“Mimi”, prince of darkness, De Sica III

Brando proves that he is not Vittorio’s nephew and Christian’s son. It will be interesting to see him in other genres.

Mimi, Prince of Darkness is Brando De Sica’s first feature film, with the exception of some of the works made with his father, Christian De Sica. Yes, father: in the short biography on the festival website there is no relative, no Christian, no grandfather Vittorio, no mother, producer Silvia Verdone, no uncle Carlo Verdone. It is understandable that some prefer to include experiments with Pupi Avati and Matteo Garrone, but it is also understandable that a humble reviewer enters the room wondering if Brando De Sica will turn out to be more of a Christian son or Vittorio’s nephew. (The modest reviewer, who also saw Monica Bellucci’s daughter in ‘La bella Estate’ at the Festival, also asks himself a few questions about Italian cinema and “sons”, but that’s another matter).

As the title suggests, we’re dealing with horror – a genre that seems particularly dear to artistic director Gione Nazzaro – set in Naples. Mimi in the title, played by the talented Domenico Cuomo, is a freak: because of his deformed legs, his family threw him into an orphanage for nuns, which will no longer exist, but will become one of the many homages to the classic – where he remained until the producer Pizza Nando didn’t greet him and didn’t teach him the craft. He and Giusi, a transgender woman who acts as his mother, are Mimi’s new family, her refuge from the torment of local bullies, specifically Bastianello, the son of a dying local boss.

Mimi meets Carmila, the young and talented Sara Chokka, a runaway girl convinced that she is a descendant of Vlad Dracula, the real Count Dracula: an intense and deep relationship begins between them, built on the figure of a vampire. During an initiation ritual at the grave of Vlad Dracul, whose body may indeed have been transported to Naples by his daughter Maria Balsa, Bastianello kidnaps Carmila and sends Mimi into a coma. When he wakes up, almost two months later, the boy is convinced he has become a vampire, he takes revenge and searches for Carmila, who has meanwhile returned to live with her family. He finds it again, and here begins a very interesting, albeit not entirely convincing, ending.


Mimi, Prince of Darkness continues the classic horror movie themes but develops them in an interesting and original way. Mimi is not a simple oppressed who, having received more or less supernatural powers, takes revenge, but a complex character who seeks above all that love and acceptance that only his supposed parents seem to be able to give him. And when he realizes that this is impossible, he seeks the space that really belongs to him, and not revenge. “Mimi never hurt anyone, but throughout his life he was raped by a world that never accepted him, never accepted his identity, never accepted his love,” protagonist Domenico Cuomo explained after the first show, declaring himself for honor “represent that part of the minorities who are always persecuted by other people who claim their right to rape other people.”

The film moves on different levels and Brando De Sica has succeeded in the difficult task of keeping the balance between the various components, showing that he is not Vittorio’s nephew and Christian’s son, but simply Brando, a director who will be interesting to see how he struggles with other film genres. . Because to support his work in Mimi, Prince of Darkness, there is a great passion for the horror genre, unexpectedly inherited from his father and grandfather, who, he told the public, loved the genre. So Brando grew up watching horror movies, including William Friedkin’s recently deceased The Exorcist, which he saw at age 8 and gave him weeks of sleepless nights. But among the sources of inspiration, we can also mention Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci, Romero and Hammer’s films. Masters of horror that Mimi, Prince of Darkness pays constant tribute to: for those who love the genre and aren’t afraid of on-screen gore, this film deserves to be seen.

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