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The Relic
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Customer Reviews:

  • More fun than you might think.
    This movie has been compared to Alien(&s) and Predator(&2). Some would go so far as to say this movie is a "rip off" of those other works.
    That is pretty narrow minded, as this movie really does stand on its own; just like many other good flicks of the genre. The movie is based on the novel of the same title(ISBN: 0812543262), not the other way around as with so many novelizations of movies. It's a good book and worth a read, if that is your cup of tea.
    Anyway, the movie is a fun experience with good acting and a picture that is almost always interesting to watch.
    I especially loved the delicious little plot point of what one tribe of "primatives" did to an arrogant American Anthropologist who'd come to study their "quaint" little beliefs....more info
  • Relic Review
    This product was delivered quickly and in good condition. If you like monster movies--critter flicks--this is one of the best. The film is better than the book, which was good but in need of streamlining--a minor flaw corrected in the screenplay. The Relic critter is awesome, the FX crew doing a terrific job in creating a credible monster. Only (minor) complaint I have is the use of a few off-the-shelf sterotype characters. This is a foundation flick for the monster buff. ...more info
  • buy the book
    If you really want a good story, buy the book. There is so much more to the story than what the movie showed. The only thing the movie had in common with the book was that the story took place in a museum and there was a monster. Do yourself a favor; read don't screen....more info
  • "B" Horror movie
    There's nothing wrong with "B" horror movies-I like some (The Unnamable, Pumpkin Head, etc etc), but this was not memorable. There were some scary scenes, but overall, it was 2 hours I'll never get back....more info
  • One of the Dumbest Movies I've Ever Seen
    Do yourself a favor: buy and read the book. The book is terrifying. This movie is an embarrassment. The best character in the book (Special Agent Pendergast) was entirely deleted from the movie, and the dapper Japanese genius scientist who works with Margo was turned into a fat, bumbling Chinese guy. The part that especially disgusted me was when the museum beast was turned into a cartoonish 20 foot fireball galloping through the museum like Clifford, the Big Red Dog. I was as embarrassed as I was livid. What a waste! I guess it's a good thing that they left Agent Pendergast out, because they probably would have cast somebody like Keanu Reeves to play him, and that surely would have given me a stroke. I hope the authors got paid a million dollars, because their fantastic book was turned into a ridiculous joke....more info
  • Terrible!
    I picked up a copy of the movie after I read the book. The most disappointing thing . . no Detective Pendergast. Next . . the movie is shot is such low light that it is almost impossible to make out anything. The plot only loosely (very loosely) follows the book, and the explanation of the what or why of the monster is unintelligible, and would be impossible for anyone not having read the book. This is nothing more than a poor excuse to show gore and horror for the sake of gore and horror. But even this is unsatisfactory. I certainly don't expect to see real heads rolling around the floor, but I don't expect to see the poor quality plastic or clay substitutions for them either. The monster made no sense at all, particularly with tusks. This creature is supposed to eat plants, for heavens sake. From the little that was shown of the thing, it was more akin to the Ghostbusters dog than to some sort of a Relic. And the language . . every now and then some four letter words, completely unnecessary and inserted, probably, for its shock value (yes, it is still shocking, at least to me). Don't waste your time with this one....more info
  • It's a pretty good Monster movie that's not a critics Drama
    I have seen the bad reviews and I think they are missing the point. This is a B monster movie and they are comparing it to Aliens? To me "The Thing" and "An American Werewolf in London" are some of the best monster movies of all time and I see this below them, but fun.
    The big question is whether or not you like to watch a monster movie for just being a monster that causes fictionaly mayhem. I grew up watching "Creature Double Feature" with all of those old monster movies. Fact is most Monster Movies are the pits and there has not been too many that are very good at all since now a days they rely on so much CG. Also I find most people do not like the concept of a Monster to begin with; out side of the Vampire; which there has been more than a hundred titles with "Vampire" in it. Oh dear god now there is "Van Helsing" killing Vampires.
    So buy it for the pleasure of seeing people attacked for fun and not because you need a masterpiece every time you start up your DVD player because you will quickly find most movies do not hold up to scrutiny. If you feel this way then it is time to start reading the Classics again like Poe since you have raised yourself above this monotony...more info
  • Bad.,
    AGH! It wasn't good. The book was way better, and there's no pendergast. They took out a whole character!...more info
  • Worth multiple viewings
    I don't know what it is about this movie that keeps me coming back. I've watched it 20 or 30 times and never get tired of it. It's sort of a horror/thriller with a classic B-movie premise, yet the story feels somewhat original, and is pretty interesting. On top if this, the creators were able to get the atmosphere just right (a phenomenon where the visuals, sound, and acting seem to come together in perfect harmony, allowing the viewer to feel like their experiencing something more than just a movie).

