Especially in the 1970s, Peter Hyams was a kind of auteur filmmaker in the genre film area. Because he not only directed films like “Operation Capricorn”, “The Deadly Triangle” or “Outland – Planet of the Damned”, but also wrote the screenplays. That should change a bit in the years that followed, but with “Ein Richter sucht Rot”, “Narrow Margin”, “Timecop” or “Sudden Death” the man later still put together plenty of respectable genre fare.
It was never quite enough for the first league, but that’s not a big deal, since his directing work has a wonderful B-movie charm that even nowadays you can hardly get enough of. This also applies to “Das Relikt”, which will be broadcast on Tele 5 today, May 14 at 8:15 p.m. Unfortunately, this is the cut FSK-12 version. If you want to see the film uncut, you can do so via Amazon Prime Video, where the monster horror is currently included in the subscription:
» “The Relic” on Amazon Prime Video*
A ship full of corpses from which the brains have been removed arrives in the port of Chicago. FBI agent Vincent D’Agosta (Tom Sizemore) and his assistant Hollingsworth (Clayton Rohner) take over the investigation. When the murder of a security guard marries the forthcoming new exhibition on superstition at the Natural History Museum, D’Agosta is puzzled.
The corpse of the security guard is also notable for the fact that the brain has been torn from the skull. The agents work with evolutionary biologist Dr. Margo Green (Penelope Ann Miller). In the process, they uncover an ancient legend that could have something to do with the mysterious and extremely horrific deaths. The horror spreads more and more in the Natural History Museum – and here of all places an opening gala with many guests is soon to take place…
The Relic Trailer DF
The fact that Peter Hyams is a real all-rounder is not only characterized by the fact that he has taken on both the direction and the screenplay for many of his films. Hyams also directed the camera for the novel adaptation The Relic – and did a great job. In the FILMSTARTS review, which gave the horror film a solid 3 out of 5 stars, the class of craftsmanship was praised as follows:
The setting in the museum in particular creates a spooky atmosphere. The narrow corridors in the basement, the dark, empty exhibition rooms at night, all work well as a catalyst for fear. Hyams also managed the rest of the implementation quite well and you can tell that he has a solid command of his craft.
Even if the computer tricks can no longer keep up with today’s standards, the digitally animated monster is still impressive – and that’s what it’s all about! When the monster, which you only get to see in full size relatively late in the film, goes into bloody action, then you may well be surprised that “The Relic” did not receive the red FSK 18 seal in the 1990s Has.
Beyond that, though, the $40 million production isn’t a milestone. On the one hand, this is because “The Relic” takes a little too much time in between to step on the gas again and, on the other hand, because Tom Sizemore just doesn’t have the necessary charisma to pull off his leading role. However, if you approach the film with a bit of forbearance, then the good sides outweigh the bad and you get a rock-solid monster flick that will appeal to genre lovers in particular.
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