Various women are being attacked by a serial rapist and killer in Miami. News anchor Jane Harris (The Love Boat's Lauren Tewes) starts to suspect that a man living across from her and her sister Tracy (Jennifer Jason Leigh, in her feature film debut) is the culprit, and starts snooping around. Jane is right in her suspicions, but will she be able to stop him, especially after he starts realizing that she's after him?
This film has examples of:
- Auto Erotica: Driving at a beach, Stanley's car gets stuck in the sand, and his attempts to get out disturbs a couple making love in their car nearby.
- Big Bad: Stanley Herbert, the serial rapist/killer.
- Boom Head Shot: Stanley is killed off for good when Jane shoots him in the head, splattering his brains about and sending him crashing through a glass wall.
- Danger Takes a Backseat: Stanley ambushes one of his victims by hiding in the backseat of her car.
- Fat Bastard: Stanley is an overweight killer.
- Harassing Phone Call: Stanley likes to make harassing calls to his would-be victims, which include heavy breathing, promises of intercourse and music box tunes.
- Impromptu Tracheotomy: When a man comes up to Stanley's car to offer him help to get his car unstuck, Stanley stabs him on the throat with a switchblade.
- Improvised Weapon: When Stanley has his hands all over her, Tracy grabs a pot full of fresh coffee and throws its contents on his face.
- My Greatest Failure: Jane blames herself for her sister Tracy's psychological blindness. When both of them were kids, she told Tracy to stay outside after getting home from school, and she was kidnapped by a stranger.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Jane makes harassing phone calls of her own to Stanley to unnerve him, but since she's a well known news anchor, he quickly learns her identity by recognizing her voice and starts targeting her sister.
- Not Quite Dead: Tracy manages shoot Stanley with a revolver, but he soon attacks her again.
- Off with His Head!: Stanley kills one his victims' boyfriend by chopping his head off with a meatcleaver. Afterwards, he places the head into a fish tank.
- Ominous Music Box Tune: Some of Stanley's calls to his would-be victims has him playing a music box tune to them. The tune comes from his cuckoo clock.
- Shower Scene: One victim is shown getting undressed and going to the shower before she's surprised and killed by Stanley.
- Stocking Mask: Stanley wears a stocking over his head when he's conducting his murderous business.