Eve of Destruction

Year: 1991

Production: Orion

Director: Duncan Gibbins

Starring: Gregory Hines, Renee Soutendijk, Michael Greene, Kurt Fuller, John M. Jackson, Kevin McCarthy

Screenwriter: Duncan Gibbins

98 minutes; Color

Soutendijk is good, both as Eve, a Defense Department scientist, and as Eve VIII, the military robot that she creates in her own image. Armed with endless firepower and a nuclear bomb, the robot destroys the men Eve secretly hates, several male chauvinists and the police who try to stop her. Some critics see Eve VIII as a female "terminator" (see The Terminator [1984]), but she also recalls the Id Monster of Forbidden Planet (1956). Eve of Destruction's supposed feminism is unsubtle and suspect: a scene in which Eve first teases and then castrates a loutish man is so extreme that it may in fact be intentionally misogynist. Nevertheless, Eve VIII - beautiful, elegant, stony-faced, murderous and bulletproof - is one of the most effective villains of recent years. Hines' performance as a military troubleshooter is mediocre.

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