The film opens as Mary Murdock (Laura Breckenridge), a young student, leaves a lively party at a club in New Jersey one night. She hits a bad bump driving home drunk on a dark road. Later, hearing noises in the garage, she finds a bleeding man, mangled and impaled on her jeep's bumper. Not calling 911, she tries to help, but he suddenly attacks. Panicked, she hits him with a golf club. After that, she buries his body in a shallow grave in the woods off Clover Rd.
The next day, Mary covers up the crime (before parents return from a weekend trip); she scrubs off the blood but doesn't get the dent fixed (a suspicious cop at the auto shop scares her off, then she detours for her grandmas parrots at airport cargo). Mary starts coming apart. Irrational, she crashes on a tree to camouflage the small dent with a bigger dent.
Later the news reveals the missing man is kindergarten teacher Timothy Emser (Kevin Corrigan), bipolar and unstable when he vanished. Strange things occur in Mary's house, making her feel toyed with by someone unseen; she descends into paranoia. It transpires that Rick (Christopher Shand), her boyfriend, gets involved in the cover up and goes to retrieve incriminatory evidence (a blanket) off the corpse, but is killed, replaced in Emser's grave.
It becomes clear Emser survived. Unhinged, he returns to make Mary live through the same nightmare she inflicted on him. He stalks Mary many ways. The parrots squawk strange phrases, which alert Mary. At one point, she falls down the stairs, impaling a screw driver in her thigh. Emser surprise attacks, biting and stabbing her, and she passes out. In a reversal, when Mary revives, Emser has strapped her to the bumper with electric cords and Christmas lights and takes her on a sadistic, all-night "revenge drive".
Along the way, after a struggle, Emser kills a gas attendant (who was about to call the cops) by pumping petrol down his throat and the attendant throws up blood after Emser departs. Emser parks back at his own house, leaving Mary trapped in his garage, as she did to him. He reunites with his worried family, but is ever more delusional, violent. Soon, Emser stabs his wife Jane in the back with hedge clippers when she accidentally stumbles on and tries to untie Mary.
It transpires that Emser goes to bury Mary in the woods with Rick's body, after detaching her and the bumper using a blowtorch and welding mask. However, in the grave, Mary is able to maim his eye with a plug from the cords and escapes in the jeep. When Emser blocks her path, Mary revs up and intentionally runs her tormentor over several times. She speeds off in the dark.
Next morning, Mary wakes on the roadside, numb and battered, and drives to a local auto shop. There, the mechanic and passersby ultimately discover, and pull out, Emser's body from under the jeep, where it got snagged. Seeing this, Mary has a mental breakdown, saying "I don't think I need that bumper anymore", laughing as the police sirens close in on her. The film ends moving closer to Emser's bloodied face on the pavement in the early rain, and it appears to be left uncertain whether he is actually dead or not.
Throughout the narrative, a radio DJ called Eddie the Spaz is periodically heard. He is hosting a weekend music marathon called the "Spazathon", which bookends the film.Laura Breckenridge as Mary Murdock
Kevin Corrigan as Timothy Emser
Christopher Shand as Rick
Megan Anderson as Jane
Michael Gell as Andy
Nitin Adsul as Gas Attendant
Eric Zuckerman as First Street Mechanic
Joe Hansard as Quarantine Dude
Lance Lewman as Mechanic
Rebecca Gebhard as News Anchor
Al Twanmo as Newscaster
Kara Quick as Reporter #1
Katherine Schmoke as Reporter #2
Mary Lechter as Teacher
Robert Cait as Eddie the Spaz
Larry Carter as Bar Patron (uncredited)
Michael Cohen as Bar Patron (uncredited)
Mike Dusi as Motorcycle Cop (uncredited)
Blaze Foster as Making out couple outside bar (uncredited)
Kiersten Hall as Shot Girl (uncredited)
Jason Moffett as Mechanic (uncredited)
Kevin E. Scott as Bar Patron (uncredited)
Katelyn Linnell as Bar Patron, Stand-in for Laura Breckenridge (uncredited)
The film is loosely inspired by an urban legend originating in the mid-1980s, a cautionary "scarelore" tale of the perils of drunk driving. The film may also be loosely inspired by the murder of Gregg Biggs by Chante Mallard of Fort Worth, Texas.
MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released the film to DVD on January 13, 2009.