{2jtab: Movie Review}

Mimic: the Director's Cut


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4 stars

There are few genre fans in the world that don’t know the name Guillermo del Toro, but in 1997 he was still a relatively unknown entity to the western world. The Spanish director was hired by the Weinsteins to helm what was originally conceived as a three part short film project, quickly morphed into a standard feature. But for anyone that knows del Toro’s work, nothing the man does is standard.

On the face of it, and ultimately to del Toro’s chagrin, Mimic was marketed and reedited in his absence to be a monster movie. But all along he had a more complex vision, as he always does, for the tale he wanted to tell. A lifelong fan of Frankenstein and ancient fairy tales, he saw this film as an opportunity to explore humanity through misanthropic eyes; to make the assertion that humanity’s arrogance to play god and indifference to the carnage it creates may seal its own destruction. A dark and imaginative cautionary tale was his agenda. The Weinsteins disagreed.

Skip a decade and a bit and the world now knows how brilliant del Toro is; he has proven himself again and again, and is now a brand name in Hollywood. With that influence, a seldom opportunity for the man to revisit his earlier work surfaced, and we now have Mimic: The Director’s Cut; a version as close to his original vision as was possible. He has added some scenes to better highlight his original intention, and excised a few of the producer’s choices to remove that gimmicky monster scare element he loathed when the film was released theatrically.

Mimic: The Director’s Cut tells the story of an entomologist (Mira Sorvino) who becomes the hero of New York City after she eradicates a dangerous plague of cockroaches that have spread disease and caused the death of thousands. Her seemingly genius plan, a biological experiment using a new insect called the Judas Bug, does their job and is assumed to die off. A few years later, she discovers that the Judas has in fact not only survived, but evolved rapidly, and into something far more deadly than the disease they were designed to destroy. It is up to her to answer how this happened and find a way to stop it before the Judas turns on humanity.

There are del Toro hallmarks all over this, one of his earliest western offerings, and it is head and shoulders above its contemporaries for it. Visually, the film belies its monster movie tendencies with the director’s considered perfectionism for shadow and light, as always, registering as painterly. While the story is not what he wanted, even with the new version, it does satisfy with better character development than your average monster mash up. The creatures are also another instantly recognisable del Toro hallmark, and are unique and terrifying to boot. Nothing about this film is average, so I can understand his frustration at not being able to tell the story the way he wanted it. But as far as monster movies go, this is up there with the best. It may not he Cronenberg’s The Fly, but it’s a worthy addition to the genre. Unlike Richard Donner’s Superman II, there was not enough material for del Toro to completely reshape his film. It’s subtly different and does adequately highlight the things he wanted, but it’s not a major revision by any stretch.

If you like del Toro, and want to see something that is closer to what he originally wanted, give it a go. He may have been disappointed, but I doubt you will be.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Mimic: the Director's CutMPAA Rating: R for terror/violence and language.
: Guillermo del Toro
: Matthew Robbins
Josh Brolin; Mira Sorvino; Jeremy Northam; Giancarlo Giannini; F. Murray Abraham; Charles S. Dutton
: Horror | Sci-fi | Thriller
A Bold Experiment. A Deadly Mistake!
Memorable Movie Quote:
"My God, the organs, they're... perfectly formed."
Miramax Films
Home Video Distributor:
Lionsgate Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 22, 1997
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 27, 2011

Synopsis: A disease carried by common cockroaches is killing children in Manhattan. In an effort to stop the epidemic, entomologist Susan Tyler (Sorvino) 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.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Mimic: the Director's Cut

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

4 stars

Blu-ray Experience
4 stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 27, 2011
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); Digital copy (on disc)
Playback: Region A

This is a far superior transfer than the region 4 DVD this reviewer has in his collection. It is a very dark and grainy film, so don’t expect a contemporary sheen, but details are vastly improved—daytime or light scenes fair best. Sound is perfection: a 7.1 mix to shake the neighbours’ windows. Extras, as with most of del Toro’s films, are copious, generous, and enjoyable. The director does not mince his words about the process and disappointments of this movie. Well worth looking at.



  • With Director Guillermo del Toro

Special Features:

  • Reclaiming Mimic (HD; 14:31)
  • A Leap in Evolution (SD; 9:35)
  • Back Into the Tunnels (SD; 5:22)
  • Deleted Scenes (SD; 5:11)
  • Storyboard Animatics (SD; 6:04)
  • Gag Reel (SD; 2:20)

{2jtab: Trailer}