    Atmosphere is how I separate the great movies from the just good, and The Relic has it. The slow reveal of the monster is perfect and the lighting sets the perfect mood for the story (most of it takes place in near darkness). The sound is quite good also, highlighted by the monster again, which creates some pretty hair-raising noises. The dialogue is sharp and is delivered by some great actors. The leads Penelope Ann Miller and Tom Sizemore are flawless and have good chemistry. Tom is able to use some of his sarcastic wit and Penelope comes off kind of hot in a sexy librarian sort of way.

    At least rent this movie if you haven't seen it and please watch it again if maybe you saw it back when it first came out, but sort of forgot about it. It's worth a second viewing.
    ...more info
  • Pitch Black!
    If you're blind, you'll probably enjoy this movie. If your eyesight is average, then you may want to throw your remote at your DVD player. This film is so darkly lit and photographed that my screen was totally black at least 85 per cent of the time. I tried to lighten the picture, I tried everything, but could see almost nothing about what was happening on the screen. I did catch a nano second of a big mouth opening and then the rest was lost in perpetual shadows. I saw this movie in a theater the first time and really liked it. I do wish the camera and lightning guys had thought about how all this scary darkness would translate on the TV screen. It doesn't. They shoulda called this movie: PITCH BLACK!...more info
  • gory and fun
    this aint a film for the faint hearted, olots of brutality nd blood

    this isnt the only good part of the film though its actually got a good plot, actors and direction

    sure the main part ofd the film is to produce a violent, blood soaked bit of film but....

    who am i kidding... this film is bloody and gory and thats all damn fine film anyway...more info

  • So boring, it's scary!!!!
    If you're a hardcore horror fan looking for a hardcore monster movie with non-stop action and a high body count..... See "Aliens". But if you're looking for a monster movie with a dumb monster, dumb characters and only one exciting scene at the very end, then you just might like "The Relic". The story is that a reptilian creature snuck into a museum, and killed a security guard. A few dumb detectives go into the museum to find out how the guard was killed. They want to keep the public from coming to the museum until the problem is dealt with, but the museum's staff insists that the public be let in for the grand opening of their latest exibit. People come in by the thousands. Right in the middle of the tour, the creature causes some more problems, and the museum's security computer locks the whole place down. Will the hundreds of thousands of no-name people be trapped inside for the monster to feast upon? Nope. Large, metal security doors start to close, like that scene in "Titanic", and at least a billion people make it out alive. Instead of feasting on a sea of people in the main room, all the monster does is kill off two lovable dogs and an old, crippled guy. About twenty guests become trapped in the museum, and at least seventeen of them make it out alive. A stupid police guy leads those people out of the museum through a sewage system. He's carrying a shotgun, but he never fires it, even when the monster is coming for them, and he has a clear shot. Why did he have a shotgun to begin with if he couldn't figure out how to make it work? A hundred-thousand billion people survive who you could care less about. Instead of having many expendable no-name characters get eaten, most of the few characters who do die have names and backgrounds. I hate this movie so much! This movie make Hulk angry! Hulk smash terrible monster movie that rips off scenes from better movies! And I should probably mention that it takes a good hour before anything that looks like it could get scary happens. If you still want to see this lame film, regardless of what I say, read this: In the scene where the monster is chasing the large group of slow-moving idiots through the sewers, the monster gives up on the chase. Yeah. Sad, isn't it? Still care to watch? Don't. I beg of you. This is pure filth, and a real let-down for horror buffs like myself....more info
  • Does not withstand the book or good taste!
    (possible Spoilers)
    I have an unfortunate bias when it comes to this movie...because unlike the screenwriters I READ the book. Now the movie, though a massacre of the printed horror novel, was not the worst movie in history. And was NOT A RIPOFF OF ALIENS!! It had some tense and edgy scenes, not the least of which was the utter destruction of Special Weapons And Tactics team.


    The Acting is passable but rather melodramatic. The casting is decent when you find you can exuse the fact that they eliminated key characters from the script.


