Earl is my idiot cousin. I'm sure there's one in your family too. At every family reunion he'd be there spouting off about his latest get rich quick scheme. Sometimes he'd even come up with what sounded like good ideas. But you know Earl. You know he's lazy and stupid and would never take the time to work out all the details and do anything the way it should be done.
On an unrelated note, I watched THE RELIC last night.
THE RELIC was directed by Peter Hyams (CAPRICORN ONE, TIMECOP, END OF DAYS), and written by Amy Jones (INDECENT PROPOSAL, THE GETAWAY), John Raffo, Rick Jaffa (EYE FOR AN EYE) and Amanda Silver (EYE FOR AN EYE, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE). This is your first clue: human intelligence is not additive, and committee writing is rarely a good idea.
The movie has a promising start. A white man (Thomas Ryan: WOLFEN, NOCTURNA), who we later learn is a scientist from Chicago's Museum of Natural History, is deep in the South American jungle, taking part in a native ritual. The locals let him have a sip of something foul, and the white guy starts screaming.
We cut to a cargo ship tied up at a Chicago peer. The crew have been brutally murdered and body parts are everywhere. Chicago cop Lt. Vincent D'Agosta (Tom Sizemore: BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, NATURAL BORN KILLERS) investigates the carnage, and discovers part of the cargo are some wooden crates addressed to the museum. The crates are delivered and the cop, sensing a connection, begins hanging around the museum. It turns out that the crates are from the scientist who partook of the native drink, and contain a variety of samples of jungle flora and fauna. His colleagues, Dr. Albert Frock (James Whitmore: THEM, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE FIRST DEADLY SIN), Dr. Margo Green (Penelope Ann Miller: DEAD-BANG), and Dr. Ann Cuthbert (Linda Hunt: DUNE) begin examining these samples, in between preparing for the museum's grand re-opening.
The very gory deaths we saw on the cargo ship begin happening in the museum, which for some reason is built on top of many subterranean tunnels. We quickly learn that a VERY large monster* (it looks like a cross between a woolly mammoth, a saber-tooth tiger and a big bug) is behind it all. This tremendous creature is apparently very light-footed, as it manages to sneak up on a variety of victims.
More mangled bodies appear around the museum, along with other strange events and strange results from the analysis of the jungle samples, giving us more clues as to who or what the monster really is. This comes to a head, as it were, at the same time as the museum's ceremonial dedication of a new exhibit. In a very contrived, unbelievable string of events, the museum is sealed off, trapping everyone inside with the monster.
This is a monster movie and good monster movies must have two key ingredients:
Now the essential nutrient idea is fine but c'mon! This is a very active big predator. He needs protein and plenty of it. A tiger can chow down more than 100 lbs of meat per day and this thing is like a tiger the size of an elephant. So it would NOT daintily peel open skulls looking for the tasty nutrients. It would eat people whole, and lick its plate clean. It'd probably take ten or twenty people a day just to maintain its physique.
Back To The Review:
This movie also earns an
!!!UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT!!!:
This is not to say that the movie doesn't have its share of white characters getting killed too. It does. The UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT is to let you know that, no matter how many victims or how many people from different races in the movie, the whites and ONLY the whites will survive.
Read the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT/Relic.
Now, Back To The Review:
Like so many movies of this caliber, a good editing job would have earned at least one more shriek girl. Cut out all the pitiful pseudo-science and bad exposition and just stick to the action. I give the editor a pink slip, and the movie two shriek girls.
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