Carter Hayes (Keaton) is not the ideal tenant: he trifles with razor blades, cultivates cockroaches, and doesn't pay the rent. It's a sign of the times when the landlord gets all our sympathy, but that's the general idea. Live-in lovers Drake and Patty (Modine and Griffith) buy a sprawling Victorian house in San Francisco. To pay for renovations, they rent out apartments to a quiet Japanese couple and to the psychopathic Hayes, who proceeds to strip the fittings and terrorise everyone in the house. But the law is firmly on his side. Schlesinger stages the action with smooth assurance, gradually building tension until Hayes goes completely round the bend. The problem lies in Daniel Pyne's script: the relationship between Drake and Patty is half-realised, while Hayes' motivations remain strangely muddled. That said, Keaton is chillingly convincing.
Cast and crew