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.


Peter Hyams


Douglas Preston (novel), Lincoln Child (novel) | 4 more credits »
2,401 ( 2,978)
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Penelope Ann Miller ... Dr. Margo Green
Tom Sizemore ... Lt. Vincent D'Agosta
Linda Hunt ... Dr. Ann Cuthbert
James Whitmore ... Dr. Albert Frock
Clayton Rohner ... Det. Hollingsworth
Chi Muoi Lo ... Dr. Greg Lee
Thomas Ryan Thomas Ryan ... Tom Parkinson
Robert Lesser ... Mayor Robert Owen
Diane Robin ... The Mayor's Wife
Lewis Van Bergen ... John Whitney
Constance Towers ... Mrs. Blaisedale
Francis X. McCarthy ... Mr. Blaisedale
Audra Lindley ... Dr. Zwiezic
John Kapelos ... McNally
Tico Wells Tico Wells ... Bailey


A detective is puzzled after recent spate of deaths involving decapitations. He visits a museum when a new victim is found murdered in the same way. In the museum, he encounters an evolutionary biologist who herself is puzzled after discovering a mutated beetle that possesses both insect and reptilian DNA. The detective finds a common link between the murders, hypothalamus missing from the brains of the victims. Together they both try to defeat a monster/killer who is on a killing spree. Written by Fella_shibby@yahoo.com

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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The finished Kothoga sculpture was molded in foam latex to create the three suits: two hero suits and a stunt suit. Yak hair was punched manually onto the head, mandible, and back parts. Fangs and mandibles were cast separately in rigid foam and then skinned in polyurethane resin. Arms and legs featured mechanical extensions, engineered by mechanical designer Kirk Skodis. See more »


There is no such species as Rhinocerus Megarhinos. 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]
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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
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User Reviews

An action adventure turned horror movie.
2 January 2003 | by Jack the Ripper1888See all my reviews

When I got this movie, I was under the impression that it was a typical action adventure where there are some strange deaths and people assume it is some killer creature. Well, I was right on that part. But this movie is actually pretty scary, choking up some genuine chills especially when you are not expecting them. Tom Sizemore and Penelope Ann Miller are great together in THE RELIC, a must-see for all fans of horror and action adventures.

Linda Hunt and James Whitmore are also good as supporting cast members. This movie is one of the better horror films of the last five years as it is very original, taking a traditional plot and giving it a new touch.

You may find these kinds of movies stupid, so stay away, this movie is one of the better films of the genre, that is for sure. There are some seriously good death sequences in this movie and some very notable special effects from the Jim Henson Creature Shop. Director Peter Hyams (the guy behind END OF DAYS) has done well, creating a masterpiece of modern horror that is liable to stay within your memory long after you are done watching it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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UK | USA | Japan | Germany



Release Date:

10 January 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Relic See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,064,143, 12 January 1997

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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