    But not only are key characters missing as before mentioned but the charm of the book did not crossover to the movie. But this is not a review of the book or comparison of the book to the movie. In all fairness this movie is worth seeing if you have exhausted all better movies. If you can think or find a few movies that aren't quite as cliched into the "Unexplained and bizzare monster from some abstruse origin rampages on hapless people but then is destroyed by a jar of fromaldehyde." section by all means watch them first.

    In conclusion I give this movie 2 stars because it does not rate three. If you are one of those people with time on their hands and has a hide thick enough for a bad 90s B movie then avail yourself!

    P.S. Read the book! It's not the same story as the movie!...more info
  • An unwelcome brain sucker that might not be worth your time
    The Relic seems to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it movies about which I always seem to be sitting on the fence. It's a frustrating treat for the eyes of horror, but one hopes for a little bit more.

    Penelope Anne Miller stars as Dr. Margo Green, an evolutionary biologist at the Chicago Natural History Museum (no such thing, I imagine; this was filmed at the Field Museum), and Tom Sizemore is here too as a cop investigating some deaths there and outside the museum, nasty deaths, too. I think Hyams does a great job setting up a doom-choked mood; acting as his own cinematographer, he gives the film a dark and dusty look which is appropriate to being set in a museum. I'd have preferred a little more light so that we could see a little more of the museum and what makes it such a wonderfully creepy setting for a horror film, but still, it works, and besides, seeing this on VHS, maybe I should be giving this movie the benefit of the doubt when things are, I trust, a little clearer on DVD. Unfortunately he's got this incredibly annoying habit of framing close-ups way too close. I don't know if the version on video is pan-n-scanned or simply unmated, so I don't know if it would have looked better, or worse, on the big screen. But these close-ups happen a lot and are a bit annoying.

    Stan Winston's creature, the Kothoga, is just great. At the time of this film's release, he said frequently that this was the best creature he'd yet created. It's kind of hard to describe, like a cross between a lion and a beetle, but it's big, it's nasty, and it's exceptionally well realized with animatronics and CGI (unusually good CGI for a creature that's hairy; hairy animals are much more difficult to create with computers than scaly ones). This movie's almost worth a rental just for one incredible shot of the Kothoga chasing down one unlucky guy, grabbing him, and ripping off his head, all in one flawless shot.

    Sad to say, the story surrounding this monster is ordinary, courtesy of four screenwriters. The central problem with the story is the character of Dr. Green, who has to be one of the most irritating big-screen heroines I've seen in my lifetime. The story itself, problem has no great shakes other, with the obligatory False Scare By Cat happening no more than ten minutes in, followed up later on by a False Scare By Cleaning Lady. There's a lot going for this movie, but it needed a lot more work in the creative department before being shot, not to mention Hyams needing a good, stern lecture about his use of close-ups. Beside that if you haven't seen this then I would recommend this to monster-movie enthusiasts, but most others won't get a lot out of this one.

    ...more info
  • A Sci-Fi Horror At It's Best!
    Ever since I've watched this movie at the cinema, I told myself that I have to get this movie on DVD. So, after years of waiting, I finally get it on DVD. This movie has the combination of The Ghost And The Darkness and Aliens, thrown into the mix together. The horror all began when a anthropologist(if I get that spelling right) consumed a water that's filled with some kind of animal virus and made him change from a human being to a gruesome creature. This movie is loaded with action and special effects. But, noted that this DVD release has some flaws. For those of you who wants the subtitles option, then you'll be disappointed as this DVD only carries the original closed caption. That means, only those who have a closed caption decoder will be able to see them. Secondly, the picture quality on this DVD release is quite under specs. Cause the picture is not sharp but a little blur. But that shouldn't be a problem for those of you whose TV sharpness can be adjusted.

