Booted off the San Diego police force after his procedure-bending attempt to rescue a child hostage has cost two partners their lives, ex-cop Mike Lazo (Mike Norris) works as a third-rate nightclub mesmerist. Despite the cheery boosterism of bar girl Gina (Sofia Shinas) and his hypno-assistant, Tony (Carey Scott), despondent Mike becomes the target of hecklers. One evening, Mike is rescued from a parking lot assault by Charles Walken (Timothy Bottoms), whose good Samaritan-ism masks a darker goal. Believing himself to be the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper, schizophrenic Charles hires Mike to conduct hypno-regression sessions with him. Whether it’s wishful thinking or a true transference of identity, Mike brings Charles’ murderous nature to the surface.