August 22nd, 1997


more trailers Mimic

Still of Mira Sorvino in MimicStill of F. Murray Abraham in MimicStill of Charles S. Dutton in MimicStill of Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam in MimicStill of Mira Sorvino in MimicStill of Jeremy Northam and Giancarlo Giannini in Mimic

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!

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 5.8/10 (18,736 voted)

Critic's Score: 55/100

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Stars: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin

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.

Writers: Donald A. Wollheim, Matthew Robbins

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 - Ricky
Javon Barnwell - Davis
Norman Reedus - Jeremy
Pak-Kwong Ho - Preacher
Glenn Bang - Yang (as Glen Bang)
Margaret Ma - Chinese Woman
Warna Fisher - Bag Lady

Taglines: A Bold Experiment. A Deadly Mistake! [DVD cover]

Release Date: 22 August 1997

Filming Locations: Disused lower platform, Bay subway station, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $7,818,208 (USA) (24 August 1997) (2255 Screens)

Gross: $25,480,490 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | (director's cut)

Did You Know?

Director Trademark: [Guillermo del Toro] [underground areas] The subway system.

Factual errors: In the last scene where the male bug is struck by the train, you see it struggling to hold onto the front of the train for a while. It manages to hang in there for a little while before being pulled under and splattered everywhere. But when Dr Susan looks around the corner, after the bug is killed, she sees parts of the bug just meters away from where she was hiding. The bug should be further down the tracks, because it was dragged for ages before going under.

Susan Tyler: Sometimes an insect will even mimic its predator.

User Review

So that's what those mystery stains are in the subway!

Rating: 9/10

After a devastating disease traced back to New York City's cockroach population is eliminated by using a genetically engineered superbug that wiped out the roach population, it seems that everyone--especially the previously affected kids--is in the clear. That is, until one of the superbugs--which were supposed to be infertile and have a short lifespan--shows up in the subway system years later, larger and nastier than ever.

Take 1950s "nature run amok" horror/sci-fi, combine it with Alien (1979), add in the production design sensibilities found in Alien 3 (1992), set it in the "modern day" New York City subway system, and you've got Mimic. That may sound too derivative for some tastes, but I neither give points for originality nor subtract them for a lack of originality. All that matters to me is that a film works on its own terms, and Mimic, despite a couple small flaws, is very effective.

Those couple small flaws include that you have to pay a lot of attention during the beginning if you want to catch all of the backstory--it moves by very quickly, with pertinent information frequently mumbled or given in the background, and some of the attack scenes are a bit too dark and cut to simulate a whirling dervish.

The biggest asset is the production design. Mimic has a delicious horror atmosphere that you could cut with a knife. Of course it's easy to achieve cringe-worthy moments when the screen is filled with bugs and characters are crawling down (and in some cases living in) dingy subway tunnels, but almost every shot in the film has a similar effect. Gloom, decay and disturbing, unidentifiable biological masses are the visual themes. The creature designs are fantastic, with the "mimicking" design being the most impressive.

Of course, the plot is somewhat predictable, and the "don't tamper with nature" subtext is as conspicuous here as it was in Frankenstein (1931), but predictability isn't a flaw here, and Frankenstein was a masterpiece. Mimic has an absorbing story, with likable characters and suspense to spare.