    On the whole bright side, this DVD is superb. The picture is anamorphically enhanced for widescreen viewing. Great soundtrack to blow your mind and a great storyline to keep you glue seated to your chairs! Two big thumbs up for this movie! Highly recommended!...more info

  • Nothing to lose your head over....
    The Relic is a horror movie with plenty of gore, suspense and mucus (yes mucus). The plot of the movie deals with some relics sent back to the Chicago museum from Brazil by an anthropology profesor from the museum. Among the relics is a container that contains leaves. The leaves are infected with a fungus that contains large amounts of animal hormones. When this strange fungus is fed to animals, the result are shocking to say the least. In the midst of the arrival of these containers the museum is getting ready for an important exhibit opening. Against better judgement, due to a murder in the museum, the opening goes on as planned...almost. Instead of a night of fun the guests are treated to a night of horror as a homicidal beast makes sure that this night won't be one that the guests will ever forget.
    The movie is not bad but it is not great either. It has plenty of gorrey scenes and plenty of suspense. The special effects are well done. A couple of things that bothered me were 1)the fact that there seemed to be a couple of beasts killing at the same time and 2)many of the scenes were hard to see because they were too dark. The plot as a whole was good but it seemed to have a few holes in it. I have to say that I would recomend this movie to adult viewers. The action and gore is there but not overdone, nor are the special effects. I don't think you will be dissappointed....more info
  • The Relic
    Based on Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's bestselling novel, "The Relic" is an entertaining monster romp with great special effects and plenty of violence for fans of the genre. A ghastly monster imported from the South American jungle stalks the halls of Chicago's Field Museum, while only tough cop Tom Sizemore and leggy scientist Penelope Ann Miller can save the day. Also fairly predictable, director Peter Hyams adds some extra twists and an intelligent script that separates "The Relic" from others of its kind. Likeable performances from the entire cast, especially from Sizemore. Intense! Director: Peter Hyams. Cast: Tom Sizemore, Penelope Ann Miller, James Whitmore, Linda Hunt. Rated R for extreme violence, gore, and language. 110 minutes....more info
  • And another derivative Alien rip-off
    The Relic starts off promising enough, but by it's halfway point it becomes a predictable and routine creature feature with a just plain bad CGI animated monster and plot holes aplenty. Not to mention, what is up with the lighting? The film is so dimly lit that it's hard to tell just what is going on and who is who, and the cast (featuring Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, and Linda Hunt) is beyond wasted. The Relic does have some good gore effects and a good jolt here and there, but it's nothing worthwhile at all. Like the above Amazon review states, you should do yourself a favor and watch the original Alien and it's first sequel Aliens to see a monster fest done right, and leave the Relic with the horde of other derivative Alien rip offs on the shelf....more info
  • The Relic
    May not have made it to the big screen but is really a good movie even with no name actors, thrilling from start to finish, leaves you wondering what is going to happen next...more info
  • The real Relic is the plot
    Take one part "Mimick," add a dash of "Predator" and sprinkle in some "Alien 2" and you've got "The Relic," the story of a crate that arrives in Chicago (my second favorite city) and that beautiful Museum on Lake SHore Drive the same night as a major gala event is being held. Tuxedos and terror all in one huge building.

    WIthout spoiling it, let me say that this is a great movie to watch with your girl. It is well made enough, it's just that the plot is so predictable and stereotypes abound. As the lead character (Penelope Miller) works hard on her science to compete for a grant with an Asian co-worker, the co-worker is made out to be sinister and crooked -- ala Fu Manchu. He is then futher denigrated as a coward when he flees the monster but ends up being out-maneuvered. He can write a grant but he don't know how to get the hell out of Dodge. Yeah, right.

    Tom Sizemore appears in another macho role, and should thanks Wesley Snipes for making him a star in "Passenger 57." At any rate, he fears not the dark, slime or sounds that would tell anybody else that there's a monster nearby, let's book. NOpe, not Tommy boy. He and Penelope stand up to the mega-sized beast, who also has some human DNA, and during that time the guests are eaten up, one by one. A group of them escape through the tunnels under the Museum, but for the most part, the monster has a field day.

    ONe last point: The Relic is a movie heavy on scientific jargon and discussoins of genetics and DNA. Perhaps it might come to some teacher's mind to use tihs flick to break up the monotony of the biology classes at the high school level. The movie might as well be used for something - it certainly ain't gonna win no awards in a film class. ...more info
  • The Relic (1997)
    Director: Peter Hyams.
    Cast: Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, Linda Hunt, James Whitmore.
    Rated R for extreme violence, language, and lots of gore.
    Running Time: 110 minutes.

    A supremely underrated monster mash, "The Relic" is one of the better of its kind produced in the last 1990's. Director Peter Hyams does a great job staying true to the acclaimed 1995 novel of the same name (written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child), using a great balance of humor and terror to entertain. The premise revolves around a frazzled researcher (Penelope Ann Miller) working at the Chicago Museum of Natural History who happens to come across a strange shipment. The shipments are empty besides a strange kind of plant life that is unknown to the scientist. Miller thinks nothing of it until museum workers start showing up dead, jeopardizing the grand opening of the museum's biggest exhibit opening in history.

