When Eve VIII (Renée Soutendijk), a robot that has been designed so that she can pass for a human, is taken on a test run though the city, things go terribly wrong when she gets caught up in a bank robbery. When one of the robbers shoots her, it scrambles her circuits and causes her to switch into combat mode. For some reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to install the equivalent of a nuclear bomb inside the robot so now, Eve VIII is wandering around the city, killing anyone who shes views as being a danger, and threatening to send both herself and everyone up in a nuclear fireball.
Realizing that Eve VIII’s test run has become a national emergency, the military calls in the best operative they’ve got and he turns out to be … Gregory Hines!? The legendary Broadway song-and-dance man plays Colonel John McQuade, a special operative who has seen action in all of the world’s hot spots. McQuade works with Eve VIII’s creator, Dr. Eve Simmons (also played by Renée Soutendijk) to try to track down the robot before it’s too late. In a move that makes as much sense as installing the equivalent of a nuclear bomb inside of her, Eve VIII has also been programmed to have the same traumatic memories as her creator. When Eve VIII destroys a cheap motel that Eve Simmons used to wonder about, McQuade announces that the key to trapping the robot is for Dr. Simmons to reval all of her “teenage sexual fantasies!”
The idea of a robot having and acting upon all of the repressed memories and desires of its creator is a good one but Eve of Destruction doesn’t do much with it. Once McQuade and Dr. Simmons head off in pursuit of Eve VIII, it becomes just another low-budget Terminator rip-off. Gregory Hines deals with being miscast by yelling all of his lines. Renée Soutendijk does better as both Eve VIII and Dr. Simmons and even manages to generate some sympathy for the killer robot. Interestingly, Soutendijk is best known for her work with Paul Verhoeven, whose RoboCop was an obviously influence on Eve of Destruction.
Eve of Destruction is a forgettable killer robot film from an era that was full of them. Most disappointing of all is that Barry McGuire is nowhere to be heard. If you do see the film, keep an eye out for the great Kevin McCarthy, playing yet another befuddled victim and, for some reason, going uncredited.