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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 »
4 nominations. See more awards »



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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


What Terrifies You? 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)


$33,927,476 (USA) (9 May 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 »


During the autopsy scene, the ties on the medical examiner's mask change between going over the microphone headset and going underneath. 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 Film Geek (2005) 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

Plausible behavior makes this an attractive sci fi
16 June 2001 | by (San Francisco USA) – See all my reviews

Overall I liked this movie until I read half the reviews--done before, simplistic, not realistic, etc. It is not a GREAT sci fi movie, but it is not as ridiculous as most of the genre. Best feature is that none of the major characters behave idiotically to further the plot. One never feels compelled to yell "Turn around, stupid!" or "No. Don't go into the basement alone!" or "Please turn on the lights!" or (to the heroine) "Don't you remember it's invulnerable to bullets?" The heroine is afraid throughout the movie (shouldn't she be?), but is she irrational at any time? The curmudgeonly, wheelchair-bound senior researcher is trapped on an upper floor, but does he emerge at the end from his place of hiding behind the computer console? The detective is disbelieving at first, but does he obstruct and endanger in the end? The science may be unbelievable (it's like finding a mummy curse) and that prevents this from being a great sci fi, but the behavior of the characters seems authentic (researchers who know their environment) and that is this movie's major strength.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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