Dark Relic (Lorenzo Sena, 2010)
[note: review originally published 5Sep2010]
Why is it that I expect SyFy Channel Original Movies to be good? Decent, even? By now I have seen so many examples of crappy Sci-Fi (now SyFy for some idiotic reason) Channel Original Movies that you’d think I’d know better. And yet I keep watching them. Case in point: Dark Relic, a period piece from first-time director Lorenzo Sena and written by SyFy veteran Andy Briggs (Rise of the Gargoyles).
The basic idea: a bunch of Templars find a piece of the One True Cross and head back to Rome with it, picking up a few stragglers along the way. Some of those stragglers are Arabs, which leads to a good deal of infighting, tension, and prejudice from the locals. This in addition to various supernatural evil beasts trying to kill them because they possess a piece of the One True Cross and took it out of Jerusalem.
It’s actually not an awful concept, but the execution is pure SyFy. Throw in a couple of attractive folks (Clemency Burton-Hill is the female lead, and is classically cute, playing against True Blood‘s ruggedly handsome James Frain) and some low-budget special effects and you have a movie, right? Well, kind of, if you want to overlook such niceties as script, costume design (you’ve never heard me rag on costume design before, it’s true, but cloth painted to look like chain mail? Oh, come on now), plot, etc. These actors, who are actually not half bad, do the best they can with what they’re given. But that isn’t much at all. * ½
Clip showing the utter ridiculousness.