A disease carried by common cockroaches is killing Manhattan children. In an effort to stop the epidemic an entomologist, Susan Tyler, creates a mutant breed of insect that secretes a fluid to kill the roaches. This mutant breed was engineered to die after one generation, but three years later Susan finds out that the species has survived and evolved into a large, gruesome monster that can mimic human form.
The film was originally planned as a single 30 minute short to go with a anthology film put out by miramax. It was to include Danny Boyle’s Short ALIEN LOVE TRIANGLE and Gary Felder’s IMPOSTER which was also made into a feature length film.
I remember seeing this film in the $2 dollar theater on 50th street with my dad. He never usually goes to horror films. Comedies and dramas are more his style. Our ritual on Sundays was to see movies. He took me to my first horror movie in theaters PET SEMMETARY 2 and I was hooked after that. As I got older we started going tot eh discount theater on a regular basis. As a bonding experience. I had wanted to see it as the visuals looked sharp in the previews. Though reading the plot I knew I could really wait for the film. Even though Mira Sorovino was in it. Who I was a huge fan of at the time.
The film manages to be creepy, disgusting and scary which was really affecting as this was my first Guillermo Del Toro and though he tried to take his name off of it. It is obviously his style. The film builds up an ambiance and sets a tone throughout the film. Even though set in a slight futuristic new York the film feels otherworldly and futuristic.
The film is well made more Sci-Fi flavored though immersed in horror clichés of being chased around in the dark by monsters.
I was shocked the film actually killed off children violently in the middle of the film which impressed me as a bold movement.
Giancarlo Giannini Strangely cast great to get a classic actor like him but seem more grandfatherly then fatherly and goes after beasts with only a blade seems a bit far fetched even for a humble shoeshine man. That’s not the only time the film felt a little ridiculous also the nature of mimicking sounds of shoes with spoons which helps later feels really unnecessary and stupid. Though I will say the story is original.
His casting adds to the eclectic cast of the film. Though horror usually is more of a unknown or character actor genre. Luckily the film had no real big stars.
The film was a modest hit though definitely different a flawed masterpiece. Nothing to be embarrassed about which del toro was for awhile.
One Scenes where Mira Sorovino and Jeremy Northam walking in the ward with the sick kids ling in there beds was directed by a producer on the film Ole Bornedal Director of the film NIGHTWATCH
One of the most memorable scenes in the film was Charles S. Dutton running from the creatures which was funny because it rang true for a character in a horror film which is rarely ever in one. Then it disparages the credit it earns with that by having a character a minority one self sacrifice themselves filling out another cliché of films. Then turns the situation on it’s head by having the character survive.
Obvious studio interference, Last minute casting changes First Andre Braugher as Sorovino’s Husband then tried casting John Turturro as her husband which with either might have brought a new dimension to the characters and situations, but Dimension wanted a more appropriate relationship.
Del Toro disowned the film after constant clashes with Bob Weinstein. Who would frequently visit the set and make unreasonable demands about what would be shot. Deviating away from the script. Since Then he has never worked with the Weinstein brothers.
not a good experience For Del Toro but he still managed to make a good film