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Mimic (1997)

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Three years ago, entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler genetically created an insect to kill cockroaches carrying a virulent disease. Now, the insects are out to destroy their only predator, mankind.

Director:

Guillermo del Toro

Writers:

Donald A. Wollheim (short story "Mimic"), Matthew Robbins (screen story) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
4,858 ( 542)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mira Sorvino ... Dr. Susan Tyler
Jeremy Northam ... Dr. Peter Mann
Alexander Goodwin ... Chuy
Giancarlo Giannini ... Manny
Charles S. Dutton ... Leonard
Josh Brolin ... Josh
Alix Koromzay ... Remy
F. Murray Abraham ... Dr. Gates
James Costa James Costa ... Ricky
Javon Barnwell Javon Barnwell ... Davis
Norman Reedus ... Jeremy
Pak-Kwong Ho Pak-Kwong Ho ... Preacher
Glenn Bang ... Yang (as Glen Bang)
Margaret Ma Margaret Ma ... Chinese Woman
Warna Fisher Warna Fisher ... Bag Lady
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Storyline

A disease carried by common cockroaches is killing Manhattan children. In an effort to stop the epidemic an entomologist, Susan Tyler, creates a mutant breed of insect that secretes a fluid to kill the roaches. This mutant breed was engineered to die after one generation, but three years later Susan finds out that the species has survived and evolved into a large, gruesome monster that can mimic human form. Written by Steven Dretzke <stevend@unicomp.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For thousands of years, man has been evolution's greatest creation... until now. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror/violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

22 August 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Judus See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,818,208, 24 August 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$25,480,490
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dimension Films,Miramax See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of Guillermo del Toro's unhappiness with the theatrical version of the movie came from the fact that it contained a lot of shots filmed by the second unit crew, which he found inconsistent with his use of colors and camera set-up. He re-edited the film into a Director's cut that was more closely to his original vision, stating that if viewers are still unhappy with this version, then at least he is entirely to blame. See more »

Goofs

In an aerial stock shot at around 9:00 min running time of the Director's Cut, the PanAm Building is to be seen. It was re-branded MetLife Building in 1993, when in fact the film is set in 1997. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Gates: My God, the organs, they're... perfectly formed.
See more »

Connections

References Se7en (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Give Me Central 209
By Robert Ellen
Used with permission by Molique Music
c/o Warner Chappell Music Canada
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
B-movie masterpiece.
2 August 2004 | by FilmSnobbySee all my reviews

What happened to Guillermo Del Toro? On the strength of his first foreign "indie" feature *Cronos*, and then this minor masterwork (his first foray into Hollywood), one was expecting great things from this director. Lately, however, he's doing hack-work on things like *Blade 2*. Whatever -- Hollywood, I guess.

In the meantime, please check out *Mimic*, if you haven't already. Yeah yeah, sure sure, it owes a lot to *Alien* (visually), *Invasion of the Body Snatchers* (thematically), and even Fincher's *Seven* (visually again). But then, those movies owe a lot to their OWN influences: indeed, science fiction is a pretty incestuous genre, with surprisingly few innovations, at least in cinema. It's enough of a pleasure to watch a guy do this type of thing correctly, which is to say, he puts his own vision and concerns to great use. This movie, like all great genre pictures, exists comfortably in two spheres: on the simple level, it speedily entertains as a gory fright film imbued with mordant humor; on the more difficult level, it provides symbolism and thematic undertow. Best of all, these two levels often work at the same time, such as when an old priest gets tossed off a building by one of the creatures, plummeting past a neon "JESUS SAVES" sign, and crashing to a gory death on the pavement. A little while later, the creature drags the dead body into the gaping black maw of an open sewer.

The corpse is gone, forever. JESUS SAVES--? Not really, I guess: not in Del Toro's world of relentless survivalism and hyper-competitive reproduction.

For the latter is what *Mimic* is really "about": the importance of breeding and offspring. The movie's surreal opening, with its rows of linen-canopied hospital beds all in a row like so many little coffins, shows us sick children, gasping for air because a cockroach-borne disease is carrying them off. The battle lines are drawn in the first few moments: Us versus Them. The casualties thus far are our most precious commodity: our kids. Cutie-pie "scientists" Mia Sorvino and Jeremy Northam glean the cure for the dread disease by concocting a genetically-altered bug whose secretions kill off the diseased cockroaches. But this "Judas Breed", as it's called, will be the only true breed this couple will engender: Sorvino fails pregnancy tests at home, while their creature -- supposedly unable to reproduce -- grows apace underneath Manhattan's fallopian sewers. Which, by the way, are strewn with the rapidly-developing creatures' eggs. It merely seems like "Nature's Way" that the Judas Breed has mutated to the size of six feet, and can mimic standing upright like their ultimate "prey", Man -- even sporting a man-like face as a sort of cover that splits apart at will, revealing the Bug Within. It's also fitting that these creatures instinctively hone in on the vulnerability of children: they viciously rip apart two kids, and befriend another who has managed to communicate with them by clicking soup-spoons together. (Perhaps they consider the little bugger might be a possible playmate for their own offspring, while they wait for him to get big enough to eat.)

Del Toro ties in his reproductive symbolism with religious motifs. ("Judas Breed.") The bugs, for instance, desecrate an old Catholic church in the city . . . but then, they're helped in this by the humans, who have barred entry to the church and have covered up the wooden saint statues with cobwebby plastic covering. Humanity, playing God by "giving birth" to unhallowed creatures, unwittingly colludes in its own extinction by denying God, to say nothing of the aforementioned curse of sterility. I've already covered the fate of the priest. There's much more, including Charles Dutton's physical sufferings that amount to a sort of mini-Passion, as well as another character's use of a pseudo-stigmata to kill one of the creatures.

But the best pleasures reside squarely in the thrills and fun of the thing. If nothing else, the scene in which a Judas Breed reveals itself to a running-away Sorvino -- running after her, scooping her up, and then flying off into the dark subway tunnel -- justifies the rest of the film's symbolic mumbo-jumbo. Speaking of Sorvino: quibble about her inadequacy all you want, but she's pretty (when not covered in bug-guts), and in any case Dutton's heroic performance cancels out the bimbo factor. Dutton gives his all in this film. Luckily for him and us, the film is more than worthy of his efforts.


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