In the quiet Western New York village of Red Hill, rebellious high school senior Johnny Grissom, nicknamed "Johnny Gruesome" by his classmates, goes on a drunken joyride with his best friend Eric Carter, girlfriend Karen Slatter, and drug fiend Gary Belter. Gary murders Johnny and convinces Eric and Karen to help him make the death appear accidental. The trio appear to get away with the deed despite the suspicions of police chief Matt Crane and his wife, English teacher Carol, and Eric is wracked with guilt. But soon Johnny's enemies turn up dead, murdered in increasingly grisly manners, and Eric begins to suspect his friend has risen from the grave to wreak revenge on those who did him wrong. Based on an original 1984 screenplay by Gregory Lamberson, and his award-winning novelization, published in 2007.