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Bad Influence (1990)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  9 March 1990 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 4,728 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 20 critic

Michael, a wimpy young executive, is about to get pulverized by a jealous boyfriend in a bar when a handsome, mysterious stranger steps in--and then disappears. Later that night, while ... See full summary »

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Title: Bad Influence (1990)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ruth Fielding
...
Britt
Tony Maggio ...
Patterson
Palmer Lee Todd ...
Naked Woman
...
Leslie
Sunny Smith ...
Waitress
Susan Lee Hoffman ...
Karen, Woman in Bar
...
Willie, Man in Bar
...
Pismo Boll
Charisse Glenn ...
Stylish Eurasian Woman
Jay Della ...
Chez Jay Bartender
Inger Lorre ...
Band Member
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Storyline

Michael, a wimpy young executive, is about to get pulverized by a jealous boyfriend in a bar when a handsome, mysterious stranger steps in--and then disappears. Later that night, while jogging, Michael runs into the stranger on a pier. He introduces himself as Alex, and the two go out to an under- ground club. Within a matter of days, Alex wheedles his way into Michael's life and turns it upside down, and Michael doesn't realize that Alex is a dangerous sociopath until it's too late. Written by Denise P. Meyer <dpm1@cornell.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cattive compagnie  »

Box Office

Gross:

$12,626,043 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In chapter seventeen of Rob Lowe's autobiography "Stories I Only Tell My Friends", he describes being at rehearsals in a church off Highland Avenue when he is asked to approve his make-up artist, Sheryl Berkoff. He recognises her because, years before, they'd been on a blind date together. He describes her as 'an artist of the face' who 'knows her shit cold'. In July of 1991, he married her. He also suggests that Bad Influence was originally submitted as a writing sample to producer Steve Tisch ("the only man with both an Oscar and a Superbowl trophy"). Lowe had originally wanted to play the role of Michael, "the average Joe", but was taken to lunch by David Koepp, and talked into taking the role of Alex. He describes Tom Brokaw leading the evening news with the Rob Lowe sex tapes, and following that item with news about Tiananmen square. See more »

Goofs

Lowe wore a glove on one hand to smear blood on the wall of Michael's apartment. In the following scene, the glove switched hands. See more »

Quotes

Michael: [With a knife pressed against his Alex's neck] You're going to die with you're mouth shut
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Community: Accounting for Lawyers (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

DOWNTOWN
Written by Lloyd Cole and Blair Cowan
Performed by Lloyd Cole
Produced by Lloyd Cole, Fred Maher and Paul Hardiman
Courtesy of Polydor Ltd./Capitol Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Cult Classic
15 August 1999 | by (new york, ny) – See all my reviews

Now that Curtis Hanson is on the Hollywood A-List after the excellent neo-noir "L.A. Confidential", perhaps "Bad Influence" will be re-discovered for what it is, a contemporary noir classic. Michael, played by James Spader, is one step away from a nervous breakdown. His fiancee is planning a wedding he is none-to-thrilled about, while his career is at a crossroads. Someone will get that key promotion, but Michael won't unless he can find his schedule report which has mysteriously disappeared. He suspects his work rival, Patterson, but is too much of a wimp to confront him. He has been doubling up in pain from what he thinks is an ulcer from the stress. He leaves work for a fateful drink at a beach dive bar. He lamely hits on a woman, whose boyfriend Michael does not back down from. Michael gets saved by Alex or Tony (?), played by Rob Lowe, who menacingly breaks a beer bottle and threatens the boyfriend. Alex we see at the beginning of the movie as leaving a beautiful woman's bed stealthily. The photo he destroys of him and the woman shooting guns together foreshadows the violence that comes later. Alex leaves Michael at the bar and Michael discovers his wallet is gone, but does not know how he lost it. While jogging later, Alex stops by the bar to leave his name for the wallet. He finishes his run at one of the L.A. piers, he sees Alex, who, of course, is with a woman pleading with him to stay with her. Alex blows off the woman and he and Michael have a drink together. Alex starts teaching him how to use the side of him that didn't back down to the gorilla at the bar. What ensues is a Freudian Cain and Abel story with Faustian overtones. Alex becomes Michael's tutor in the art of becoming a bad-ass, while Michael becomes something Alex hasn't had in quite some time: a friend. When Michael's backbone becomes strong enough to stand up to the unpredictably violent Alex, the movie becomes a cunning duel between two guys who know L.A. isn't big enough for both of them. The scenes of L.A.'s sinister club life and the people, like Alex, who thrive in it serve as superb snapshots of the decadence of the late-80s. The conspicuous consumption of yuppies and the advent of the home video camera as a sexual metaphor are wickedly exposed. This movie was simply ahead of its time. It's Rob Lowe's best work and James Spader is awesome, his transformation is expertly done. Plus, I'm eagerly awaiting Curtis Hanson's next movie. Has anyone ever captured the evil that lurks underneath the surface of L.A. better? "Bad Influence" is a must-see for the serious film enthusiast.


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