A year and a half ago, serial killer Ivan Mosser (Lyle Alzado) was sent to the electric chair for murdering 23 people. On the night that he was electrocuted, the worst prison riot in American history broke out. The prison was closed and abandoned. A year and a half later, a film crew has entered the prison to make a women in prison film. Robert Edwards (Anthony Perkins) is the sleazy director. David Harris (Clayton Rohner) is the screenwriter who fights to maintain the integrity of his script and who is an expert on the prison’s history. Susan Malone (Deborah Foreman) is a stuntwoman and David’s girlfriend. And Ivan is the murderer who is still half-alive and full of electricity.
Watching a forgettable, direct-to-video movie like Destroyer, it is impossible not to feel sorry for Anthony Perkins, who went from getting nominated from Oscars and working with Hitchcock to appearing in films like this. According to the Perkins biography, Split Image, Perkins was brought in at the last minute to replace Roddy McDowall and was miserable during most of the shoot. Since Perkins spent a good deal of his later career working with directors like the one he plays in Destroyer, it’s not surprising that he gives one of the two good performances in Destroyer and he also gets the movie’s only memorable death scene. The other good performance comes from Lyle Alzado, a former football player who had exactly the right look for his role and who plays Ivan like a ghost who is in the throes of roid rage. Unfortunately, both Alzado and Perkins would die within months of each other in 1992, four years after co-starring in Destroyer.