Eve of Destruction (Blu-ray)
Directed by Duncan Gibbins
Distributed by Scream Factory
Long before this reviewer was an avid horror fan, he was raised on a steady diet of B-level action films. Whether they starred Seagal or Van Damme, Lundgren or Don “The Dragon” Wilson, youngster Jinx couldn’t get enough of the types of cheesy, low-budget actioners that cluttered the shelves of Mom n’ Pops and choked cable channels in the early 90s.
Somewhere in the mix, perhaps elbow to elbow with The Punisher and Death Warrant, there was the 1991 female Terminator flick Eve of Destruction. Starring Gregory Hines as its action hero of sorts, Eve managed to toss in enough sci-fi and thriller elements that might possibly appeal to Dread readers (to say nothing some decent makeup effects work). But is Eve a good enough film to warrant its recent upgrade to Blu-ray? Read on…
Opening in a lab setting, Eve introduces us to Eve Simmons (Soutendijk), a young scientist responsible for the creation of “Eve 8” (also Soutendijk), an android made in her creator’s image and designed for military application. When a routine test in a public setting goes horribly wrong, Eve 8 is injured – shifting her typically calm personality into survival mode, rendering her an uzi-packing, ticking timebomb in a mini-skirt. Help comes in the form of McQuade (Hines), an Army Colonel enlisted to track down Eve 8 and eliminate her before the damaged nuclear warhead embedded in her spine goes off and wipes out a swath of humanity along with her. McQuade and Simmons hit the road in pursuit of this increasingly unstable and utterly lethal killing machine, following the trail of bodies she leaves in her wake.
Think The Terminator meets Species and you’re nearly there. With its derivative core idea, often laughable dialogue, quite bad supporting performances and its utterly pedestrian direction, Eve of Destruction really shouldn’t work. And yet, amazingly, it still has an undeniable B-movie charm, supported by earnest performances from Hines and Soutendijk. In addition, the film adds a cool spin on its tropes by having the film’s villain act on impulses brought on by her creator’s memories, which were embedded in Eve 8 upon her making. Add to all this a quick pace and veteran portrayer of d-bags Kurt Fuller as an assholish military advisor, and you have a deeply flawed but genuinely fun way to pass a hundred minutes.
Scream Factory has brought Eve of Destruction to Blu with a good transfer boasting nice colors and sharp detail, along with some minor if noticeable speckling from time to time. There is also the provided 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track, which is nicely detailed and appropriately punchy when necessary. Unfortunately, the only bonus feature here is the film’s theatrical trailer, which may very well give you a seizure if you attempt to watch it (it appears to be badly transferred, and horribly…strobe-y, I guess?). Pity the outrageous TV spot couldn’t have been included. Seriously, watch that shit and remember to thank Foy afterwards.
While Eve of Destruction is far from a perfect film (and a ways away from even being a very good movie), it is an enjoyable slice of early 90s cheese, and should appeal to those still nostalgic for that bygone era of action cinema. All others, though? Best just to pass this one on by.
2 1/2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5