The dead beat is Larry Fox, a malcontent and misfit, and this tapes his activities as he tries to shake down LaVerne, a former partner in crime, while he moves in on a middle-aged married woman who is susceptible, as is the teen-aged daughter of her next door neighbor. These two complicate his attempts to negotiate with LaVerne; murder is used as a threat against him, and it is also his impulsive defense when he is crowded, confused, and trapped. . . Following Psycho (1959), this is an unsympathetic study of a sicknik-Beatnik and it is nastily effective.