Barry (Frank) is a formerly successful insurance executive whose career and life are being destroyed by alcoholism. As the day ends, he is sent to a notorious New York City housing project, the Lincoln Towers, to try and complete a life insurance policy sale to a nice elderly woman named Elva (Frances Foster). Meanwhile, a man named Will (Parker), a soft-spoken but tough employee of the telephone company, also heads to the building to hook up with his girlfriend and repair the phone lines. Unfortunately for Barry, while inquiring where Elva's apartment is, he taps a boy on the shoulder and quickly becomes the hated target of a savage gang called the Vampires, who run the Towers. The gang is led by their ruthless leader the Count (Tony Todd). An attempt to kill him leads to the death of the building's security guard. With Barry's entrapment inside the building, he crosses paths with Will and makes his first reluctant ally willing to help him. They take safety in Elva's apartment, but escape when the Vampires trap them. Leaving Elva behind, they find Elva's determined granddaughter Toni (Stacey Dash), visiting with her neighbors. Toni suggests they go to the apartment of Mr. Parker (Vincent), a unstable yet vicious Vietnam vet the gang fears. Paid for his help, Parker lets the trio in. Then Toni leaves to check on her grandmother. When she arrives, she discovers Elva beaten. And she is forced to reveal where Barry and Will are.
The Vampires, holding Elva and Toni hostage, arrive at Parker's apartment. Barry surrenders himself to save them. As Barry and Will exit, Parker and the Vampires engage in a shootout. In the midst of the gunfire, Barry, Will, and Toni escape. When Elva and Parker retreat back inside his apartment, Parker is shot in the chest and a short time later dies. Next, the trio head to the apartment of Chet Cole (Deon Richmond). A little boy, living with his mother, whom they heard is the only one who knows a way out of the building that no one else knows, not even the Vampires. According to Chet, the way out is in the building's basement. Chet offers to show them, but his mother sends him to bed, leading him to sneak out.
After saving them from being killed, Chet joins the trio as they descend to the basement through the elevator shaft. In the basement, Chet shows them the way out, but the opening is too small for either Barry or Will to fit through. Toni however is able to fit through and runs to get the police. But when she arrives at the station, the officers refuse to help, due to other officers being shot on a previous visit to the building.
While Barry and Will wait, Will comes up with another plan. Using the money that Elva gave Barry earlier in the film, they send Chet back upstairs. With sunrise approaching, Chet litters the money out a window to the Vampires guarding the basement door to the outside. At the same time, the Count and other Vampires realize that after checking every apartment in the building the basement is the only place left to look. When the money distraction works, Barry and Will escape just as the Count and his remaining Vampires arrive, and Barry is shot in the ankle.
Outside, Will and a wounded Barry start running as they are being chased and tormented by the last of the gang. Cornered, Will uses the one shot he has left in his gun to protect Barry and himself. He does this by having a final showdown with the Count. As the Count closes in, Will shoots him and struggles with him, until he knocks him to the ground. The Count dies and the other Vampires prepare to gun down Barry and Will. But Elva, using Parker's machine gun, fires shots at them from the apartment window to hold them at bay. Seconds later, Toni and the police finally arrive. Having survived a deadly night against a vicious gang, the film ends with Will and Toni accompanying Barry as he is taken to an ambulance.Gary Frank as Barry Rapchick
Ray Parker Jr. as Will Jackson
Jan-Michael Vincent as Parker
Frances Foster as Elva Briggs
Tony Todd as The Count
Stacey Dash as Antoinette "Toni" Briggs
Deon Richmond as Chet
Kadeem Hardison as A-Train
The film was given a limited theatrical release on May 22, 1987. Later that year, CBS/Fox released the film on videocassette and laserdisc. To this day, the film has never been released on a region 1 DVD and as of February 26, 2010, 20th Century Fox has no current plans to release the film onto DVD.