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The Relic
Album Cover Art
1997 Promo
2013 La-La Land
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Brad Dechter
Frank Bennett
Rock Giovinazzo
Frank Macchia
Don Nemitz
Larry Rench
Victor Sagerquist
Evan N. Vidar
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La-La Land Records
(January 15th, 2013)
Availability Icon
The 1997 album was a promotional release only, available initially through soundtrack specialty stores and long selling on the secondary market for about $50. The expanded 2013 La-La Land Records product is limited to 2,000 copies and available primarily through those same outlets for an initial price of $20.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... only if you seek a complete John Debney collection, for his mainstream debut in the horror genre is as pedestrian and underachieving as the film itself.

Avoid it... if you expect Debney to offer something beyond the usual, stock horror slashes and ensemble hits that define the genre's most tiresome cliches, occasionally borrowing shamelessly from Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard Herrmann along the way.
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WRITTEN 11/5/99, REVISED 3/2/13
The Relic: (John Debney) When the MPAA classifies films with a rating, there's a category called "extreme gore" that earns the accompanying the film an automatic "R" rating. Films like The Relic are easy qualifiers in the "extreme gore" department, though with so many films in the 1980's and 1990's trying to take advantage of the same general premise of "scary monster chasing trapped humans," you have to wonder why every variant of that equation is so popular. The 1995 novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child took the same old monster formula and applied it to a museum environment, and with predictable turns left and right, Chicago's Museum of Natural History becomes the arena in which trapped humans are the prey for some nasty Brazilian monster that was formerly a colleague and now fancies the taste of human brain matter. The film proved several things. First, it showed that director Peter Hyams had lost the knack for the kind of truly stimulating suspense sequences that filled Outland and Capricorn One with greatness. Second, it definitely proved that Penelope Ann Miller and Tom Sizemore were not the heroes you'd want battling a monster if you were stuck in a building with them. And, finally, despite a lengthy and illustrious career for many years thereafter, The Relic told film score collectors that rising film scorer John Debney hadn't quite mastered the horror genre by 1997. The composer had made a living out of writing for Disney productions and was in transition to mainstream releases like Liar Liar and Sudden Death, both of which average works, while stunning listeners with a score for Cutthroat Island that far exceeded the quality of the film. Although anticipation for Debney and his official horror debut in The Relic was high, the composer fell back on predictable cliches and instrumental usage that begged for far more creativity than it would receive, shamelessly emulating Jerry Goldsmith's Alien more often than not. For films of The Relic's dubious quality, Debney often underachieved, and this entry is no different. With that in mind, the music for the movie alternates between boring and obnoxious, depending on how much aimless noise is being generated at any given moment. A standard orchestra with no solo standouts or unique instrumentation performs on a bleak canvas with surprisingly minimal imagination to be heard in the final mix, despite the composer's many attempts to utilize those orchestral instruments in creative ways.

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Average: 2.71 Stars
***** 28 5 Stars
**** 44 4 Stars
*** 62 3 Stars
** 56 2 Stars
* 57 1 Stars
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Jason Poopieface - April 5, 2013, at 3:05 p.m.
1 comment  (917 views)
5 stars
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Newest: June 22, 2007, at 8:32 p.m. by
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Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1997 Promotional Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 42:26
• 1. The Relic (4:55)
• 2. Searching/First Attack (2:22)
• 3. Dark Hallway/The Jumper (1:25)
• 4. Grisly Discovery (1:55)
• 5. Tunnels (4:01)
• 6. Exhibit Preview (2:33)
• 7. Lights Out (2:45)
• 8. Stairway to Hell (1:07)
• 9. Patrons Arrive (1:15)
• 10. SWAT Team Attack (4:43)
• 11. Hormones (1:06)
• 12. Setting the Trap (2:34)
• 13. Face to Face (6:01)
• 14. Theme from the Relic (5:10)
2013 La-La Land Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 65:24

Notes Icon
The insert of the 1997 promo contains musings about childhood nightmares, a synopsis of the movie, a brief overview of the career of director Peter Hyams, and a list of some of Debney's other scores. That of the 2013 product features detailed information about the film and score.
Copyright © 1999-2020, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Relic are Copyright © 1997, 2013, Promotional, La-La Land Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/5/99 and last updated 3/2/13.
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