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Bad Influence is a 1990 American psychological thriller film directed by Curtis Hanson starring Rob Lowe and James Spader. In this noirish film, Spader plays a yuppie who meets a mysterious stranger (Lowe) who encourages him to explore his dark side. Bad Influence was the first original screenplay for which David Koepp received a sole screenplay credit. The film's villain is loosely based on a real person, a nomadic surfer who befriended executive producer Morrie Eisenman.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Bad Influence
Bad Influence Film Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCurtis Hanson
Produced bySteve Tisch
Written byDavid Koepp
Music byTrevor Jones
CinematographyRobert Elswit
Edited byBonnie Koehler
Epic Productions
Distributed byTriumph Releasing Corporation
Release date
March 9, 1990
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$7 million
Box office$12,626,043



Michael, a shy, socially awkward doormat, meets the extroverted Alex, who teaches him to be assertive and take risks. Things go too far however, when they go on a drug-fueled crime spree and assault a coworker Michael dislikes. When Michael wants out, Alex takes it upon himself to convince Michael to reconsider his decision - one way or another.



Bad Influence received mixed to positive reviews from critics. It holds a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 17 reviews.[7]

Movie historian Leonard Maltin gave the film 2.5 out of a possible 4 stars, saying, "This quasi-remake of Strangers on a Train knows what buttons to push and when; Lowe is convincingly creepy, but he won't make you forget Robert Walker."

Rob Lowe said in a 2017 interview it was the project in his career he did not feel got the attention it deserved. "It was really ahead of its time," he said. "I’m really proud of it... It’s sexy. It’s weird. It’s dark. The characters are great... It’s also a great snapshot of underground L.A. at the beginning of the ’90s. And yet it doesn’t feel dated."[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Bad Influence (1990)". Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Bad Influence". Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  3. ^ Canby, Vincent. "Bad Influence (1990)". Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Bad Influence (1990)". Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  5. ^ "BAD INFLUENCE". Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Bad Influence (1990)". Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Bad Influence (1990)". Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  8. ^ Harris, Will (8 February 2017). "Of all his films, Rob Lowe wants you to go back and watch Bad Influence". The AV Club. Retrieved 1 March 2017.

External linksEdit