A monster that’s (sorta) a giant cockroach prowling the streets of New York city may not seem like the type of premise that could sustain a film franchise, but—surprise, surprise—there are three films based around it. The good news is all three films are now available for a reasonable price collected in one spiffy Blu-ray set.
The series started out promisingly in 1997 when Mexican horror auteur Guillermo Del Toro made his U.S. debut with Mimic, starring Mira Sorvino and that so-creepy giant cockroach. My review of the 2011-released Director’s Cut blu-ray appears here, but in a nutshell (or a hardshell—sorry, couldn’t resist) this is the gem of this collection—the only one that was released to theaters, and an underrated modern scifi/horror classic. Del Toro directed with such an assured finesse that you could overlook the inherent ridiculousness of the concept—a giant cockroach? Really? In Del Toro’s hands, the story played out with tension and subtlety; we don’t really see the monster, except in shadowy glimpses, until the final part of the film. Story, acting, photography—it all works here, and Del Toro’s Director’s Cut restored some lost footage and shored up some storytelling shortcomings.
The two direct-to-video sequels also are included in this set, and while they’re not up to the standard of the first movie, they’re not bad, all things considered. Mirimax (the studio behind this series), cranked out a lot of made-for-VHS sequels in the late 90s and early 2000s, and a lot of them, frankly, sucked (check out the umpteen Children of the Corn cheezefests to see what I mean). Mimic 2 (2001) and Mimic 3: Sentinel (2003) are actually decent low-budget thrillers. Mimic 2 brings back the giant roach to terrorize a teacher and her students in a school building; Sentinel is a spin on Hitchcock’s Rear Window in which a hyper-sensitive man, self-quarantined to his apartment, sees the monster killing his neighbors outside. The second film has pretty much a no-name cast, but the third chapter at least includes Lance Henriksen from the Alien films, along with Lost hottie Rebecca Mader. And for low-budget films, they get the job done with some chills and jolts along the way.
It all looks good in Blu-ray, where the dark, shadowy shots are better defined in high-def than in previous releases. The first film has a generous helping of bonus features—Del Toro really embraced this re-release—while the remaining films have more modest bonus offerings.
While the first film is an invaluable add to the collection of any fan of science-infused horror, this set is a nice way to explore all of the variations of this cool premise at one low price.Buy Mimic 3 Film Set at Amazon(Mimic / Mimic 2 / Mimic 3) [Blu-ray]