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The Relic


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Product Details

  • Actors: Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, Linda Hunt, James Whitmore, Clayton Rohner
  • Directors: Peter Hyams
  • Writers: Amanda Silver, Amy Holden Jones, Douglas Preston, John Raffo, Lincoln Child
  • Producers: Gale Anne Hurd
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 1999
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305350213
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,962 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Relic" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Do yourself a favor: pick up a copy of Alien, Ridley Scott's brilliant sci-fi/horror masterpiece, instead of wasting your time on The Relic. This patent rip-off of just about every other worthy horror and/or disaster flick certainly looks

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Do yourself a favor: pick up a copy of Alien, Ridley Scott's brilliant sci-fi/horror masterpiece, instead of wasting your time on The Relic. This patent rip-off of just about every other worthy horror and/or disaster flick certainly looks good in the packaging: a sturdy cast led by Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, and Oscar-winner Linda Hunt; a reliable director (Peter Hyams); and a creepy enough setting--Chicago's Museum of Natural History, where an anticipated exhibition about tribal artifacts called "Superstition" is about to debut. OK. So far, so good. But some of the pieces scheduled for show have crossed customs even though the freighter that has hauled them north is found adrift and empty--its crew the victims of a mysterious creature that is soon on the rampage in the museum.

The Relic relies on huge leaps of faith to engage the viewer, and finally offers nothing to elevate what could have been good fun--poking here and there at several different movie genres--to a higher level . Ultimately, the film suffers most from its own self-consciousness--it knows it's a carbon copy of better predecessors, and its awkwardness is apparent. The otherwise glossy production is so dimly lit that it's a struggle to tell what's going on, and everything in this tepid formula piece about genetic mutation gone awry is further marred by cheesy special effects. It's almost as if the movie is trying to run away from itself and hide. Try as they may, the cast is saddled with dull, wishy-washy characters who are predictably doomed or saved, depending on their place in the food chain. While the trick in any good sci-fi film is to make the monster as smart--or smarter--than its pursuers, The Relic relegates its mutated horror to less than brainy turf and the war between good and evil is never much of a war at all--just a noisy, bloody, borrowed mess. --Paula Nechak

Customer Reviews

One of the best horror movies I've ever seen.
D. Safir
Would it kill somebody in the museum to switch on the lights, or did the monster magically turn off the electricity?
E. A Solinas
The story was acted well and it have some good graphics to it as well.
Mark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 82 people found the following review helpful By D. Litton on June 29, 2001
Format: DVD
So there I was, beginning to watch "The Relic," and snoring at yet another movie with a beginning sequence of a tribal ritual involving an American observer who ends up finding himself in danger. And then, two minutes later, my interest was peaked, and stayed that way for the movie's running length. "The Relic," while not being the most original monster movie ever made, is certainly a good example for other movies to follow. The story is intelligent and involving, while the suspense keeps viewers involved in a way that is almost frightening by itself.
The movie begins with the aforementioned tribal sequence, then takes us to Chicago, where a mysterious unmanned shipping vessel has made its way to port. On board, Lt. Vincent D'Agosta (Tom Sizemore) finds the mangled corpses of the crew, and does what any other cop would do: puts someone else in charge of getting the details. Days later, at the Museum of Natural History, boxes from the vessel arrive and get the attention of Dr. Margo Green (Penelope Ann Miller), who finds a mysterious growth she believes to be fungus on the leaves found in the box.
Her examination takes a backseat to the story's main premise, which includes lots of gore and intensity. When a cop is found brutally mutilated in the men's bathroom at the museum, the establishment is closed for investigation, much to the dismay of curator Dr. Ann Cuthbert (Linda Hunt), whose worries about an expensive gala force D'Agosta to hurry his investigation. D'Agosta also stumbles across the fact that the victims found on the ship and the cop are found with a section of the brain removed, the section responsible for hormone release.
The gala goes on according to plan, but soon, things begin to go awry.
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Archmaker VINE VOICE on May 19, 2001
Format: DVD
I didn't even know The Relic was a book (I have since ordered it) so when I saw this movie in release I just judged it as a Monster Movie. And at that, it came off pretty well.

