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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 18,095 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 162 user | 92 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


A mind is a terrible thing to waste... Especially if you're really hungry 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?


The film was originally set to open in August 1996 but special effects work delayed its release till the end of the year/early 1997. 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 »


Dr. Zwiezic: Seven decapitations in one week. Don't you just hate killers, who take head and never give it?
Lt. Vincent D'Agosta: You're bad, Matilda.
See more »


References Alien (1979) 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

My Favorite monster movie.
21 July 2004 | by (Azores, Portugal) – See all my reviews

This one is my favorite of all monster movies. It has the perfect violence and gore. As the monster itself. Before I bought this movie I checked out some comments at IMDb, and they where pretty good. So I spent my savings on it, and when I got home I saw it alone at night. I jumped a few times, specially on the see where we see for the first time the monster attacking. The story is awesome and imaginative, like the ancient relic and the lost tribe that makes a drink with some leaves that further in the film we see that those leaves carry a red fungus that contain lots of different animal hormones. He drinks the drink, and starts to feel strange, and later he transforms into a creature that needs those leaves with the fungus to survive. If he doesn't has the leaves he rips off peoples heads and eats its hipotalamus(part of the brain)that contain the same hormones. Then the monster goes to the coal tunnels and reaches the museum, and strange murders happen in the museum. The special efx are good as so the mechanical beast. Tom Sizemore has a good role playing detective "Vincent D'Agosta", so as Penelope Ann Miller playing Biologist Margo Green. Both acting and dialogue is very good. And I truly recommend this one if you are a "monster" movie lover like me.

I give this one 9 stars. Enjoy it if you dare see this movie.

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

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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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