John Schlesinger directed this upscale horror film about a landlord with the ultimate problem tenant. Patty Palmer (Melanie Griffith) and Drake Goodman (Matthew Modine) are a middle class couple who lie on their financial statement in order to buy an old Victorian house in San Francisco, planning to renovate it and rent it out. Unfortunately, they select as a tenant Carter Hayes (Michael Keaton), a psychotic real estate bargain hunter who plans to drive Patty and Drake into foreclosure proceedings and then buy the house cheap. Carter starts the ball rolling by refusing to pay his rent and driving out a couple who had rented the rear flat by hammering and sawing all night -- and then releasing a tidal wave of cockroaches. What follows is a psychological war between Carter and the Yuppie couple, with Carter succeeding not only in provoking Drake into more extreme means of eviction, but also causing a rift between Drake and Patty.
Carl Lumbly, Dorian Harewood, Laurie Metcalf, Luca Bercovici, Matthew Modine, Melanie Griffith, Michael Keaton, Tippi Hedren