Monday, June 09, 2008

The "Mimic" Trilogy

At Tim Mitchell takes an in-depth look at the Mimic trilogy (Mimic, Mimic 2: Hardshell, and Mimic 3: Sentinel) in the context of other movies about "big bugs".
It’s tempting to dismiss the “Mimic” films as just updated versions of the Big Bug genre that was popular several decades before, with “genetic tampering” replacing “atomic radiation” as the public phobia du jour.[2] However, a significant difference between the “Mimic” films and their predecessors and counterparts is the location of the monsters’ origin. Where most Big Bug movies feature the monsters originating in some remote location (a desert, a cave, even the arctic) and then later posing a threat to a large human population, the “Mimic” monsters are purely creatures of the city: it is where they were created, evolved and reside.
[. . .]
In fact, the cockroach-spread Strickler’s Disease in the “Mimic” movies is sort of an exaggerated nightmare of research findings that indicate how cockroach allergens contribute to the increase in asthma cases in urban areas. The internalization of ecological concerns into urban settings is symbolized in the Judas Breed’s appearance. Most other Big Bugs are just a species of insect or arachnid made large, either the size of a car or bigger; once these monsters are found by the protagonists, they are hard to miss. In contrast, the Judas Breed can walk among us unnoticed — in dark subway stations, alleys, and slums — due to their human-mimicking ability.

The monstrous Judas Breed - a sort of giant cockroach - reflects modern wariness of biotechnology, including genetic modification, environmental politics, anti-vaccination paranoia and displacement of wildlife in urbanized areas.
While the “Mimic” movies are very inaccurate in their portrayal of how scientific research actually works and what insects are capable of doing in terms of their biology, they nevertheless provide opportunities to examine the larger implications on humanity’s relationship with corrupted scientific research and its results.
Go read the whole article.


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