Saturday, October 24, 2015

Horror Reviews #21-23: Mimic, Mimic 2, Mimic 3

Friday night triple feature!  Can I pull it off?  Can I, in one fell swoop, catch up on all the reviews I am behind?  Probably not!  But I'm going for it!  Plus, I don't think I've ever reviewed the Mimic series before, which sucks, because the movie are actually pretty good.  Mimic (1997) starts the series off with Mira Sorvino in the lead role, then Mimic 2 (2001) follows it up with, well, mostly a cast of unknowns (as far as I can tell) and Mimic 3: Sentinel (2003) finishes off the series with Lance Henriksen, Amanda Plummer and Alexis Dziena!  Let's start with the first and work our way up!

Mimic (1997) kicks off the series with, of course, the origin story.  A plague is making the children of New York City terribly ill, so ill that the lucky ones are probably the ones who die.  No cure can be found, no means of prevention will work.  If the virus has one weakness, it lies with the host.  Cockroaches.  But how do you eradicate an entire city's worth of cockroaches, when just killing one of them can be difficult?  Enter Dr. Susan Tyler, entomologist extraordinaire.  The Indiana Jones of the bug world, Dr. Tyler bio-engineers a strain of insect she calls the 'Judas breed.'  Designed solely to attract roaches and inseminate them with a viral exterminator, the Judas Breed accomplishes its task, and the children of the city are saved.  Not unaware of the dangers of toying with mother nature, Dr. Tyler even ensures the Judas Breed is sterile, so that it cannot replicate itself.  Once it has killed all the roaches, the Judas Bug will naturally die out.  Fast forward three years later, and Dr. Tyler, the hero of the city, finds out the Judas Breed is still around.  Somehow, it has not only survived, but it is thriving...

Mimic 2 (2001) continues the tale, picking up with Remy, Dr. Tyler's colleague from the first movie.  Remy is teaching in the city now, but all her ex-boyfriends seem to be disappearing, or ending up dead.  Enter the police in the form of Detective Klaski, who is beginning to think Remy is a psycho serial killer.  The only reason Klaski hasn't arrested Remy yet is because he can't figure out how a 112-pound schoolteacher could toss the 200+ pound body of her ex-stalker over a lamppost.  Turns out it isn't Remy doing all the killing, but the last surviving fertile male of the Judas Breed, who has somehow selected Remy to be his procreative mate.  Can Remy use her scientific knowledge of the Judas Breed to save herself and her students?

Mimic 3: Sentinel (2003) focuses on one of the sick kids who had 'Strickler's Syndrome' (the disease that was borne by the cockroaches in the first movie).  Now an adult, Marvin spends most of his time in his room in his family's apartment, taking surreptitious photos of his neighbors.  Marvin's hobby turns up a few interesting tidbits about his neighbors, such as the fact that Marvin's sister is close friends with her drug dealer, and one of the children across the alley has disappeared.  Marvin isn't in much of a position to help any of his neighbors as they start to run into trouble, and the policeman he calls for help, ends up being more interested in Marvin's mother than investigating Marvin's story.  Can Marvin and his drug-addled sister figure out what is going on, before it's too late?

I'm honestly surprised they haven't made another Mimic movie.  Granted, the third movie probably didn't make much money, but it's basically a movie series about killer cockroaches growing to human size and mimicking our appearance so they can kill us easier.  Seems like a fairly original concept, if barred from true greatness by longer running times and ample female nudity.  Or at least, that's what I would do to improve the movies, anyway.  And honestly, wouldn't that just make every movie better?  I think so.

Acting is pretty decent, special effects are well used for what little screen time they actually get, and there's a token gunfight and explosion sequence in pretty much every movie.  Charles S. Dutton, F. Murray Abraham and Giancarlo Giannini round out the cast in the first movie with Mira Sorvino as Dr. Tyler.  In the third movie, Lance Henriksen and John Kapelos show up to support Alexis Dziena, Karl geary and Amanda Plummer.  I don't really know anybody in the second movie, but, uh...  It passed an hour and a half without making my eyes bleed?  I'm not sure what else to tell you.

All three movies are basically the same formula, but not to say the movies are formulaic.  Each movie picks up the tale of a normal man or woman who has some inside knowledge about the Mimics being tasked with stopping them from spreading.  I like that none of the heroes or heroines are particularly hardy, in fact, the male lead in the third film spends most of the movie sucking oxygen out of a mobile tank.  In every case, the mimics begin the attack before the main characters even have any idea what's going on, and the action sequences that follow aren't even about the leads trying to play catch-up, but just trying to live through the night.  Which, is why I refer to them as action-horror.

All three movies are on netflix if you want to watch them.  Each of the movies are worth a viewing on their own merits, but taken as a whole, you get a good sense of what the Mimics are trying to accomplish and how feeble our efforts to stop them actually are.  Plus, Mira Sorvino and Alexis Dziena are actually quite easy on the eyes, and even the mousy-looking teacher from the second movie strips down to her bra and panties in an effort to foil the Mimics keen sense of smell.  Yea, I know, I don't get out much.  Your point?

That's all for tonight.  Caught up for now.  As long as I don't fall behind again, only 8 more movies to go for 2015's horror movie review-a-thon!  :-D

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