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"THE RELIC"
(1997) (Tom Sizemore, Penelope Ann Miller) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Extreme Minor Extreme Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Heavy Heavy None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None Minor Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: A monster terrorizes people trapped inside a museum.
PLOT:
Margo Green (PENELOPE ANN MILLER) is an evolutionary biologist at a Chicago museum. When a coworker's research crate arrives sans the researcher, Green and her mentor, Dr. Frock (JAMES WHITMORE), unpack and investigate the material that includes a superstitious relic and an unidentifiable virus found on some leaves native to Brazil. At the same time, police Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta (TOM SIZEMORE) is investigating a ship full of dead people that arrived from Brazil. When a murder occurs in the museum that is linked to those on the ship, D'Agosta seals off the museum. This infuriates the museum curator Ann Cuthbert (LINDA HUNT) who's hosting an exhibit opening gala reception that even the Mayor will be attending. D'Agosta and Green find out, however, that the "killer" is an ever evolving creature intent on killing everyone trapped in the museum.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of horror or monster films, they will. Younger kids, however, will have nightmares if they're allowed to see this one.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For monster violence and gore, and for language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • PENELOPE ANN MILLER plays a no-nonsense biological researcher who must survive the monster's attacks.
  • TOM SIZEMORE plays a superstitious cop who's intent on solving the murders.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 4 out of 10
    This is essentially a dummied down rip-off of the "Alien" movies from the 70's and 80's. Produced by the same team that brought us "Aliens," this film involves a powerful and growing (in size) creature hunting down a group of trapped people who must make their way through dark, wet and claustrophobic tunnels (including a water filled tunnel scene lifted from "Aliens"). Whereas the "Alien" movies were slick, smartly conceived and constructed films, this one plays like a dumb serial killer flick where the victims are too stupid for their own good. While their actions help move the plot along by putting people in harm's way, would a group of people in the relative safety of a museum's main floor really go down into the bowels of the building where they know the killer is? Other actions don't play out well either, such as Green not being nervous or cautious about a foreign virus that they can't identify. And a scene where museum visitors flee the building and trample over each other was greeted with laughter by the audience instead of horror or shock. Still, for those who haven't seen the "Alien" flicks, this will be a fun and suspense filled scary film. With some neat visual effects such as where the creature, engulfed in flames, chases Green through the basement, the film certainly isn't boring to watch. Others, however, will see this as an entertaining but lame rip-off of the previously mentioned and only "real" monster films. We give this one a 4 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    For younger kids, this is a nightmare inducing, graphically gory film that might haunt them for some time. For older teens, they'll find this to be a violent and scary roller coaster ride. As noted in the category ratings, there is an extreme amount of blood and gore as well as scary or suspenseful scenes. Decapitations are seen as are the resulting cut off heads. In addition, profanity is extreme with 10+ "f" and "s" words. We heavily suggest that you read through the scene listings if you or your children wish to see this film.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A researcher drinks some sort of tribal concoction in Brazil and has a weird, hallucinogenic reaction.
  • A security guard smokes a joint (marijuana) in a bathroom.
  • People drink wine, champagne and cocktails at an exhibit opening gala.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • There's blood seen on both the inside and outside of a freighter ship. When D'Agosta looks inside the bilge, he finds bloated, rotting, human remains (a cut off head, torn up torso, etc..).
  • The remains of a security guard are seen in a bathroom. His brain has been pulled out of his cut off head, and the rest of his body is torn up and there's lots of blood on the floor and walls. Later, the body is seen during an autopsy and the severed head is moved by the forensic scientist and she puts her hand inside it (where the brain used to be).
  • Margo smashes a bird-sized beetle, and ends up with a green gooey mess.
  • A dead and bloody dog is thrown at the police inside a museum tunnel.
  • D'Agosta finds himself in the creature's lair and finds many bloody human heads, bodies and skeletons.
  • Blood drips down onto a woman at the museum reception and then a headless body falls down next to her and is impaled on spikes in an exhibit.
  • A woman gets stuck in a revolving door and from the force of others pushing on it, blood squirts out from some part of her body.
  • A man goes to check on another man and when he touches him, the man's head nearly falls from his body.
  • The creature kills many more people and there's lots of blood and cut off heads and one man who's bitten off mid-torso.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A co-worker (Greg Lee) of Margo's, who's competing with her for grant money, lies about being the last person out of the basement and causes Margo and Dr. Frock to get locked in for the night.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A security guard in a bathroom gets pulled from under the stall and is attacked.
  • Two kids who are locked inside the museum hear something in a darkened stairwell that scares them.
  • Margo goes through a superstition exhibit by herself late at night and hears something that spooks her. She then panics and races to get out and ends up in the bathroom where she finds that whatever was making the noise has followed her into the bathroom.
  • Two cops search through the darkened basement, looking for the killer and begin to hear noises.
  • There is a prolonged scene in a tunnel where police dogs are trailing the creature's scent. The dogs get loose and the group of people separates as they encounter the creature.
  • The creature repeatedly smashes against a metal door as it tries to get at Margo and the others.
  • Police repel into the museum from the roof only to find themselves being attacked from below by the creature.
  • There's another prolonged scene where people are wading through chest deep water in a tunnel, knowing full well that the creature is lurking nearby.
  • Margo is chased by the creature and has several close encounters with it, and then must run from it again as it gains ground on her.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Used by cops to kill a released con in the museum basement.
  • Shotguns: Fired down a tunnel by D'Agosta and others after one of their canine counterparts is killed and thrown at them.
  • Guns: Fired at the creature in various scenes.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Butt-wipe," "Fart," "Pissed off," and "Go to hell."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • There are 5+ scenes where things jump out at people or others purposefully scare other people.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There is a heavy amount of both types of music throughout this film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 11 "f" words, 12 "s" words, 17 hells, 4 "ass" words, 3 damns, 1 S.O.B. and 5 uses of "God damn," 4 uses of "Oh my God," 3 uses of "Jesus," 2 uses of "Jesus Christ," and 1 use each of "My God," "Oh God," "What in God's name?" "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sakes," and "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Margo says having a superstition exhibition in a museum is like having topless dancers at the ballet. Dr. Frock says if that's the case, he'll go (to the ballet).
  • A forensic scientist says (about a decapitated victim), "Don't you hate someone who takes head and never gives it?" (a reference to oral sex).
  • The creature licks Margo's chest after its human element recognizes her.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • There's just a brief mention that D'Agosta's wife won custody of their dog.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Monsters.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Obviously, the gory remains of several people indicate they met rather violent deaths. For the others we experience, we only hear the attacks early on, but later we see the creature kill many people (in full detail) by biting off their heads, cutting them in half, etc...
  • Margo squashes a huge beetle that flies toward her.
  • Two cops shot a man, who they thought was the killer, dead in the basement.
  • A woman is caught in a revolving door during a panic and as more people push on the doors, blood squirts from her body.
  • D'Agosta tells Margo the story of when a thief shot at him from point blank range, but the gun didn't go off.
  • Much of the museum's basement is destroyed as the monster chases Margo and she tries to kill the creature.



  • Reviewed January 6, 1997

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