Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Before we begin, here’s a little history lesson. In 1997 Miramax released Guillermo del Toro’s Mimic onto audiences. Though it was a pretty good flick, it wasn’t exactly close to what the director had envisioned. At that time Guillermo was interested in making a very character-driven horror film while the Weinsteins were into making more of a shock-a-minute monster movie. In the end Bob and Harvey won out over del Toro, and most of what del Toro was looking for in the film was scrapped. In its place? Lots of second unit footage and jump scares. The flick was tinkered with to the point that Guillermo actually disowned it. Now, fourteen years later, Miramax is no longer under the umbrella of The Weinsteins, and del Toro (as if he didn’t already have enough on his plate) took back his film and created a cut that is far more in line with his original vision.
For the uninitiated Mimic tells the tale of what happens when a roach-driven plague starts killing the children of New York City. To combat this multi-legged menace, two scientists, geneticist Susan Tyler (Sorvino) and CDC official Dr. Peter Mann (Northam), work together to engineer a Judas strain of cockroach that would take out the killer bugs. Catastrophe averted, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.
So what’s new? Well, first of all a lot of the cheap jump scares have been wisely excised from the film, giving del Toro the opportunity to re-insert most of his original character-based bits of exposition. Instead of the frantic editing you may remember from the theatrical cut, scenes go on longer and come off as much more focused. These elongated moments add a lot of tension and dread to the flick that was sorely missing. In the end everything now feels much more solid. Really good stuff. For those wondering, the theatrical edit clocked in at around 105 minutes, and this newer version runs about 112 minutes. Believe us when we tell you … every extra second counts.
In terms of sound and picture quality, the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track found here is nothing short of absolutely brilliant. As for the picture, though? Not so much. Don’t get me wrong; the AVC-4 MPEG 1080p encode does its job by delivering deliciously deep blacks along with a steady amount of detail, but no matter how you slice it, the flick at times looks its age. Still, Mimic has never looked better, and that’s a very good thing.
Also good? The special features! Screw your bare bones disc! THIS is what we’re talking about, man! Things kick off with an incredibly lively commentary from del Toro, who seems ecstatic about this new cut. The man is just infectious in his enthusiasm and funny as hell. What we’re talking about here, kids, is a must listen! Commentary tracks don’t come better than this one. From there we get a video prologue with del Toro in which he briefly discusses the changes that he’s made and three featurettes: Reclaiming Mimic more or less is a nearly fifteen-minute CliffsNotes version of his commentary, A Leap in Evolution – The Creatures of Mimic gives us a nine-minute look at the flick’s creature design, and finally Back Into the Tunnels – Shooting Mimic consists of about five minutes of on-set footage and interviews from 1997. Add on around five minutes of deleted scenes, a two-minute long gag reel, storyboards, and of course the trailer, and what you have here is a rock solid package worthy of being in your collection.
Mimic: The Director’s Cut is a true gift for fans. Our only gripe is that it would have been cool to have the theatrical cut presented and accounted for as well, but that’s only because we’re lunatics who have to have everything! Don’t hesitate a second! Nail down a copy of this pronto, if not sooner!
4 out of 5
4 out of 5