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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Has some cool moments

Author: Tikkin from United Kingdom
1 September 2006

When I started watching this I thought it was going to be really boring and didn't pay much attention to what was going on. However, it seems that The Runestone is one of those films that improves as it goes on, because things seemed to pick up in the second half. The mystery surrounding the monster slowly sucks you in. The best scene is in the art museum, where a girl is doing some ironing (in a display box thingy) and people are watching her. Suddenly the monster bursts in and attacks her, and blood sprays across the windows. One of the people watching then says: "What's the artist trying to say?" to which another replies "Housework kills". The monster then bursts through the glass and attacks them too. This scene is priceless and definitely worth seeing the film for! There are a few other cool scenes after this which keep you watching. The acting is quite decent and better than most horror flicks.

Overall, The Runestone is worth a watch for horror fans who can tolerate a bit of cheese.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A Fun and Witty Monster/Myth Production

Author: teuthis ( from Columbus, Georgia
8 November 2002

I must comment on this film. It's one of my favorites. It superbly blends Norse mythology and imaginative writing to deliver a gripping, suspenseful tale. The script is witty and fast-paced. The Runestone is actually somewhat of an intelligent film. Sure, this is a lower budget project; but the director spent his money well. He put considerable effort into developing the characters. The monster is truly frightening. The production values are excellent. Some of the scenes possess a surreal quality that I really enjoy. The cast is certainly up to the task. Joan Severence gives an compelling, vivacious performance. In fact, everyone in the film is entertaining. The melding of the New York avant garde art world with Norse archaeology in various scenes is one of the elements that let this film enthrall the viewer. Its a fun ride to just sit back and enjoy the ambience and imagination of it all.

I consider "The Runestone" one of the top films in the monster genre. I think that once you see it you will too.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A hugely enjoyable monster-on-the-loose horror romp

Author: Woodyanders ( from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
17 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One part end-of-the-world thriller, two parts werewolf-like nocturnal beast on the rampage horror picture, and all parts quick-moving, animated, get right down to business butt-stomping fun, this hugely enjoyable romp makes for a most pleasant surprise. An ancient rhunestone that's the prison for a centuries old clawed, fanged, highly lethal lupine humanoid monster gets unearthed in a Pennsylvannia coal mine. When the gigantic rock is sent to New York City so it can be displayed in an art gallery, naturally our hairy, hulking, none too friendly or sociable whatchamathingie wakes up from its lengthy slumber and boy is he one grumpy SOB! Pretty soon it's racking up a hefty corpse tally as a gruesome preliminary to a possible apocalypse said beast is a harbinger of. Of course, your usual colorfully mixed bag of courageous protagonists -- skeptical artist Joan Severance, her hunky boyfriend Tim Ryan, plucky teen Chris Young, and eccentric clockmaker Alexander Godunov -- have to stop this vicious critter or it's curtains for us all, baby!

Besides the inspired and imaginative handy dandy multi-genre combo narrative which scores bonus novelty points for making Armageddon part of a Nordic prophecy rather than the standard hackneyed Christian religious hooey, this surprisingly well-produced and energetically executed little number further benefits from William Carroll's brisk, capable direction, a steady, unflagging forward-ho pace, David Newman's rousing score, some nice witty touches, a cool monster, handsome photography, several lively kill scenes, and a properly spooky atmosphere that positively reeks with ominous portent. The performances are uniformly stellar as well, with Peter Riegert giving a wonderfully rough-edged portrayal of a coarse, irascible, candy-noshing homicide detective and delightfully crusty cameos by Lawrence Tierney as a gruff police chief, William Hickey as a flaky elderly mythology expert, and Arthur Malet as an amiably yappy fuddy dud museum curator. Dynamic, thrilling and refreshingly bereft of any needless pretense or condescending campy humor, this vastly entertaining and charmingly old-fashioned fright film overall rates as one completely worthwhile and satisfying bloodthirsty behemoth on the loose in the Big Apple horror blast.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An average fare.

Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
19 June 2001

The miners discover strange runestone in the mine.The runestone is transported to New York.Not long after that an archaeologist Martin Almquist,while studying a discovery,cuts his finger and becomes a blood-thirsty monster.This creature-on-the-loose flick isn't very good,but isn't completely bad either.The film tries to be scary and exciting at the same time,some lines are also pretty funny.No gore at all-for me the lack of blood is disappointing.The acting is acceptable,the monster is creepy looking and kills so many cops that it has to be seen to be believed.Good for the rainy day,just don't expect anything special.My rating:5/10.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Short and sweet?

Author: Vincent-23 from idaho
21 January 1999

This one is a perfect example of 80's cinema squirming its way into 90's cinema. The story involves an architect whose unrequited love signs him a pact with the Norse demon Fenrir, who takes control of his body. Werewolfish Fenrir can only be destroyed by a Christopher Lambert-esque clock maker and a well-read teenage boy. David Newman's (Heathers, Frankenweenie) melodramatic score makes this movie stand up a notch above the rest. This one is a winner for fans of movies like Warlock and Bad Moon.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I suppose I'll have to read the novel

Author: kefkajr ( from Austin, TX
14 June 2002

This has all the necessary elements of a good campy horror film but it stumbles and is at times confusing. But is does provide entertainment and the finale is quite exciting. Not all that bad. Could have been more polished though.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Note: Bullets don't work on Fenrir

Author: Machiavelli84 from United States
23 January 2015

You know those movies with a cool idea and set up that should have been a lot better? This movie is one of them.

A mysterious runestone is discovered in Pennsylvania and taken to the city, where it turns out to have housed the Norse wolf Fenrir. Fenrir escapes and goes on a killing spree. It turns out that the ancient Viking explorers who arrived to America left Fenrir off inside the runestone (thanks, Nords!) and now that he's been unleashed, he's set to begin Ragnarok (aka, Nordic doomsday).

Again, it's a cool premise, and with an awesome soundtrack, decent acting, and capable directing, this film has promise. Unfortunately, the movie gets dumb, and it gets dumb quick. For one, I'd like to know how Fenrir intends to destroy the world when he seems to mostly just do random killing on the street (I've read a little on Ragnarok, and Fenrir's role is a LITTLE MORE involved than just going around killing thugs and homeless guys. Furthermore, it is established early that guns don't work on Fenrir. One character, a police detective, even figures this out from firsthand experience. Despite this, people seem to continually think that a bunch of guys armed with guns are able to fight Fenrir off. Nobody seems to stop and think, "Hey! Wait a minute! Guns don't work! Maybe we should look for SOMETHING ELSE to fight this beast with!" As a result, a lot of policemen needlessly die (and of course, nobody in the city or press ask why half the police force just went bye bye). It's a personal pet peeve of mine when characters don't seem to adjust accordingly, like any sane rational person would. Remember the "Prince of Space" episode of MST3K where Crow shouts to the characters, "YOUR WEAPONS HAVE NO AFFECT ON HIM!" That's how I felt near the end of this movie. I have to also admit that the monster design is a bit disappointing. No, I'm not bummed it wasn't CG. The monster suit itself is actually pretty impressive...however, I just feel like a powerful Nordic spirit would look a little different than a glorified werewolf.

There are also some unintentionally funny moments. For example, when the character of Martin attacks a girl, another character says, "Martin! What the h--- are you doing?!" to which Martin replies, "Martin is doing THIS!" and punches him. Then there's another scene where Fenrir puts on a police cap and kills a policeman while wearing it. Really?! The film lost all seriousness for me at that point. I seriously expected Abbot and Costello to appear on the scene after that.

Like I said before, the film had amazing potential. It started out really well for the first forty-five minutes or so, but then it starts to go downhill quick. There is plenty to commend this film for, but in the end it just doesn't work out.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

"Every dogma must have its day."

Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.
9 October 2011

Just another monster on the loose feature, no surprises abound and routine as ever but remains entertaining for while it lasted. Never have I heard of it, until just recently. You could possibly see why. Far from memorable, but it's well made and its stark-like b-grade material (adapted off a novel) is quite polished. Fans of "The Relic" or even "Rawhead Rex" might get something out of it. Where I give it props is the origin of the mythological beast, Norse (Viking) folklore and the creation was something like a werewolf crossed ape design. Formidable in appearance, while it goes about tearing flesh, taking bites and for most part staying in the shadows. Even with this ancient prophecy background, some things felt a little unclear (like that of Alexander Godunov's mysterious stranger clockmaker character) if too black and white. The plot follows that of an archaeologist who uncovers an ancient Norse artifact; a power stone and returns to New York with it. However this stone possesses an evil which projects itself into the archaeologist, transforming him into a vicious beast that goes about terrorising the people of New York. Now it's up to an archaeologist and his artist wife to begin to investigate the threat and figure a way to stop it. It's as simple as that, but director / writer Willard Carroll's methodical handling is stylishly glassy and well-paced in its clichéd structure. Creating some moments of suspense, with grisly jolts and dark atmospheric encounters consisting of brooding lighting amongst its urban framework. The performances are strongly delivered with the likes of Peter Riegert (providing touches of humour) and Joan Severance standing out. You also have character actor William Hickey and the always hard-boiled Lawrence Tierney in small, but important parts.

"I'm sure there's a logical explanation to all of this"

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Fun stuff

Author: mwold from Seattle
17 November 2004

OK - I had to throw in my two cents after I read a reviewer professing The Relic to be a BETTER film?! What! Firstly - The Relic sucked. Period. No scares, no thrills, no suspense, totally ridiculous, horrible direction. It was one of the horror movies you go to opening night amongst a packed theater and afterwards everyone just kinds of sighs "man that was anti-climatic". The Relic on the other hand is a good little monster movie, and it's certainly compelling and hold's interest. It had a nice thick atmosphere and a good build - some good scares and laughs. This is a good Saturday night at home w/popcorn, soda, and wine, kind of movie.

Check it out!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Willard Carroll's The Runestone

Author: Charles Tatum from North Dakota
14 June 2002

The Vikings discovered America, but not to start a mediocre NFL team, no, they had to bury a giant rock half a mile under modern day Pennsylvania. The rock held a Norse demon who can only be released when the stone is dug up...and guess what archaeologist Mitchell Laurance does? Laurance calls his former love Joan Severance, who brings her new hubby Tim Ryan, and everyone has a gander at the giant runestone, which resembles a big candy bar with strange etchings in it. Before you can say "uff-da," Laurance is possessed by the creature and begins to run around New York City virtually unnoticed. Severance seems to be the prey, but maybe the creature is just trying to get some of Stella Adler's basic acting guides delivered to her.

Cue a gaggle of unnecessary characters. William Hickey is a crazy old man (what a stretch) who knows all, and is promptly dispatched. His grandnephew, mopey teen Chris Young, finds out later he is integral to the killing of the demon, thanks to legend, folklore, myth, hearsay, and other convenient exposition. Peter Riegert is the Pez popping, cussing detective who keeps shooting the indestructable creature but cannot seem to convince boss Lawrence Tierney that something is killing policemen by the claw full.

The late Alexander Godunov, who was so good in "Die Hard," "Witness," and "The Money Pit," is brought in way too late to help matters. His entire role until eighty minutes into the film consists of standing in a room full of clocks and and uttering nary more than two words. Once he gets going on the demon, he proves he should have been a major action star who never seemed to find that breakout role.

Eventually, David Newman's excellent, bombastic, and all-wrong score indicates the big finale, complete with collapsing skyscraper floors and dimension travel. Most of the violence takes place off screen, but this seems to be a budgetary decision more than anything. The gore is there, but nothing special. The creature effects are especially weak, all claws and fur, but with a most unconvincing mask. One shot shows the masked actor's eyes a little too clearly.

Throw in some stupid puns and bad jokes that do not work at all, and "The Runestone" is a noble failure that should have worked on more levels than it does. I will slightly not recommend it.

This is rated (R) for strong physical violence, strong gun violence, strong gore, strong profanity, very brief female nudity, and sexual content.

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