Although there was some strained credibility in the origin of the creature, my gosh, this is a Monster Movie. Since when did they have anything BUT a strained basis in fact? It made just enough sense to get on with the elements that make a good Monster Movie: a viscious critter doing awful things to human victims; chases; hair-breadth escapes; a slow revealing of the monster; a resourceful heroine in peril....you know, Monster Movie stuff.

If you loved Ray Harryhausen's 50's monster movies (20 Million Miles to Earth, etc.) you will like this film. If you DON'T like the genre, for crying out loud don't get this film.

Looking at the other reviews, I liked most of what others didn't. I liked the darkness. The tunnels lit only by flashlight and the dark recesses of something so mundane as a museum were used exceptionally well to build suspense. I liked the actors and thought they all did well with the material.

I thought Hyam's did a nice job of building to the climax. AND the Critter here is a dandy. Stan Winston did just fine and the combination of full size models and CG worked well and gave the Critter unusual and credible motion.

It is a gory movie done with style. There are some nasty decapitations etc., but this is, after all, a Monster Movie. If you like that stuff, you'll love this flick.

Of course Alien is a better-realized film, but there is still room for another Monster Movie. This is a first-class B movie. It has every right to be judged on its merits, which are considerable. I found it engaging all the way through.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Brian on May 2, 2001
Format: DVD
Penelope Ann Miller and Tom Sizemore topline this engaging suspenser based on the best-selling novel.
Filmed inside Chicago's Field Museum, the movie centers around a horrific brain-feeding beast and its curious link to a missing paleontologist who disappeared while researching a native tribe in Brazil. This monster, designed by special effects master Stan Winston, is unlike anything you're likely to see ever again. As in most other movies like this, you don't get to glimpse it right away. Its presence is more or less represented by an unsettling wheeze that will make you wonder what on earth could be making such a sound. I won't reveal anymore, other than to say it doesn't merely chase its victims down dark and murky underground tunnels--IT GALLOPS AFTER THEM!
Forget what's been said about how overly dark this film was or how much of a letdown it was from the book. If, like me, you are any kind of horror fan who enjoys in-your-face monster movies, you owe it to yourself to buy this and watch it right now!
Watch for an amusing cameo by Audra Lindley, better known as "Mrs. Roper" from "Three's Company."
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66 of 84 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 6, 2003
Format: DVD
Workers and visitors at the NY Museum of Natural History are beginning to turn up torn to shreds, and a big exhibit opening is just days away, as the FBI, police and scientists try to figure out who, or what, is hunting people in the dark, labyrinthine corridors of the museum. I am in the camp that thinks this film is a travesty of the fine book by Preston and Child. As I was reading the book I was envisioning scenes and situations and even the monster and, upon seeing the film about a week later, was disappointed in every way but one.
They had no business keeping the name of the book, since two of the four main characters are eviscerated -- FBI Special Agent Pendergast, the heart of the team, and Bill Smithback, reporter. Unbelievable. Also the monster was not as scary as the book, not even as scary as the drawing on the cover of the book, except in one scene. The movie did do a better job of having Margo battle the monster using her scientific skills, and one of the last sequences, where the creature is on fire and chasing Margo through the museum, is one of the best effects I've ever seen. It's spectacular. But there were also a lot of scenes that made me howl (with derision) whereas the book is fast, intelligent and scary as all getout. Too bad the filmmakers didn't have more respect for the book.
I tried to view the film as independent from the book, wondering if I'd be afraid if I hadn't read the book first, but I honestly don't think I would. This was a real wasted opportunity. All the material was there for a wonderful scary film, and I hope someone else remakes it somewhere down the line.
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