In Praise of THE RELIC

I had never heard the term “airport fiction” before. It means, according to this linked article, “Hollywood adaptations of mass paperback novels”. Or maybe it’s just referring to “mass paperback novels”. That would make more sense. But the designation sure is broad. Almost anything that sells could be considered airport fiction going by this definition.

I’d never heard of the “Watch This” feature, either, before chancing upon this edition, the one celebrating the 1997 film THE RELIC. Says the reviewer: “At heart, The Relic is a monster movie periodically sidetracked by civic hierarchy and academic infighting. The film’s roots extend backward, through its parthenogenetic ancestor Alien, all the way to Joseph Conrad and his dissections of human enterprise.” Makes it sound deep, dunnit?

THE RELIC, as an adaptation of the novel from which it was adapted, is a dismal failure. But as a movie standing on its own, it’s fantastic. Most of the credit for that must go to Stan Winston’s monster, the Kothoga, the “oversized elephant/iguana/tiger/eurypterid biting off heads and sucking out brains after hours”. Or, as the reviewer says, “a good monster can cover for a lot of sins.” Indeed, brother.

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (,, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at


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