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The Relic (1997)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  10 January 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 18,116 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 162 user | 93 critic | 14 from

A homicide detective and an anthropologist try to destroy a South American lizard-like god, who's on a people eating rampage in a Chicago museum.



(novel), (novel), 4 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Ann Cuthbert
Det. Hollingsworth
Dr. Greg Lee
Tom Parkinson
Robert Lesser ...
Mayor Robert Owen
The Mayor's Wife
Lewis Van Bergen ...
John Whitney
Mrs. Blaisedale
Mr. Blaisedale
Dr. Zwiezic


A researcher at Chicago's Natural History Museum returns from South America with some crates containing his findings. When the crates arrive at the museum without the owner there appears to be very little inside. However, police discover gruesome murders on the cargo ship that brought the crates to the US and then another murder in the museum itself. Investigating the murders is Lt. Vincent D'Agosta who enlists the help of Dr. Margo Green at the museum - she has taken an interest in the contents of her colleague's crates. Unknown to both there is a large creature roaming the museum which is gearing itself up for a benefit reception which the city's mayor is to attend. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some Things Are Best Left Undiscovered. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for monster violence and gore, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | | |


Release Date:

10 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Relic  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,064,143 (USA) (10 January 1997)


ITL 3,016,379,000 (Italy) (6 June 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Peter Hyams:  [Spota]  a character named Spota. See more »


On board the Santos Morales, the detectives find big blood stains on the walls and floor. The blood is clearly dry, but is is still bright red, and is evidently paint. Dry blood is that old should be brown. See more »


[first lines]
[Dr. Whitney sits around the fire with the Zenzera tribe, who then hand Dr. Whitney a drink from the boiling pot over the fire]
John Whitney: [Dr. Whitney takes a drink before coughing, when one of the tribe members crawls towards him wearing some sort of beastly outfit] Oh, my God! The Kothoga.
[Dr. Whitney moans in fear, then begins uncontrollably screaming when the tribe member crawls up to him and hisses]
See more »


Referenced in Scarewaves (2014) See more »


Written by Joseph Haydn (as F.J. Haydn)
Performed by Kodaly Quartet
Courtesy of Naxos of America
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

Not bad for its type
1 December 1999 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

I am not a big fan of these types of movies, but I have to say I was reasonably entertained for the most part(Admittedly, I watched this on TV, which could increase my tolerance level, but then again I saw JADE on TV as well). It sets things up nicely before the chase, it doesn't throw in a romantic angle just for the sake of throwing it in, the two leads, Penelope Ann Miller(remember when she was in big movies?) and Tom Sizemore, are both good, and once the chase starts, it's gripping. Admittedly, there are some flaws; having read the novel first, I knew how the creature came to be, which robbed some suspense(and while I appreciate that they had to take a shortcut to explain things, this was a little TOO short), while the photography needed to be dark, it was too dark at times, and Miller's colleague Greg(I forget the actor's name) veered uncomfortably close to stereotype. Still, this was an entertaining time-waster.

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Remake the first 2 books as a tv mini-series, iamdeadpool
This should be remade megastar26
PENDERGAST... ihateyoudiepart2
Umm, some better lighting please? TKgamer5000
The perfect casting for Pendergast cygnus_x-1
One of the worst movies I have ever seen!!! judithdgray
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