A curse befalls members of an archeological team after a sacred urn is excavated in South America and transported to a museum in Boston.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Vic Trevino ...
Dr. Alonso Bilac
Janne Mortil ...
Mona Wustner
Dr. Lewton
Ron Sauvé ...
Mr. Decker (as Ron Sauve)
Alan Robertson ...
Dr. Carl Roosevelt
Garrison Christiohn ...
Dr. Winters (as Garrison Chrisjohn)


At a South American dig, archaeologists unearth the grave of an ancient shaman. Transported to the Boston Museum of Natural History against the wishes of the locals, strange occurrences bring Scully and Mulder onto the case of a murdered anthropologist, seemingly killed by a large cat. Central to the case is Dr. Bilac who seems to have some connection to what is happening. As the FBI agents continue their investigation - a profusion of rats in the museum is only one of the things they have to put up with - the State department in Washington is considering whether to return of relics. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

8 March 1996 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Teso Dos Bichos" was taken by writer John Shiban from an ancient chant. The words translate from archaic Portuguese to "Burial Mound of Small Animals." See more »


The indigenous group shown is identified as the Secoya, who are wearing knitted chullos typical of the cold highlands. However, the Secoya inhabit the tropical Amazon region of Ecuador. See more »


Dana Scully: Have you been drinking yaje, Mulder?
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References Ben (1972) See more »


Piano Sonata 8 Op 13
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

Personally, if someone digs me up in 1000 years, I hope there's a curse on them, too
6 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When people think of the worst episodes of The X-Files, it's pretty much a given that this is going to be listed among them. Episodes that sideline Mulder and Scully to talking heads automatically tend to be thin in substance; this was largely where "Space" failed back in season one. To that episode's defense, it aired very early in the series's run, and despite being poorly executed, it tossed around some relatively unique ideas. This episode fails because it's just crap.

And even then the premise could have worked, had it been approached from a comedic angle. Having aired amidst Darin Morgan's trinity of episodes, which were all quite hilarious in their own regard, it's quite surprising the writers opted not to do this. Instead the case is approached with the same level of seriousness as any standard monster-of-the-week, which is unfortunate because the case itself is utterly silly.

War of the Coprophages, which aired several months earlier, was also founded on a ridiculous premise, but succeeded as a send-up of classic sci-fi and also a self-parody of the series. There is no such attempt at cleverness in Teso dos Bichos. An artifact is stolen, a curse is invoked by means of some hallucinogenic concoction, employees at a museum die under mysterious circumstances, and the culprit leaves behind a trail of dead rats. The script initially sets us up to believe we're dealing with a p'd-off jaguar or some relative of the animal kingdom. Wrong.

Instead we're treated to a legion of housecats with sticks up their arses. Perhaps the writers were treated to some of Dr. Bilac's yaje in pre-production. Either way the result is an episode that should never have made it onto the screen, especially at such a peak era of quality in the series. Even episodes from the much-derided final seasons don't quite sink to this level of garbage. 3/10.

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