Leonard's (Charles S. Dutton) leg starts bleeding again. Afraid that the smell of his blood will attract the Judas Breed, he leaves the traincar and begins walking up the track. Within minutes, a Judas is on him. Peter (Jeremy Northam) traps Susan and Chuy (Alexander Goodwin) in the dumbwaiter and sends them to a higher tunnel, while Peter remains in the nest with the Judas bugs converging on him. Peter breaks open some of the gas pipes and tries to light them, but his lighter won't work. He opens up a manhole cover and sees water underneath. He tries his lighter again, it works, and the tunnel goes up in flames. Peter jumps in the water to escape the flames that are now spreading throughout the entire tunnel system. The explosion knocks Susan out and separates her from Chuy. When she comes to, she goes looking for him. Suddenly she is confronted by the male Judas who starts heading for Chuy. Susan slits open her palm to attract the Judas with the scent of her blood. A train starts coming down the subway tracks. Susan runs toward the train, the Judas right behind her. At the last moment, she leaps aside, and the Judas male is hit by the train and destroyed. In the final scene, Susan and Chuy are sitting on a gurney, watching firefighters put out the fires and search the tunnels. Dr Gates (F. Murray Abraham) assures her that nothing could have survived the explosion in the tunnels. 'What about one of us?' Susan asks, referring to Peter. Suddenly, a man in 'mountain boots, 10, brown' emerges from the tunnel. It is Peter. He and Susan hug each other.

In September 2009, del Toro announced that he was working on a Director's Cut. Due to other obligations on his part, it was just recently finished. Now, 14 years later, the Director's Cut can be bought exclusively on Blu-Ray. It also features an audio commentary, in which del Toro shares some interesting information about the Director's Cut. Guillermo del Toro probably really wanted to improve his movie, however, he did not succeed in doing so. The viewer does not gain any new insights in the story and the characters do not get more depth either. The extensions are only additions concerning the plot and there does not seem to be any reason why the director's cut was released as Unrated. Most likely, this just happend to spare the costs for another MPAA classification. However, interesting is that a rather unintentionally funny scene was removed from the theatrical version. The improvement in picture and sound quality is really significant. Through the use of color filters, the picture in the Director's Cut got a really threatening mood, especially in the underground scenes. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 1 year ago
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