Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

A good number of us are fairly familiar with the dreaded Strickland disease and how it was straight up killing kids back in the imaginary day, until a couple of very irresponsible scientist made a new bug to kill the cockroach bug that was causing this awful disease. Unfortunately this new bug known by all as The Judas Breed ended up developing a set of lungs which made it grow the size of Magic Johnson and gave it an insatiable taste for human meat. That is until Charles S. Dutton sacrificed his life so that the world could live. A few years later we had a somewhat lackluster Direct to Video sequel to that movie ‘Mimic’, aptly titled ‘Mimic 2’ which was part monster movie, and part ‘Fatal Attraction’. Today we’re going to take a gander at the second Straight to DVD sequel to that original movie ‘Mimic: Sentinel’ which as it turns out is ‘Rear Window’ meets ‘The Boy in the Plastic Bubble’ meets monsters. Oddly enough it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.

Apparently the children that managed to survive Strickland’s back in the day have done so with some difficulty as we meet the adult Marvin (Karl Geary) who lives in a relatively sterile environment in his mother’s apartment, armed with an inhaler and plenty of fresh canisters of oxygen. Marvin spends his days looking out at the world through his fancy 35mm camera, peering in his neighbors apartment homes and snapping pictures of the action in the streets below. Marvin’s borderline junkie younger sister Rosy (Alex Dziena) loves her brother, fetches him fresh film and gets his pictures developed for him while they both observe the patchwork photo mural that Marvin has created on one of his walls.

One of Marvin’s photo subjects is Carmen (Rebecca Mader), the lovely redhead across the way who Rosy has taken it upon herself to hook up with her sickly brother. Soon the three of them notice some strange things going on in the neighborhood such as people turning up missing, with Marvin unwittingly photographing the non-human

assailant. They really know that something’s up when they partially witness Rosy’s dealer / boyfriend get completely murderized by something, but alas no one listens to these kids because one’s a junkie and one’s a paranoid freak who constantly call the cops about the phantoms he’s seen. The only man who knows the truth is the mysterious man Marvin has observed known as The Garbageman (Lance Henriksen) who is hiding all kinds of secrets. I wish like hell I knew what those secrets were. All we really know is that the Judas Breed has returned, smarter than ever, more deadly than ever and have laid a claim to the world above as their personal hunting ground.

I’m a bit perplexed about this movie ‘Mimic: Sentinel’. Written and directed by J.T. Petty, as there are some really good elements to the film. It seems to me that the man was given the bare minimum of loot to work with on this movie, with the bulk of the money probably going to keep Lance Henricksen’s trailer warm, so he had to best think of ways to tell a story with a minimum of sets, movements, and star power, and on a few levels I think that Petty was able to succeed in doing this. The atmosphere was good, the action when there was action was brisk, rapid and violently bloody, and whatever flaws our Judas Breed villains may have had in their construction, he was able to hide them quite effectively through the clever use of lighting, while still giving them enough of a look to make them still appear plenty menacing. These are good things.

Now the thing that cost the least amount of money is telling a decent story. Running around a scant and lean 75 or so minutes, ‘Mimic: Sentinel’ has a story that is sketchy as hell. This movie relies heavily on you having seen the first movie since this movie rests on that movie for all of its back story without really filling you in too much on what that back story is. Then we’re introduced to the Lance Henriksen character who represents the narrative lynch pin of this movie, but heaven only knows what he's doing here in this movie and why he’s doing what he’s doing. It’s almost totally open ended, as if the director was saying ‘make up your own story. I ain’t got the time’. And even though the movie was short, there were more than enough slow spots and fade to blacks inserted in this thing that a bit of exposition could’ve been inserted in here and there to clear a few things up for the viewing audience. You don’t have to lay it all out for me, but how about just a little something?

The potential was there for ‘Mimic: Sentinel’ to rise above its humble straight to DVD origins with it’s slick look, bloody action scenes and vicious monsters, though everyone knows we here at the FCU have nothing but mad love for the Straight to DVD genre. Alas it’s doesn’t have nearly enough story support its flash and quite honestly without a story you really don’t have much of anything.

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