Here you go, the MIMIC, in what we call its' "attack mode". As you can see, it has retracted its' human visage-like "face claws" and they lie close to the chest, protecting the lungs. It locomotes with its' four lower legs, has a wasp-like abdomen, and mantis-like switchblade claws, which when folded up mimic a humans' arm somewhat.

It stood 6 1/2 feet tall normally, or over 7 feet when it realy straightened out It's a big damn puppet!

The head is polyester resin and fiberglass, with cast-resin mandibles. All mandible movements are radio-controlled, while the head and neck movements were cable-controlled.The neck is plasticized silicone, and given body by nylon rings. The torso, carapace, forearms, main claws, and pelvis are fiberglass and polyster resin, all other limbs and wings are vacuformed. The arms and legs are all rod operated, with the "switchblade" operation of the main claws via cable control.

Dental dam, nylons, and silicone form the "gaskets" between the exoskeletal joints. Lead Painter Tom Killeen took his cues from nature, brilliantly and intelligently duplicating the patterns, colors and hues of real cockroaches.

A post came out of it's back to enable us to puppeteer the torso at a flexible point above the pelvis, and the pelvis had a very cool spud system so that we could mount it from below, in back, or etiher side. The spud then got held in a boom/dolly, which enabled us to raise, lower, swing, and truck the whole insect puppet along.

While not every bit needed to be controlled for every shot, we could some times get by with only 4 puppeteers, other time needing as many as eleven. The scene where they are outside of the switchhose window, and then turn to react to Charles Duttons' character singing, was the most difficult and puppeteer-populated (26!) shots we did.


In fact, with our team of puppeteers always wearing black, always wearing tool belts and lugging well-supplied set carts, and operating with grim professionalism while splitting between two shooting units, production tired of keeping track of each of us and just out us down on the call sheets as "Lazzarini Army"

Wanna see his face even closer? Click here.

Forget that! I wanna check out more MIMIC stuff on the image map!


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