5.8/10
24,493
192 user 110 critic

The Relic (1997)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Peter Hyams

Writers:

Douglas Preston (novel), Lincoln Child (novel) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,723 ( 39)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

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
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Storyline

A researcher at Chicago's Natural History Museum sends two crates from South America containing his findings, and when the crates arrive at the museum there appears to be very little inside. However, police discover gruesome murders on the cargo ship that supposedly brought the crates to the U.S. A murder soon takes place in the museum, and while investigating the murder, Lt. Vincent D'Agosta enlists the help of Dr. Margo Green, a researcher, 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

Taglines:

The Next Evolution In Terror. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mark "Crash" McCreery felt the weight of responsibility when Chris Swift and the puppeteering crews returned from the shoot every day, exhausted by the Herculean efforts required to get a performance out of the Kothoga suit. "I felt bad when the guys came back from the set talking about how miserable it was to work with this character," Crash admitted. "I had tried to give Peter Hyams something very different; but, ultimately, I designed something without considering the actor inside it. It was a real lesson in how careful I had to be when I was executing a design. If you're telling people to follow a drawing, that drawing had better be right, and it had better work mechanically and practically. I learned a lot on The Relic -- I just wish I'd learned it without people suffering!" See more »

Goofs

The ship's captain at the beginning is supposed to be speaking Brazilian Portuguese. In reality, he is speaking gibberish, mixing Spanish and Portuguese with a very basic grammatical structure. See more »

Quotes

[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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Connections

References Alien (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

SUNRISE
STRING QUARTET IN B FLAT MAJOR
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

Enjoyable creature feature B-movie with the usual formula
2 June 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When a shipment of artefacts returns to America from South America the police find decapitated bodies on board the ship. When a similar murder occurs in the Chicago museum Lt D'Agosta suspects a psychotic killer and shuts down the museum. With political pressures to keep the museum open for an `opening gala' for Chicago's rich and famous, D'Agosta is forced to give way but sets the place up with a police presence to deal with any trouble. Meanwhile scientist Margo Green suspects that an empty crate of mysterious leaves may have been more than just that and examines the potential that a virus on the leaves caused some sort of creature to evolve. When the same `evolution' attacks during the gala setting off the security alarms and locking down the museum it becomes a fight for survival and escape.

When this came out in the cinema I felt that that was not the best place to see a film like this and decided to wait for video or TV. I finally saw it on TV last night and feel that my gut feeling was right – the small screen is the best place to see this film. At a cinema you may have higher expectations than you would if you watched it in the comfort of your own home on a lazy Saturday night and that might have hurt this film because honestly it's not that good a film. However as a video you perhaps have a lower expectation and then this film is a nice little surprise.

It is without it's own style or ideas but it is an effective monster movie which, in a nutshell, is really what it is. The film follows the traditional formula of all these types of things – monster loose, location sealed or remote, characters separated and picked off in the order you expect until the hero gets the better of it. In that sense this is without any new ideas but and doesn't shine on the plot front but it is an effective little movie. Not particularly scary but more gore than I expected and the film manages to keep the beast frightening by keeping it in the shadows for the majority – even after we've seen it, it is still shot in darkness. In fact the way the film is moved into darkness adds to the tension and makes it more exciting. Of course it isn't fantastic but it does do what you expect a monster movie to do, which is my point. It's main weakness is that it plays it very straight (although the mood made by the darkness helps this) many monster movies have successfully gone more tongue in cheek and done well (Deep Rising from the same period comes to mind. However, having gone the straight road the film does stick to it well despite a very unlikely explanation for the beast.

The cast are par for the course with this type of film – no big stars but support cast given bigger roles. Sizemore is on good form and is at home in the lead of this type of film, I doubt he could carry a blockbuster but he is good. Miller has done better films and she is OK, sadly she is lumbered with all the science stuff and isn't as impacting until near the end. To contrast the two characters there was a 20 minute spell in the middle where both Sizemore and Miller are absent from the action (in different areas) – I noticed Sizemore's absent but it wasn't until Miller came back that I noticed she was gone. The rest of the cast are the usual monster food and you can almost predict who will live and die without 30 seconds of them being introduced – selfish arrogant scientist? How long do you think he'll last!?

Despite this and other clichés the film is good enough to watch as long as you know what you are getting – it is certainly better than a lot of the creature feature movies you can get at your video store and the mood produced by the director in all that darkness helps it along nicely. Not great but better than average for the genre.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Japan | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 January 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Relic See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,064,143, 12 January 1997

Gross USA:

$33,956,608

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$33,956,608
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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