5.9/10
154
7 user 1 critic

Down, Out & Dangerous (1995)

Brad, a happily married business man, meets Tim, a disturbed drifter, who he tries to help. After a neighbor dies suspiciously, Brad mistakenly thinks covering it up will be for the best, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tim Willows
...
Brad Harrington
...
Monica Harrington
...
Grant Cromwell
...
Leslie McCoy
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CeCe Dryer
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Calvin Burrows
Jason Bernard ...
Detective Danner
...
Lance Fredericks
Sarah MacDonnell ...
Julie Harrington
Virginia Hawkins ...
June
Lyla Graham ...
Mrs. Lois Schmitz
Joe Nesnow ...
Doc Spencer
...
Endo Tanaka
David J. Partington ...
Old Mr. Walters
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Storyline

Brad, a happily married business man, meets Tim, a disturbed drifter, who he tries to help. After a neighbor dies suspiciously, Brad mistakenly thinks covering it up will be for the best, but unfortunately Tim takes advantage of the situation and slowly wreaks havoc on Brad's once-perfect life--a life Tim envies. As Tim fails to take Brad's place at home, the lives of Brad's wife and unborn child are threatened. Written by Kitty-47

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Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of violence and terror | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

23 August 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aux portes de l'enfer  »

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User Reviews

I Help You, You Help Me
11 March 2017 | by See all my reviews

Earnest and successful nice guy Brad Harrington (Bruce Davison) is having problems in his life at the worst possible time. His wife Monica (Cynthia Ettinger), who has a history of miscarriages, is pregnant, pressure at the investment firm where he works is high. He is also continuously provoked by his abrasive weasel of a neighbor Calvin Burrows (Stuart Pankin) who makes a mess of his beautiful back yard in a dispute where Calvin is technically in the right but unreasonable in resolving. Things escalate resulting in legal action.

Brad, a man with a lot to lose, meets Tim Winchell (Richard Thomas) a homeless hippie drifter who has nothing, is new in town and whilst not too proud to beg insists that he is not too proud to work for food or money either. Tasked with cleaning the huge mess Calvin has made of his back yard one weekend Brad thinks it is a happy coincidence. Tim is immediately cooperative, helpful and gracious in acceptance of any form of remuneration. Brad takes Tim home to help him with the clean up and the stranger proves to be a tireless worker.

Calvin is, of course, around and acting even more obnoxiously in wake of his court date with Brad. He also takes an immediate dislike to Tim showing even greater lack of respect for the shaggy vagrant than he has for Brad and insists on prodding both of them about the clean up of the mess which HE caused. A physical confrontation with Brad ensues in a rehash over their boundary dispute and Calvin falls and goes 'boom' with an ouchy that proves fatal.

Tim makes it look like an accident (which it was...except for the part where Tim made sure Calvin was dead by bludgeoning him a few times with the bricks he fell on whilst Brad wasn't looking). Brad knows how it looks given his disputes with Calvin and Tim is only too happy to remind him when a determined police detective (Jayson Bernard) investigates. A clash of wills ensues as Tim tries to use what he knows to blackmail Brad and milk him to the point of displacing him in his own life.

The real show here is the arc of the Tim character - a volatile and extremely violent outsider whose galling opportunism and resourcefulness suddenly erupt after he has shown every outward sign of being helpless at the beginning. His transitions showing different faces are not necessarily as long a reach as they might seem after we have seen things play out. Ultimately it helps if the viewer was not a big fan of the Waltons. That makes it less of a leap to see John-Boy go bug-eyed psycho.

Weaknesses in the production are readily apparent. The characters never really develop beyond being one-dimensional in a cheap TV movie version of those new-acquaintance-turned-maniac scenarios which have quite frankly being done to death time after time since Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951). There are no strong female characters beyond that of Brad's co-worker CeCe (Melinda Culea)


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