Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Mimic 3 - Sentinel

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: R

Starring:
Alexis Dziena as Rosy
Karl Geary as Marvin
Lance Henriksen as Garbageman
John Kapelos as Gary Dumars
Rebecca Mader as Carmen
Nick Phillips as CDC Worker
Amanda Plummer as Simone
Keith Robinson as Desmond

Special Features:

Behind The Scenes Featurette

Feature Commentary with Director / Writer J.T. Petty

Cast Auditions

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) Ė Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 76 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the third film in the Mimic series.

Marvin lives in an apartment with his mother and sister in the bad part of the city. Afflicted with a rare disease, heís confined to his room all the time. He views the neighborhood around him through his camera. Part voyeur, he takes pictures of all his neighbors and chronicles their private lives.

However, Marvin begins to notice something strange happening. His neighbors begin to disappear and he witnesses several strange events on the street below. Little does he realize that a colony of mutant 7 ft cockroaches lives nearby and they are slowly picking everyone off. Will he learn the truth before itís too late? And what role does one of his mysterious neighbors play in this horror story?

Mimic: Sentinel is rated R for violence and language.

The Movie:
I didnít see either of the previous two Mimic movies, so I was curious to see if this one could stand on its own. Fortunately, it does. You donít have to know much about the previous films to be able to follow this one. It is, essentially, Rear Window with 7 ft cockroaches. Writer / director J.T. Petty was given the concept, a meager budget, and then was set loose to make this straight-to-video movie. The final result is a film thatís a bit better than you might otherwise expect. After all, Mimic wasnít exactly a blockbuster, straight-to-video movies are generally garbage, and itís a movie about giant cockroaches. The chips were stacked against it. However, it ends up being mildly entertaining and not the stinker youíd think.

The main character Marvin is analogous to Jimmy Stewartís character in Rear Window. His hobby of voyeurism isnít quite as kinky as Petty could have made it. However, it allows the director to do all sorts of interesting camera shots from the view of Marvinís telephoto lens. You get a distinct sense while watching the movie that J.T. Petty is trying to use his degree from film school to the greatest extent. With a lot of bizarre camera angles, strange visuals, and interesting imagery, it almost feels like the director is trying an experiment in film on Dimensionís budget. Some of what he does works while other parts donít. However, it will be interesting to see what this director does with a bigger budget in the future. He can make a good looking film with little money.

The film is a bit gory for my tastes. If you like seeing animals and children brutally killed, this has what youíre looking for. Lance Henriksen also has one of the bloodiest, most violent deaths Iíve seen on screen in a while (and I just saw Kill Bill). The creature effects do look good, though. They certainly got the most bug for their buck. The CG insects look decent and are well covered by darkness, thus hiding any imperfections. The same goes for the man in the rubber monster suit. The effects arenít as good as in bigger budget films, but theyíre better than your average TV series.

The Extras:
There are a few little extras included on this DVD:

Behind The Scenes Featurette Ė This featurette is hosted by writer / director J.T. Petty. He goes into great detail about how he was brought on board, the directions he was given, and the constraints of working on a limited budget in Romania. Thereís a lot of behind the scenes footage, interviews with the cast, and more. Thereís a bit of joking around with the creature effects crew and we get a look at what itís like to film in Romania. Amusingly, there are wild dogs running around absolutely everywhere and they are the subject of numerous jokes. Overall, Iím impressed with what they accomplished with limited time and money. This featurette is good viewing for anyone aspiring to be a filmmaker. Itís also one of the more entertaining behind-the-scenes featurettes Iíve seen in a while.

Feature Commentary with Director / Writer J.T. Petty Ė Petty provides an interesting commentary. He talks about what he was required to add by the studio and his producers, he discusses more background material on the stories, and trivia about the film. It gives you an even greater sense of what he was able to accomplish with his limited resources. Overall, the commentary is worth going back and listening to.

Cast Auditions Ė This shows the entire cast (except for Henrkisen) auditioning for their roles. Itís interesting to see these young actors and actresses before they got the parts.

The Bottom Line:
If you liked the original Mimic films, you may want to check this out. If youíre a horror fan, it may also be worth picking up. And if you havenít seen the previous films, you donít have to worry. You can follow the story without too much problem. But a majority of the movie is rather slowly paced and when the action starts, the blood really starts flowing. You have been warned!

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