In Chicago, a number of ritualistic murders are tied to a Serial Killer who claims he wants to recreate the body of Jesus Christ in time for the resurrection on Easter and is sending the cops coded messages to see if they can solve his puzzle.
This film provides examples of:
- Admiring the Abomination: Detective John Prudhomme expresses admiration about the killer's intellect to avoid detection while his more inexperienced partner is just disturbed by how insane such a person would have to be. John changes his opinion after his partner becomes another victim.
- An Arm and a Leg: The serial killer murders people and steals their body parts before then stitching them together to recreate the body of Jesus Christ in time for the resurrection on Easter. Six victims total—one for each limb, one head, and a torso. It gets even more horrific when the police figure out there will be a seventh victim: a newborn baby who will be killed for a heart.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: Subverted. The cops find a message left behind by the killer at his first murder site written on the window in blood: HE IS COMING. However, lab tests show it to be lamb's blood.
- Disguised Hostage Gambit: The killer is chased through the rain by two detectives who split up before he captures one of them and dresses him in his own disguise with a gun taped to his hands so the other cops will shoot him. The killer gets away, though the captured detective survives despite needing to have his shattered leg amputated.
- Hollywood Law: When one of the detectives recites the Miranda warning, he says the ending wrong to express anger at the killer. Understandable, but it would invalidate anything he said after that. Also, the killer is arraigned on a charge of impersonating a federal agent in the Cook County courthouse, with the district attorney involved, and he's held in Chicago Police custody before he makes bail. However, this a federal crime, and he would be arraigned in the US District Courthouse, with the US Attorney's Office prosecuting, and held in federal custody.
- Impersonating an Officer: The serial killer is revealed to have been posing as an FBI profiler who was "assisting" the cops with tracking himself down earlier in the film. This becomes apparent when the main character, a Chicago PD homicide detective, visits the local FBI headquarters and discovers that the actual agent by that name is African-American, not white.
- Murder by Mistake: After detective John Prudhomme interrupts one of the Serial Killer's rituals, he sends John a taped message informing him that he'll kill his wife as revenge and leave the body behind for him to find. When John races back home, it turns out that the killer murdered his wife's best friend instead since he didn't know what she looked like.
- Orphaned Punchline: Played With - A running gag early in the film has John not laughing at any of the other detectives' jokes. Later, after hearing an orphan punchline about someone being hit by a bus, he forces a laugh only to find out it was not a joke. Someone the detective knew was actually hit by a bus (she was hurt, but would be okay).
- Outliving One's Offspring: In the backstory the main character lost his son in a traffic accident a year prior, and is still emotionally distant because of it.
- Smug Snake: Once the killer is caught, he's incredibly smug about the fact that the cops have nothing that ties him to the murders.Cocky son of a bitch, isn't he?
- Vomiting Cop: Basically all the cops in the room have to throw up when they see the grotesque statue the killer has made of Jesus Christ, assembled out of the rotting body parts of his previous victims.