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Film / Eve of Destruction

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Gregory Hines is about to shoot some
mechanical ass.

Eve of Destruction is a 1991 sci-fi action film directed by Duncan Gibbins and starring Gregory Hines.

EVE VIII, a prototype war model gynoid, is damaged on a field exercise and proceeds to go rogue. EVE, who was modeled after her creator Dr. Eve Simmons (Renée Soutendijk), is armed with a thermonuclear device that will detonate if not properly deactivated. The army calls in their best counter-terrorism export Col. Jim McQuade (Hines) to stop EVE.

This film provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Justified Trope. EVE, a nuclear-armed combat gynoid, is damaged during a bank robbery gone wrong and goes on a rampage. She's not designed to be evil, but will fulfill what turns out to be Dr. Simmons' deepest desires with unrelenting brutality if needs be. Her confusion and emotional distress even render her something of a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Dr. Eve Simmons' father was an abusive alcoholic who eventually killed her mother by pushing her into traffic. Because EVE is made in the doctor's likeness and implanted with her memories, she tracks "her" father down and kills him.
  • Amicable Exes: Both Dr. Eve Simmons and her lawyer husband Peter are this, as the two still care for each other and their son Timmy despite their divorce.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Counter-terrorist expert Jim McQuade is recruited by a scientist to hunt down a nuclear-armed android. At one point the scientist asks McQuade what his specialty is. Before telling his military credentials, McQuade snarks, "My specialty is a spinach lasagna in a tomato-basil sauce."
  • Asshole Victim: Most of Eve's victims, including those who wronged the real Eve like her Abusive Dad. The only exceptions are law enforcement and the military who both did not deserved to be killed by the Killer Robot.
  • Bank Robbery: EVE and her handler are out on a field mission when they are caught in the middle of a bank robbery. The robbers kill EVE's handler and damage EVE, causing her to go into permanent combat mode.
  • Berserk Button: "Bitch" from a man, for EVE VIII, due to memories of Eve's father calling her and her mom that.
  • Binocular Shot: Used when the military is searching New York City for EVE VIII.
  • Bond One-Liner: After Dr. Simmons and McQuade finally disable EVE just before the nuke inside her detonates:
    McQuade: Guess you finally found the fucking off-switch on her.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Zig-zagged. EVE VIII steals some boxes of ammunition from a gun shop and is seen reloading her stolen Uzi a few times during the film (eventually running out during the climax), but every single gunfight has her blazing away with more bullets than a Mini-Uzi actually holds.
  • Brain Uploading: EVE VIII is implanted with Eve Simmons' memories. As a result, after going rogue she wanders around trying to fulfill the doctor's deepest desires, including her teenage sex fantasies, her want to confront her Disappeared Dad, and her wish to spend more time with her son... which involves marching into her divorced husband's home, knocking him out cold, and kidnapping the kid, risking putting him at point-blank range of a nuclear explosion, as well as lots of murder spread throughout three or four different states.
    McQuade, after being told of this by Dr. Simmons: Ok, you will tell me everything. What you like to eat, what you ever wanted to do, and if necessary, how you prefer getting laid!
  • Caught Up in a Robbery: EVE, a prototype combat android and her handler are out on a field mission when they get caught in the middle of a bank robbery. The robbers kill EVE's handler and damage EVE herself, causing her to go into permanent combat mode. This sets off the rest of the film's events as the government now needs to find a way to stop her.
  • Colonel Badass: Colonel Jim McQuade to a realistic degree. An army veteran, expert marksman and counter-terrorism expert, he's the guy the government calls in to take down a rogue killer android, but he does get pretty banged up over the course of the film.
  • Danger Room Cold Open: A group of commandos storm a compound to save a group of hostages, only to get themselves all killed by a hostage taker who disguised himself as one of the hostages. The man who played the part, their instructor Col. McQuade, reveals this to be a training scenario to prep his men for an ongoing real life hostage crisis, and his recruits abysmally failed the mission.
  • Destination Defenestration: The Bank Robbery is foiled by EVE VIII after she hurls a bank robber out a window.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: As a result of her combat programming (and Dr. Simmons' own deep psychological issues), EVE VIII is very thin-skinned. Any attempt to stop her of getting what she wants or insulting her (especially being called a "bitch") is met with brutal murder.
  • Eye Scream: The titular rogue android can only be killed through the eye, as the rest of the head containing her main processor is armored. McQuade thought only one shot was needed, but ultimately both eyes needed to be attacked. Out of ammo after he shoots out one eye, Dr. Simmons rams the barrel of his gun into the second eye.
  • Failsafe Failure: EVE III is implanted with a nuclear device, which can supposedly be detonated only by a number of complex signals from her handlers. Somehow, minor damage causes it to activate anyway, with only 24 hours before detonation. McQuade lampshades how stupid it was to send her out with a live nuclear weapon on a field test (which of course went wrong).
