Peter Hyam’s The Relic 

Peter Hyam’s The Relic takes a smaller horror idea that usually services a low budget production and gives it the expensive, near blockbuster treatment. The result is a pretty damn fine creature feature flick that holds up better than it has any right too. When you’ve got a director like Hyams at the wheel though (see End Of Days), who is a meticulous perfectionist and often serves as DoP in addition to directing, you’re going to get class and durability all the way. Relic takes an ages old concept and injects wild screaming life into it; When an ancient artifact is brought from the South American jungle and stored at the Chicago museum of anthropology, trouble is not far off, for as we know in movie land, any ancient relic most definitely has a supernatural curse on it. Before too long a gigantic angry lizard thing from olden times awakens, tears through the building like the stampede from Jumanji and starts eating everyone it sees. It’s up to heroic police detective Vincent D’Agosta (Tom Sizemore in a rare lead role) and professor Margo Green (Penelope Ann Miller, what ever happened to her?) to use their wits and survive long enough to defeat it. Linda Hunt, that sweet little munchkin, also has a nice role as the museum director. The film is just pure fun to watch, a solid popcorn banger that has the look and feel of an old school adventure film, or something by Stephen Sommers, albeit with a healthy helping of slimy gore. The creature is truly immense, and one feels the scope of it’s rampage as Hyam’s camera arcs through the vast hallways and mezzanines of the building, following the action in crisp, tactile strokes. Sort of a forgotten gem, but one that’s always fun to check out.
-Nate Hill

The Puppet Master: An Interview with Kevin McTurk by Kent Hill

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They say in the film business, never work with children or animals. Of course you may find yourself working with dinosaurs, aliens, lions, beast-people, scrunts, kothogas, ghosts, morlocks, Batman, Spiderman, Hellboy, kaijus, wolfmen, clones, cliffhangers, vampires, giant crocodiles, homicidal maniacs, killer sheep, Predators, cowboys and mysterious brides out to Kill Bill.

Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? But that’s just some of the astounding creations and magnificent beasts that Kevin McTurk has encountered in his eclectic career in the realms of special effects.


Working under the banners of legends like Stan Winston, Jim Henson and the new titans like Weta Workshop, Kevin has had his hand in erecting and simulating everything from the real world as he has from empires extraordinary. And, while I could have spent the entirety of our chat talking about his adventures working on the countless films, which are favourites of mine, he has in his CV, his impressive effects background is only part of the story.

For Kevin McTurk is a bold and visionary filmmaker in his own right. His puppet films, The Narrative of Victor Karloch, The Mill at Calder’s End and now The (forthcoming) Haunted Swordsman are exercises in capturing a style from a bygone era with modern filmmaking techniques. The results are beautiful, not only in their aesthetic quality, but in the level of excellence from the many different disciplines on display.

There is still time for you to join Kevin in his latest cinematic offering (, and to listen in now to the man himself talk about his movies, influences and career.

I give you the talented Mr. McTurk.

Visit Kevin’s website for more:


PTS Presents Director’s Chair with PETER HYAMS


2010, director Peter Hyams on set, 1984, © MGM
2010, director Peter Hyams on set, 1984, © MGM

Podcasting Them Softly is extraordinarily excited to present a chat with cinematic legend Peter Hyams! An esteemed director, screenwriter, and cinematographer, Peter is extremely well known for the science fiction thriller Outland with Sean Connery as well as the Connery thriller The Presidio; the fake-moon landing actioner Capricorn One which has somehow escaped the clutches of the current remake craze; 2010: The Year We Make Contact, which was the daring sequel to Kubrick’s original classic 2001: A Space Odyssey; the action comedy Running Scared with Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal; the influential thriller The Star Chamber with Michael Douglas, which consciously or unconsciously served as a blueprint for David Fincher’s The Game; Timecop and Sudden Death, which are two of action superstar Jean Claude Van Damme’s best films; horror thriller and audience favorite The Relic with Tom Sizemore and Penelope Anne Miller; the cult classic Stay Tuned with John Ritter; and the Arnold Schwarzenegger vs. The Devil showdown End of Days. You can also hear us talk excitedly about one of Peter‘s early efforts, the trendsetting cop film Busting, with Elliot Gould and Robert Blake, and discuss how that film began to give a particular genre a new and modern feel. Peter has had a tremendous career, and we were beyond lucky and honored to have him as a guest on the show. We hope you enjoy this momentous discussion!