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Eve of Destruction

Entry updated 18 January 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1991). Orion. Directed by Duncan Gibbons. Written by Gibbons, Yale Udoff. Cast includes Gregory Hines and Renee Soutendijk. 98 minutes. Colour.

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 VIII 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 the period. Hines's performance as a military troubleshooter is mediocre. [MK]


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