Somewhere in here there's a great, moody movie about love & alienation in the big city. I've heard about studio mangling, and you can see signs of butchery in the terrible pacing and lumpy storytelling. What goes beyond the specific production backstory--whatever it might be--is the problem of so much 80s Hwd cinema: the failure to balance the art-consciousness of the 70s with a return to older conventions.
Reportedly this was butchered by the studio. What survives is a moody character piece with a heavy dose of seedy El Lay atmosphere (greasy spoons, Mexican dives, vacant dirt lots, dirty windows, copious lines of coke), occasionally interrupted by slightly awkward crime movie stuff. Some surprisingly powerful moments, particularly Paul Winfield's big scene and the bit where Betty peeks in on the murder scene.