6.2/10
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52 user 31 critic

Bad Influence (1990)

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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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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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
...
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:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

9 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cattive compagnie  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

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

Matthew Broderick, Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. turned down the part of Michael Boll. 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

Pismo Boll: It's only a matter of time... get in bed with the devil... sooner or later you have to fuck!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

OUT OF THE RAIN
Written by Tony Joe White
Performed by Etta James
Produced by Barry Beckett
Additional production: Kim Buie and Etta James
Courtesy of Island Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"You're gonna die with your mouth shut."
26 June 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

James Spader is typically engaging in the role of Michael, a wimpy yuppie who tends to not stand up for himself. He is about to get obliterated by a jealous boyfriend in a bar, when a stranger (Rob Lowe) steps in to save his ass. He ends up running into Lowe again, and thanks him, and a curious relationship develops. "Alex" (Lowe) introduces the element of risk into Michaels' life, and helps him "grow a pair", so to speak. But Michael soon learns that only dark things will come out of this supposed "friendship", and he realizes that he must eliminate Alex from his life.

"Bad Influence" is a decent thriller set in hip, "modern era" California, with various clubs and parties used as backdrops. Well shot by Robert Elswit, it boasts a screenplay by then relatively fresh screenwriter David Koepp. It may not be on the level of "Strangers on a Train", but it entertains in compelling enough fashion. The give and take between our hero and his nemesis creates sufficient tension, as Alex sets about trying to prove that he was merely exposing the hidden ugly side that Michael wasn't showing the world. As this plays out, you can't help but sympathize with Michael to some degree, as the story turns into this kind of nightmare that seems to have no end in sight. There are some sexy ladies in the cast, and a little dose of gore, so this thriller does deliver in terms of some sex and violence. Director Curtis Hanson, who at this time hadn't yet achieved mainstream recognition, guides it all in style.

Lowe is decent as the shady antagonist with the undetermined motives. He seems to be just plain evil. Spader outshines him, of course, and receives strong support from a cast including Lisa Zane, Kathleen Wilhoite, Marcia Cross, Tony Maggio, Grand L. Bush, and John de Lancie. Keep your eyes peeled for David Duchovny, who appears fleetingly in a club scene. Christian Clemenson delivers a standout performance as Michaels' slightly pathetic brother who tries to redeem himself in his siblings' eyes.

Solid entertainment that picks up considerably in its second half.

Seven out of 10.


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