Mimic (1997)

mimic poster 1997 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Cool creatures

Weak story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Mimic

Studio: Dimension/Miramax

Genre(s): Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): August 22, 1997

MPAA Rating: R

mimic mr funnyshoes judas

Mr. Funnyshoes is watching over you!

Spread by cockroaches, Strickler’s Disease is killing the children of New York.  With time running out, Dr. Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) and her husband CDC employee Dr. Peter Mann (Jeremy Northam) create a genetically engineered cockroach called the Judas to eliminate the disease infested cockroaches.  Three years later, something has survived.  The cockroaches which were meant to die in one generation have somehow bred and are living beneath the streets.  Teamed with MTA officer Leonard Norton (Charles S. Dutton), discovering the location of the Judas cockroaches is imperative…but the Judas have developed into something that Susan never anticipated.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Mimic is a biological horror thriller.  Following del Toro’s Cronos in 1993, the film was released to mixed reviews.  The movie is an adaptation of Donald A. Wolfheim’s story “Mimic” from 1942.  A director’s cut of the film was released in 2010 which added six minutes to movie.

mimic judas human face

So the Judas hides as a 6′ tall grandpa?

I saw Mimic in the theater.  It was a fun popcorn movie, but it didn’t have a ton of depth.  When Guillermo del Toro got bigger and bigger, it was interesting to revisit Mimic (especially the director’s cut) to see what you could see of his future movies in his second film.

The movie feels too loose.  You have too many plot threads that all end up in the abandoned subway car, but it feels like the film should be largely focused on Susan and Peter (with Leonard as a third character).  The movie has the initial sweatshop story with the autistic boy Chuy (Alexander Goodwin) and it feels like that whole line could have been eliminated since the boy didn’t really provide any insight to the creatures, and it felt like he was a bit of a prop.

The story isn’t really helpful for the actors.  I actually like the scientific aspects of the story and Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam work well together.  Josh Brolin and Giancarlo Giannini are also forgettable, but Charles S. Dutton (and his combative relationship with Northam’s character) is something that works.  F. Murray Abraham is there for some reason (he also could have been eliminated) and the movie features the first big role for Norman Reedus.

mimic bugs judas cockroaches ending

You didn’t think I was going to kill you? I love cockroaches!

The movie does have that Guillermo del Toro look when it can.  The Judas cockroach is interesting and I love the fold-up face design.  I feel it could have been utilized a bit better and that a lot of the bigger Judas bugs appearances were limited by budget.  The dark, dank sewer location of the story also isn’t the most inspired set.

Mimic has moments that show that the story could have had potential, but it largely feels like an underdeveloped monster movie fluff.  It is still a fun movie to watch, but don’t go in expecting the depth and interesting concepts of del Toro’s later films.  It feels pretty impersonal and by the book.  Mimic was followed by Mimic 2 in 2001.  Guillermo del Toro followed Mimic with The Devil’s Backbone in 2001.

Related Links:

Mimic 2 (2001)

Mimic 3:  Sentinel (2003)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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