Jake (Gregory Fortescue) is the town outsider. Living with the guilt of believing that he accidentally set fire to his house and killed his family, he sequesters himself in a shack and takes to drinking. One night he’s attacked by a mysterious hairy creature, who scratches Jake on the chest before Jake is able to subdue and kill it. Now infected with a mysterious disease, any object that Jake touches becomes deadly, and any living creature who subsequently touches it is almost instantly dissolved.
The townsfolk, cut off from the nearest big city by a storm, divide into factions as they scramble to protect themselves from these random menacing “red objects” that Jake has touched. Cats become currency, people cover themselves in plastic, and murder and mayhem rule as the town rips itself apart trying to stay safe and determine who’s spreading the disease.
Operating as a loose allegory to the contemporaneous AIDS epidemic, this film is odd and entertaining, and like the town it portrays, it ends up going completely over the edge. I put together a quick splice of most of the cat-related dialogue; it’s an obvious highlight and shows the film’s best side.