MIMIC: The Director’s Cut

MIMIC: The Director’s Cut-United States-1997

Mira Sorvino as Dr. Susan Tyler

Jeremy Northam as Dr. Peter Mann

Josh Brolin as Josh

F. Murray Abraham as Dr. Gates

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Screenplay by Matthew Robbins and Guillermo del Toro

Screen Story by Matthew Robbins and Guillermo del Toro

Based on the short story by Donald A. Wollheim

It’s taken me a long time to watch “Mimic” again since its release in 1997. I went with a friend of mine and her mother and all I could think about during the entire film was how muddled of a mess the film was in general. Well, that and how the butter on my popcorn smelled like piss. Anyway, my point is that a better title for “Mimic” would have been “Mess”. There seemed to be no discernible plot line and the film as a whole seemed as if too many people had their hand in the cookie jar. It turns out that I was right; it seems that although the film was directed by Guillermo del Toro (“The Devil’s Backbone”), it appeared that he was constantly being undermined by the film’s producer Bob Weinstein. So much so that del Toro has refused to work with the Weinstein’s ever since then. As for “Mimic” it remained a “Mess” until the director’s cut was released. That’s where I come in.

“Mimic” is about a husband and wife team of scientists (Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam) who create a super bug to help wipe out the cockroach population in the city of Manhattan. The roaches carry a disease that threatens to wipe out the population of our children. Anyway, the bugs are supposed to do their job and then die out within a hundred and eighty days. Cut to three years later and we’ve got a whole new set of problems. The bugs that were supposed to die after 3 months have survived and have learned to mimic their predators. Now, go back and re-read that last sentence. Did you read it? Good. So, what is the biggest enemy of the common cockroach? I’ll give you a hint: it wears shoes. Yep, it’s man that they are mimicking. So now it’s up to the scientists to figure a way to get rid of this entomological threat before it leaves Manhattan and spreads itself out across the globe. For those of you who have never seen “Mimic” I can tell you that the end of the film involves a really big can of raid and the dance team from STOMP! I’m just kidding.

I guess my biggest question is why would you even want to try to tell Guillermo del Toro how to make a movie, much less a horror film? That’s like telling Michelangelo how to paint. del Toro has always been known for taking his audiences into dark worlds filled with dangerous creatures. “Mimic” is no exception as del Toro makes underground Manhattan his own personal labyrinth. The same film that I found myself detesting in 1997 is now a film that, despite a few minor flaws, is now a film that I would list as a favorite. All it took for that to happen was for everyone to stay out of the maestro’s way.


Director Guillermo del Toro disowned the film after constant clashes with Bob Weinstein, who would frequently visit the set and make unreasonable demands about what should be shot, deviating away from the script. Since then del Toro has never worked with the Weinsteins.

The scene where Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam walk in the hall with all the sick kids lying in their beds was actually directed by Ole Bornedal, one of the producers on the film.

The escalator in Delancey Street subway station is shown as dismantled for maintenance because the scene was filmed on a Toronto subway station platform that was closed in 1966, so its escalator was removed.