Eve of Destruction (1991)
With an obvious slant towards a Terminator like plot sprinkled with a dash of Westworld, this slick production hits all the right notes for an above average exploitation flick featuring likable leading man, Gregory Hines and plenty of gunplay mixed with cyborgs and a science fiction themed plot. I hadn’t actually seen this since a VHS rental back upon it’s initial release into the home video market and recalled very little about it other than the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed it and deemed it better than critics would have us believe. Here I am revisiting it and thinking the exact same thing.
Renee Soutendijk stars as an attractive scientist who has designed a cyborg in her image, Eve 8. Not only is the exterior an exact duplicate but her memory banks have transferred to the computerized mind of the android. All is well until a daily test run results in the android being in the wrong place at the right time. A bank heist where “she” gets shot. Somehow this short circuits her defense mechanisms and she becomes a killing machine to anyone or thing that would harm her. This mixed with the fact that the android begins to act upon hidden desires and vengeful thoughts transferred over from her creator sets her on a path of destruction as the film’s title so aptly tells us. Uzi’s and explosions will soon be sure to follow.
“Incredible is not a strong enough word.” says Hines as a counter terrorist specialist. He’s an expert on the field when it comes to killing and along with Eve the scientist will track the deadly android. They won’t have a hard time following the trail of dead bodies. Our attractive android Eve quickly ruins a trio of Honkytonk good old boys night out on the town. First in a sexually charged scene that leaves you thinking you may have seen more than what’s actually on the screen. Then by beating the hell out of them. Police and guns can do little to stop her and Eve adds a whole new dimension to the term “road rage”.
The tension is drastically increased when Hines finds out that she’s a walking nuclear weapon and the clock has begun ticking after the android is involved in a serious car accident. He must now go on the offensive and with the help of our human Eve, they must plot the android’s next move. This is achieved by having our scientist Eve look inward at where her desires and vengeful thoughts will lead Eve 8.
Genre favorite Kevin McCarthy gets a cameo here as Eve’s father. She hasn’t seen him in years and through flashbacks featuring a much younger actor than Kevin, we’ll see that Eve blames her drunken father for the death of her Mother. Kevin is in for a surprise when his daughter turns up at his countryside home for the first time in years. Trouble is, it’s not the human Eve but the vigilante robotic one.
I really can’t explain why this title scores a poor rating most everywhere I look. Gregory Hines is solid in the role of the hunter and has some tense scenes with his scientific partner along the way. Hines was such an easy actor to like and it’s a shame that he passed away at a relatively young age. Running Scared is a fun revisit should you be looking for a recommendation. Aside from Hines, leading lady Soutendijk gets to play two very diverse roles. One the prim and proper Mom who just happens to be a working scientist, the other gets to act out everything the other isn’t capable of. Sexual fantasies, road rage, revenge and vigilante justice. It’s like having a double who is willing to do all the things you might not be able to bring yourself to do. Both legal acts and plenty that are not.
Right to the closing reel, the tension and pacing is well handled and I’d like to think you’ll find this as satisfying overall as I do. It’s not Oscar worthy but some may consider that a bonus and find it more enjoyable because of it. Eve of Destruction should be easy to locate as it’s available on DVD and currently out on blu from Scream Factory.