Review: Mimic: The Director’s Cut Blu-ray

Mimic Blu-raySTUDIO: Lionsgate | DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro | STARS: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Josh Brolin, Giancarlo Giannini, Charles Dutton
9/27/2011 | PRICE: Blu-ray $19.99
BONUSES: director’s introduction and commentary, featurettes, more
SPECS: NR | 112 min. | Science fiction horror | 1.85:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

“Between the cracks, you’ll see the movie that got away,” announces Guillermo del Toro (Cronos) in the new introduction to his director’s commentary of the fine Mimic: The Director’s Cut Blu-ray.

Mimic movie scene

Mira Sorvino fights a cadre of mutant cockroaches in Mimic.

Del Toro’s 1997 film is a horror/science-fiction hybrid that follows an entomologist (Mira Sorvino, The Presence) who creates a mutant breed of insect that ultimately evolves into a deadly hive of giant cockroaches.

The movie obviously means a lot to the filmmaker. And that’s what prompted this director’s cut, which clocks in seven minutes longer than the original 105-minute theatrical version.

The film itself is a good one but not great, even in its longer version, which Del Toro describes as being “as close as we’re ever going to get” to the film he set out to make but was re-edited by others.

Mimic has a feel not unlike other creepy-crawling monster flicks of the 1990s, like 1995’s Species and 1997’s The Relic (with which Mimic was often confused due to its similar-sounding title). The film’s bursts of Day-Glo color during its frequently dark scenes and its stylized monster-movie violence–which is realistic but not nearly as graphic as what was to come in the torture-porn titles of the next decade–smacks of the era.

The high-definition sound and vision on the Blu-ray are quite fine, especially the audio quality of DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix, which captures all the crunchy, crackly sounds of the mutant roaches with particularly disgusting crispness.

It’s Del Toro’s candid and insightful director’s commentary and the new high-definition featurette “Reclaiming Mimic” that make this one a keeper. The filmmaker, always a force in his commentary tracks and making-ofs, covers all there is to know about the production of the film, his experiences as a young genre filmmaker in Hollywood making a movie for Miramax’s notorious Weinstein brothers, and his feelings on the theatrical version versus the one that’s contained on the disc.

When Del Toro announces, “In this disc, you have an as-honest-as-legally-possible journey into anything that can go wrong with a film” and that the new version is “a cautionary tale in the form of a disc,” you know he’s speaking from the heart.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.