  • Fan Disservice: The film that McQuade sees explaining the EVE Project has a brief moment where EVE VIII's bare breasts are in full view... while a technician peels off the artificial skin to showcase the muscles underneath.
  • Groin Attack: After EVE gets cold feet after propositioning a guy in a bar, she bites off his penis.
  • I Have Your Wife: A divorced mother finds out that someone entered her former husband's home, knocked him out and abducted her child, guided by deranged "motherly impulses". That it's a robotic clone of herself acting upon misguided Mama Bear memories obtained by Brain Uploading and is a walking nuclear weapon is just sci-fi seasoning.
  • Implacable Man: Multiple hits with gunfire and being run over by a train don't do much to stop EVE VIII (the train does rip off one of her arms, though). Destroying her brain by attacking her eyes is the only sure-fire way to destroy her.
  • Just in Time: EVE VIII is stopped 9 seconds before her internal bomb goes off.
  • Killing Your Alternate Self: In the subway climax, as he's running out of time to disarm EVE, McQuade slides his pistol over to Dr. Simmons to deliver the Coup de Grâce to her robot duplicate.
  • Lady in Red: Eve steals a red leather jacket from a clothing shop, which she later uses to seduce a bar patron.
  • Little Black Dress: EVE VIII was wearing one under her red leather jacket when she went to the bar.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: When Dr. Simmons realizes the pattern behind EVE's movements is due to her own memories having been implanted in the gynoid, McQuade has to get it straight.
    Let me just get this straight—you're saying this device of yours acted out one of your teenage sex fantasies?
  • Mama Bear: Dr. Simmons' desire to be this for her son ends up manifesting in EVE VIII's single-minded attempt to take the kid away (and kill everybody that gets in the way) in the final act, which also makes the doctor pull this off for real by facing off against her creation.
  • Meat-Sack Robot: While the majority of Eve VIII's physiology appears to be bioengineered, complete with a fully functioning circulatory and respiratory system, most of it is just to help her pass as human. Wounds that would kill a human won't even affect her as her existence is derived from her internal power source.
  • Moe Greene Special: McQuade shoots the titular rogue android in the eye to disable her, as the rest of her head is armored. Unlike what he thought, though, the shot doesn't stop her, so out of ammo he stabs her in the other eye with the barrel of his gun.
  • Race Against the Clock: After getting into a car crash, EVE's internal nuclear device is activated and set to go off within 24 hours. Col. Jim McQuade is pissed that his superiors didn't inform him of this before sending him out to catch her. The race to disarm her gets even more dire when EVE's rogue moves take her into New York City in the climax, endangering millions of people.
  • Redshirt Army: Pretty much every cop or special agent that gets in EVE VIII's way is quickly killed (and to McQuade's grief, the group that he personally trained at the beginning of the film fares no better).
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Eve VIII was designed to be as human as possible. As such she bleeds and when treating a gunshot wound, even seems able to feel pain.
  • Robot Me: EVE VIII is a replica of its creator Dr. Eve Simmons, even having a copy of the Doctor's memories and her deepest, darkest fantasies. McQuade finds this latter part pretty hard to believe at first, even asking if he's getting it right when the Doctor explains it to him.
  • Robo Cam: When we get shots of EVE VIII's point of view, there's framing of the screen with red corners, a flashing red dot on the right and left edge of the screen, and a beeping sound that increases in speed when EVE VIII gets angry.
  • Running Gag: McQuade's continuous snarking about EVE VIII not having an off switch.
  • Spanner in the Works: What makes the whole mess happen is a random bank robbery happening while EVE VIII is having a field test and one of the robbers getting "lucky" in pissing off and doing minor damage to EVE (and killing the man handling the field test).
  • Storyboarding the Apocalypse: When EVE VIII's internal nuclear bomb activates accidentally, Dr. Simmons and the rest of the project staff explain to Colonel McQuade what EVE was meant to do and the potency of the device which now risks exploding in the middle of the US. When the climax happens in New York, a split-second cut back to Mission Control has a computer showing a projection of the blast radius, which will literally vaporize Manhattan.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: A prototype android infiltrator that is borderline bulletproof and has a nuclear bomb implanted for the end use of going behind enemy lines and blow up herself (and a chunk of countryside roughly the size of half of Manhattan Island). And, oh yeah, absolutely no failsafes (and why have the nuclear bomb implanted at all for just a regular field test?). McQuade spends a good chunk of the film snarking about the stupidity of the whole project.
  • Titled After the Song: In this case "Eve of Destruction", the 1965 Barry McGuire hit.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: EVE VIII is somewhat of a tragic villain in that she's just confused and kills people who she thinks have either wronged or upset her while believing that she's the real Dr. Eve Simmons. It's not even clear if the robot itself is aware that the nuclear device inside it has been triggered at all.