TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: MIMIC (1997)

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MIMIC (1997)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

The story tells of a deadly disease devastating New York City’s children and carried by it’s cockroaches. Entomologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) creates The Judas Breed, a new insect, genetically bred to destroy the infected cockroaches, then die-off themselves. The Judas Breed have other ideas and are not only thriving, but are soon growing, evolving and nesting in the city sewers. They are also now preying on humans. Susan, along with her husband, Dr. Peter Mann (Jeremy Northam), who is Deputy Director of the CDC, and reluctant subway cop, Officer Leonard Norton (Charles S. Dutton), find themselves in the fight of their lives, and the lives of everyone in the city, as they enter the catacombs of NYC’s massive subway system to find and destroy the The Judas Breed.

Film is directed by Guillermo del Toro from his script with Matthew Robbins, from the book of the same name by Donald A. Wollheim. It’s a solid, modern day sci-fi/horror, that is not without a nod to the giant bug movies of the 50s. It’s got a good story, a top notch cast, some good gore, excellent creature FX and there is enough carnage and action to satisfy the average monster/giant bug movie fan. The attack scenes are intense and suspenseful and Del Toro gives his creatures a nice air of mystery, till he’s ready to reveal them. When he does, they are menacing, vicious and have a character about them. He creates a lot of mystery and atmosphere and his visual style is gorgeous as usual. His visual eye makes good use of the underground subway system setting. The cinematography by Dan Laustsen is both colorful and filled with atmospheric shadows and the score by Marco Beltrami is very effective.

As said, there is a good cast here. Sorvino is a strong heroine as Susan. She has a hard time convincing the authorities of what she’s discovered and goes to investigate herself with only Peter on her side. Jeremy Northam is solid as Peter. He’s more concerned with having a baby than investigating Susan’s claims, at first, but comes to believe Susan is on to something. Charles S. Dutton is also really good as Officer Norton, a tough guy who is reluctantly dragged along on the giant bug hunt. The film also has a good supporting cast with Giancarlo Giannini as a shoe shiner whose autistic son (Alexander Goodwin) has an interest in the creatures, Josh Brolin, F. Murray Abraham, and, in a small role, Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, as a department of sanitation employee who finds something very interesting in the garbage.

I’ve always liked monster movies and am a huge fan of Guillermo Del Toro, so it’s no surprise I champion his giant bug movie set in the sewers of NYC. I really do believe this is a good and very underrated monster movie that doesn’t get enough love. A director’s cut is now available on blu-ray, as Del Toro was unhappy with studio tinkering on the original release. It expands the story of Sorvino’s Entomologist and her husband, Peter as they try to have a baby, basically adding a bit more of a human element to already likable characters. Those looking for more creature stuff in the director’s cut will be sadly disappointed. A really good monster flick that doesn’t get the respect it deserves and was sadly a box office disappointment upon release in 1997.

-MonsterZero NJ

 Rated 3 and 1/2 (out of 4) Judas Breed Bugs!
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HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO WITH THE FILMS OF GUILLERMO DEL TORO!

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HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO WITH THE FILMS OF GUILLERMO DEL TORO!

What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with the films directed or produced by celebrated Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro! Some are horror, some are fantasy and some are very comic book! Something for everyone to go with your burritos and tacos and margaritas!

(Click on the titles below the movie poster gallery to get to our reviews of the films covered here at the Movie Madhouse!)

1. Cronos

2. The Devil’s Backbone

3. Mimic

4. Blade II

5. Hellboy

6. Pan’s Labyrinth

7. Hellboy II

8. Pacific Rim

9. Crimson Peak

10. The Orphanage

-MonsterZero NJ

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S SATURDAY NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE: OUTLANDER and MIMIC

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Outlanderpostersecond-featureMimic

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Outlanderposter

OUTLANDER (2009)

A very pleasant surprise as sci-fi/action flick is not only fun and entertaining, but creates strong likable characters and a good sense of drama. Outlander tells the tale of an alien warrior, Kainan (the underrated Jim Caviezel) whose ship is downed on Earth during the time of the Vikings by the same creature that murdered his family. While in pursuit of the beast, he is captured by a village run by kindly King Hrothgar (John Hurt) and his lovely daughter, Freya (Sophia Myles). But the monster, called a Moorwen, sets it’s sites on Hrothgar’s village and has already destroyed the neighboring village run by King Gunnar (Ron Perlman) who places the blame on Hrothgar. Now Kainan must somehow convince these rival warriors and their people of what is really responsible and that there is a monster, unlike they have ever seen before, that has chosen them as it’s new food supply…and more importantly, that they must unite and fight with him or die.

Outlander is a very entertaining movie that blends genres well and is not only helped by it’s good cast, but by also presenting a cool creature that is not only dangerous, but a bit sympathetic too, once we find out the whole story behind how it came to be there. The production value is strong, the visual style makes good use of the Novia Scotia and Newfoundland locations and most of the FX are top notch, thought there are a few instances where the CGI is weak. The action sequences are well staged and there is plenty of blood and gore to go along with the mayhem. A very entertaining, suspenseful and sadly overlooked genre flick from writer/director Howard McCain.

MonsterZero Nj trivia: Originally Karl Urban was sought to play Kainan but, the role went to Caviezel.

3 and 1/2 Moorwens

outlander rating

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Mimic

MIMIC (1997)

I’ve always liked monster movies and am a huge fan of Guillermo Del Toro, so it’s no surprise I champion his giant bug movie set in the sewers of NYC. But I really do believe this is a good and very underrated monster movie. The story tells of a deadly disease devastating the city’s children and carried by it’s cockroaches. Entomologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) creates The Judas Breed, a new insect bred to destroy the infected cockroaches then die-off themselves. But the Judas Breed have other ideas and are soon lurking and growing in the city sewers and are now preying on humans. Susan, along with her husband, NY health department employee, Peter (Jeremy Northam) and a reluctant subway cop, Leonard (Charles S. Dutton) find themselves in the fight of their lives, and the lives of everyone in the city, as an expedition into the depths of the subway system gets them trapped in the monster insects’ nest.

I really enjoy this sci-fi/horror as it’s got a good story, has a top notch cast, the creature FX are really good and there is enough carnage and action to satisfy the average monster/giant bug movie fan. The attack scenes are intense and suspenseful and Del Toro gives his creatures a nice air of mystery till he’s ready to reveal them and when he does, they are menacing and have a character about them. He creates a lot of mystery and atmosphere and his visual style is gorgeous as usual. There is now available a director’s cut as Del Toro was unhappy with studio tinkering on the original release. It expands the story of Sorvino’s Entomologist and her husband, Peter as they try to have a baby, basically adding a bit more of a human element to already likable characters. But those looking for more creature stuff will be sadly disappointed. Film also stars Josh Brolin, F. Murray Abraham and in a small role, Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus.

 3 and 1/2 Judas Breed Bugs!
mimic rating

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