Fan-Written ICHF: The Judas Breed

This ICHF was written by AkityMH, who did not write a bio.

Mimic is the only horror movie that features cockroaches that I am aware of and without digging deep into the internet to find more. I got history with this movie… Back when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old, I went to Hollywood Video and rented it by accident somehow. I wanted to get the movie Gappa, a movie that for some strange, baffling reason I can never guess, my dad refused to let me see Gappa… but somehow, I got to see this. I almost wanna ask my dad about why he hated me seeing the movie Gappa, but I’m sure he wouldn’t even remember if I did over twenty years later.

The plot goes that within the city of New York, New York, the common cockroach had become the unwilling carrier of a disease that has taken hundreds of children’s lives. In fear it will continue and become much worse, a bioengineer by the name of Doctor Tailor goes out of her way to create a genetic hybrid of roach that will interbreed with the local population of roaches and introduce into their genetics an enzyme that will cause their metabolism to run amok and they will eat and starve to death. She names her creation the Judas Breed in reference to the biblical story of Judas betraying Jesus and leading the insects to their doom. 

This works quite well and within years the roaches quickly die out as a result of being unable to eat enough calories to sustain their very lives. Can you guess where this goes? You may, but you may not. Three years later, the mysterious vanishings begin to take place. Street wild animals are in low numbers, too, and Tailor is given an insect that she recognizes to be her own creation, the Judas Breed. One thing leads to another, and it is soon revealed that her creation surpassed its intent. The hybrid species she made was meant to die out after a single generation due to starving to death. This backfires, as roaches are some of the most adaptable insects on the planet. Within three years, the fast metabolism resulted in the species to reproduce faster than normal, and with each generation grew more adapted to their new biology. They become as large as people. That is a terrifying concept alone, but what makes this beyond more scary than “Oh my god, a giant insect!” is the fact these roaches have exploited the single most valuable food source available in a human city.

The people.

The Judas Breed have evolved to mimic human beings at a basic level. Unimaginably, we don’t think much of the strangers around us. People walk by every day while everyone is distracted by their busy lives. What you assume to be a homeless man in a dark cloak in the corner is not what he seems, and this works amazingly well for the roaches who do not concern themselves with being anything more than what may be a shadowy stranger out of the corner of your eye. They even have a modified set of arms that resembles a human face and their wings acting like a heavy coat you may see on someone living under the cold streets of New York City. It messes with you on a psychological level that can disturb most people.

I live in a populated area. I can see the tall bipedal figure between street lights at night and know its a person, but even then I find that uncertainty to cause a strong anxiety. I, and we as people, then make it a habit to assume “it’s just a person, and they are perfectly alright and mean no harm”. Most likely, they won’t even address you as they go on your day.

Now imagine if every now and again, it wasn’t a person. It was something else, lurking, stalking you or someone nearby for its next meal for it and its colony. You never think it may be despite it actually being so, and when you least expect it, a sharp blade-like insect leg skewers you and drags you down to continue rending and butchering you for many long, painful seconds.

This movie is all about that. These creatures adapted to the most open niche in the entire world currently: Human beings. Such a concept is morbidly fascinating to me… A dedicated human predator that eats almost exclusively human beings. Is it not scary? It isn’t that hard or even far from some organisms living today. There are animals that have already adapted quite well to human existence and have before. Cats and dogs, for example, but they are dependent on us in most cases or at least our byproduct, as are horses which are now only alive in any real number due to domestication. It goes further, though. Echinochola is a family of grass that in some places where rice is grown now mimics the rice plants so humans will not pick them and discard them. It’s very convincing. Elephants, thanks to the last hundred or so years of poaching, have only allowed the elephants that grow no tusks at all, resulting in no poaching, and axolotles may have a future only in the pet trade with humans that breed them.

It isn’t a far stretch at all. Scary, right? So unnerving that it makes it ironic and messed up given how we as a race really detest the entire family of roaches regardless of species. As a species, we strive to use the knowledge we learn for good, but it is always and universally lawful to have an equally evil use. In Mimic, humans wanted to destroy pathogen spreading menace, and resulted in the cure surpassing the disease. That is a line from Morbius, but it is a phrase that has been around for some time coined in the 1500’s by a man named Frances Bacon. He feared the use of advancing medical practice and what it may lead to. I feel this concept has been used as a baseline unknowingly by pretty much every Atomic Horror ever, as Atomic Horror represents the powers we discover and then unleash in the attempt to utilize it. Bloodletting was thought to be a good cure for just about anything at the cost of possibly bleeding out. To stop a war, you make better weapons like guns, but then that leads to armor to repel them so they make stronger guns, and eventually to armored vehicals, then bombs, bigger bombs, to atomic bombs which ended the second world war, which spawned Gojira in the 1954 film “Gojira”, which lead to the ultimate take away when we make a weapon even Godzilla could not overcome… What would come after the Oxygen Destroyer?

It’s exactly like that. It just keeps getting worse and worse. Science accelerating forward is fascinating and equally terrifying. Perhaps that is why I and many of us like it? We like being scared a little bit, but also like to make things better. We just run toward it and try to disprove theories in the name of science.

I think I made the point of science run amok, now…

Mimic was relatively successful and went on to spawn two quality productions, but odd and strange movies. The sequel, there is a living male Judas Breed that wishes to reproduce with a human for some strange, odd reason… and the third movie goes back to the concept of the first one of these things just being within a short run’s distance, or even scrunched up in your wall within inches of you if they really want. That one plays more like Critters or Tremors, where the creatures are just outside your barricaded home and seem intent on eating you.

I know there are plenty of people who haven’t watched Mimic, or haven’t seen it in a long time. It’s the spooky season, so maybe pop it in for some good dread.

This entry was posted in Atomic Horror Characters, Creepy Columns, Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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