Eve of Destruction

A female take on The Terminator, 1991’s Eve of Destruction casts the robot, named Eve VIII, in the spittin’ image of its creator, Dr. Eve Simmons (Renée Soutendijk, the Dutch actress known for early Paul Verhoeven films). Eve VIII also shares Dr. Eve’s thoughts and memories, which gets really interesting when it begins acting out the Doc’s repressed sexual fantasies.  

Director Duncan Gibbins cut his teeth in the MTV age with videos for ABC, Eurythmics and Wham!, but you wouldn’t know it based on Eve‘s status as a flash-free, straight-ahead thriller. Better than its tepid box office and near-nonexistent reputation would have you believe, the film clearly set the stage for Species, which would become a monster hit four years later using the template (yet upgrading the nudity). 

Eve of Destruction comes from the era when the studios regularly pumped out low-key, modestly budgeted genre pictures in hopes some would stick: The First Power, Relentless, Blind Fury — that sort of thing. This one didn’t, although it could earn a little goodwill today via Shout! Factory’s Blu-ray. It’s a no-frills disc, bearing only a trailer, but the film itself is half a treat. (Don’t be tricked by the release being on the Scream Factory label, as there’s nothing about it remotely horror, unless you count you own fear of getting chomped the way the Chuck Norris-y suitor of Eve VIII does.)   —Rod Lott

Rod Lott

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