'Eve of Destruction' is one of the most ridiculous android movies ever


January 23, 1991|By Lou Cedrone

The crowd reaction to ''Eve of Destruction'' was the better part of the experience. Some of the male members of the audience bolted the theater as the movie was about to end. One shouted that he wanted his money back. The others said things you wouldn't want to see in print.

You couldn't blame them. When it comes to silly movies, ''Eve of Destruction'' is one of the more ridiculous.

The title character is a robot created in the image of its maker, a woman scientist. It's really a walking bomb, and, naturally, it malfunctions.

Big surprise. Have you ever known a movie android that didn't malfunction? All do, so you wonder why they keep making them in movies. You also wonder why the movie producers keep making movies about the people who make them.

Gregory Hines stars. He plays a ''counter-insurgency expert'' who is asked to neutralize the robot.

Hines screams through most of the film, but you can't blame him. Any actor, working with a script this silly, would scream his way through it.

The movie plays like one that was made by independents with a dash of promise, as yet unrealized. The most obvious touch of amateurism is the giveaway score, one that sounds as though it was borrowed from a library.

Dutch actress Renee Soutendijk plays the scientist and the android. It is explained that she was born here but spent most of her youth in Europe. Hence the accent.

Eve, the android, programmed by her creator, mirrors her creator's mind. She has the same background as the woman who made her, so she looks around for the father who caused the death of her mother. Some films are entertaining in their badness. ''Eve of Destruction'' is just boring, even the finale, which takes place in the New York subway.

Why all these things end up in New York is another mystery. We know, the second they mention New York, that someone is going to be heard telling others to clear Lexington Avenue or 42nd Street, and the idea is enough to make you laugh. You'd never be able to clear either place. The natives would think it was street entertainment, or assume that someone was shooting a movie about an android, one that malfunctions.

Kevin McCarthy plays the girl's father, who is located by the android as it traces the events in the creator's life. McCarthy has about three lines then exits. He is also unbilled. Smart man. Hines is not as fortunate. He has to continue on, yelling and telling all those people to clear the streets.

''Eve of Destruction'' has a small boy say things like vagina and related words. Thanks to ''Kindergarten Cop,'' we may be in for more of this. It is showing at local houses. The film actually has a surprise or two, but they're not worth the time it takes to sit through the movie, which has, not so surprisingly, a ''Friday the 13th'' ending.

''Eve of Destruction'' looks like many of the films that are sold directly to HBO. This one should have gone the same route. You look at it, and you think -- instant cassette.

Oh, yes, the android doesn't like to be called ''bitch.'' It sets her off. By the time the film was nearing conclusion and we had reason to assume the android was not going to get up again, another member of the audience said, ''Just don't say that word.''

Good advice. Bad film.

''Eve of Destruction''

* An android, made in the image of its creator, malfunctions.

CAST: Gregory Hines, Renee Soutendijk, Michael Greene, Kevin McCarthy

DIRECTOR: Ducan Gibbins

RATING: R (language, violence, nudity, sex)

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

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