Mimic: The Director’s Cut – Blu-ray review

Guillermo del Toro’s killer cockroach flick gets debugged

Jeremy Northam and Mira Sorvino in Mimic.

"Mira, I've just got to tell you: I'm still holding a torch for you."


Release Date: 31 October 2011
1997 | 15 | 112 minutes | £24.99
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin, Giancarlo Giannini, Charles S Dutton

Guillermo del Toro’s first Hollywood picture was also his first experience of studio interference; the end results were severely compromised. Here he reconstructs the movie as something closer to his original intention.

Scientist Mira Sorvino genetically engineers a new strain of cockroaches to save NYC’s kids from a disease spread by their fellow bugs. Three years later, she’s shocked to discover the supposedly infertile “Judas Breed” has not only survived, but grown into man-sized predators that imitate human beings! The reveal, in which a “man in a mac” unfurls giant wings, is stunning.

With its interest in mutation and weird insectoid flesh, this gothic B-movie often feels like a David Cronenberg film; other aspects (like a savant shoeshine boy) feel of a piece with the rest of del Toro’s oeuvre. His bold swashes of amber and blue render the subterranean world below the subway platforms surprisingly beautiful.

Del Toro’s excision of 95% of the “second-unit crap” foisted on him makes this cut a more subtle work. You may occasionally see where the suits were coming from, though. Several now-reinstated scenes function, del Toro explains, to imply that “our place in Creation has been subverted”, but this abstruse point will likely pass all but the most analytical viewers by.

Extras:

Del Toro discusses his behind-the-scenes struggles and expounds his theories on filmmaking in a fascinating commentary. Plus: three featurettes, deleted scenes, storyboard animatics and a gag reel.

Ian Berriman

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