    Tom Sizemore (in a refreshingly funny performance) stars as the detective assigned to the case, not realizing the terror that is running amok in the museum. Both Sizemore and Miller work together to put the pieces of the mysterious deaths together, all the while attempting to survive against a fiendish beast of a monster that is eating everything in sight. Both Linda Hunt and James Whitmore are very good as a museum coordinator and supportive old scientist, respectively. Superb special effects (conducted by none other than the great Stan Winston himself, who created the "Alien" monsters), a fine ensemble cast, and a riveting musical score that gels well with the film. Scary, humorous, and devilishly entertaining.
    ...more info
  • The book is better, but...
    They didn't follow the book exactly, however the movie was still very good. Special effects could have been better laid, but overall it's a good flick to watch with the lights out....more info
  • GREAT MOVIE
    This movie is one of the most enjoyable films I have seen in years. A must see....more info
  • amazing
    this movie was awsome,I wanted a real horror gory movie that has the coolest monster of them all and i found it.The movie was so cool and so awsome the movie had no bad parts,it is just plain awsome....more info
  • Works in all the right ways.
    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. The museum's security mainframe goes down, enclosing our main characters and a few party attendees inside. Whether or not the creature is responsible for this is left unexplained, as is his intelligence. But he certainly knows his way around the museum, and as the bodies begin to drop, the movie builds itself to an intense climax that has suspense leading up to it all the way.

    Much of that suspense is due mostly to Peter Hyams, the director of photography as well as the director of the movie, whose use of shadow and light are a key element in bringing out the fear in all of us. There's nothing scarier than what we can hear but cannot see, and Hyams uses this to his advantage by supplying little light to the movie's most intense moments. Scenes in underground tunnels are lits by flashlights alone, while the museum's basement areas are dim and murky. Not only is this a fright factor, but it gives the movie a sense of style.

    That fright is also kept up to speed by keeping the creature's full appearance in the dark until much later in the film. Done in live action and CGI, the monster is authentic-looking and realistic, a very convincing achievement. Not until the last half hour to we get a full revelation of the creature in its entire, and even then, the suspense still keeps coming.

    The movie's story is intelligent, providing an explanation for almost every action and reaction seen on camera. The plot does more than just put its characters in dangerous situations, something that most movies of this genre are famous for. It gives the characters a chance to decipher the puzzle and figure out the monster's origins, and while those facts are somewhat laughable and contrived, they are convincing from the mouths of the actors, who do a stunning job on the film.

    The movie also seems to poke fun at the many horror tactics used along the years, but keeps up a serious demeanor while doing so. Scenes involving key characters going into dark rooms, hearing sounds and running away, only to find their fears were in vain, give us a sense of relief but also build up a false sense of security. I practically wanted to scream at some of the actions taken by certain people, who, if they've ever seen "Alien," should know better than to do what they do.

    I had a lot of fun with "The Relic," a movie that has been downed for its all-too-familiar similarities to other creature features. I found it to be a very refreshing film, one with suspense and thrills galore, providing a story we can actually believe with action and suspense that works us in all the right ways....more info

  • JUST PLAIN SAD
    I HAD ONE OF THE RARE OPPORTUNITIES TO WATCH THE MOVIE BEFORE I READ THE BOOK. NOW THAT I HAVE READ THE BOOK I WILL NEVER WILLINGLY WASTE MY TIME ON THE FILM AGAIN. THE FILM MAKERS HAD NO RESPECT FOR THE BOOK OR THE AUTHORS. WITH AGENT PENDERGAST OUT OF THE PICTURE HALF OF THE CHARISMA IS GONE RIGHT OFF THE TOP. NOT TO MENTION THAT THE CREATURE WAS DONE WAY WRONG. HE WAS NOT THE CLUMSY BEAST FROM THE MOVIE, BUT RATHER A SLEEK ELEGANT PREDATOR.. ALL IN ALL NOT WORTH YOUR TIME OR MONEY....more info
  • not worth the time
    do your self a huge favor pick up a copy of the book it is a hundred times more enjoyable. and dont forget to get part two of the story, Reliquary, being a fan of the authors i recommend their books before any movie....more info