As anyone who follows this blog knows, I'm a huge fan of monster art. In particular, I'm an avid collector of various mediums (books, magazines, toys, and scale miniatures) that provide accurate and detailed representations of certain movie monster designs that I consider to be art. Such designs would include the mechanical shark from Jaws, the biomechanical parasites from Alien, the submersible monster suit from The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the various stop-motion puppets that Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen used throughout their respective careers in movie special effects. Such an interest becomes an exercise in frustration when I find a movie monster design that I like but I cannot find any pictures or miniatures that provide me with a clear look at the design. Case in point: the Judas Breed insects, the giant GMOs from Guillermo del Toro's Mimic (1997) and its two sequels.
As demonstrated in the behind-the-scenes featurettes that were provided in the recent Blu-ray release of the Mimic director's cut, del Toro and his Mimic crew put a lot of work into the Judas Breed, both in terms of their fictional biology and the effects that were used to bring the creatures to life. Unfortunately, even the high-resolution images provided in the Blu-ray release didn't provide any clear pictures of what a Judas Breed insect looks like in its entirety. On the other hand, the only pictures I can find of the Judas Breed online are either incomplete or murky.
Thankfully, I have just found someone online who not only has a mutual interest in the Judas Breed design, but also has the talent to produce detailed pictures of what del Toro's carnivorous and camouflage-capable critters look like, both in the original movie and in the sequels. The Mexican artist in question goes under the screen name of BlackCoatl, and he added his Judas Breed pictures to his account on the deviantART site a few months ago. Click below to see BlackCoatl's beautiful renderings of the different Judas Breed designs, as well as some additional thoughts about the designs and their changes in the sequels.
The first picture below is of an adult Judas Breed female as it was seen in Mimic. Not only is this an accurate depiction of the creature's complete design, but it is also reminiscent of the scene in the movie when Dr. Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) has her first encounter with the mutated, human-sized version of her creation in a subway station in New York. If you take a close look at the creature's thorax, you will see where the creature's "lungs" are located that provide enough oxygen to sustain its larger size.
The second picture is of a wingless adult male as it was seen Mimic. You can see the females in the background assuming their mimicry of humans through a rearrangement of their wings and limbs; because the male lacks wings, he cannot mimic the appearance of humans at all. The lighter color of the male is a holdover detail from one of the earlier screenplay drafts, which featured a much different ending from the final cut.
The third picture is of the lone winged adult male from Mimic 2 (2001). This same design was used again in Mimic 3 (2003). While each Mimic film utilized CGI effects and life-sized puppets for the Judas Breed, the sequels also used actors in costume for tight, close-up shots. Because the sequels were produced on a much lower budget than the first film, I'm assuming that it was cheaper in some scenes to put an actor into a Judas Breed costume than to build a highly-detailed animatronic puppet. To better accommodate the actors in the suits, the Judas Breed was redesigned with a larger thorax, larger eyes, and different mandibles. So far, BlackCoatl has not produced a drawing of the winged male's appearance after his last metamorphosis at the end of Mimic 2.
A photo of a Judas Breed head from Mimic 2
(photo courtesy of the YourProps site).
A Judas Breed insect after its final metamorphosis in Mimic 2.
Click here to see all of BlackCoatl's work on DeviantART, which includes depictions of monsters from other movies such as Gremlins, Hellraiser and Pumpkinhead. The Mimic pictures can be found in the gallery folder named "Mutants", which includes pictures of other insect and arachnid horrors from movies such as Mansquito (2005) and the remakes of The Fly (1986) and Earth vs. the Spider (2001). Click here to read more about del Toro’s creation of the Judas Breed on the Monster Legacy site.