At an orgy in California one night, bitter Dag Bandy witnesses a man shoot her brother Dennis in the face over a motorcycle Dennis has stolen. In a state of shock over the murder, quiet loner Dag is unable to talk to her only remaining family member, her stepmother Annie, about the event. While she repairs her bike and prepares to hunt down the killer, Dag is haunted by the recurring image of Dennis' bloody face and childhood memories, including Dennis' penchant for stealing and his threats that Dag not tell Annie any of their secrets.
Soon after, Dag buys a shotgun and describes the assailant to local bikers in hopes of tracking him down. Her investigation leads to Dennis' friend Peace Preacher, who advises against revenge, but gives her information on the killer, who was Dennis' friend. On the night before Dag's departure, Annie avoids her daughter's gaze and begs her not to risk her life. Immune to Annie's pleas, Dag asks why she no longer looks at her. Annie replies that Dag's transformation since the murder frightens her. The next morning, Dag is joined by fellow cyclists Bernie, who harbors a crush on her, and Jonsie, who joins them for the adventure. The three leave town on their large "chopper" motorbikes and then camp that night in the desert, where a sheriff finds them. Drawing his gun, the officer harasses the bikers and demands to see Dag's gun. Dag refuses; however, calling him a "pig" and bullying him into leaving them alone.
The next day, Dag, Bernie and Jonsie go to the Sportsman bar, where Dag asks if anyone has seen a man meeting the assailant's description. After Dag draws the attention of several pool players when she wins the game, a jealous fistfight erupts. Hearing someone call her a "road tramp," Dag joins in the ensuing bar brawl, until Jonsie and Bernie drag her to safety. The next morning, Jonsie and Bernie tease Dag as she bathes nude near their camp; however, when the two dunk her under as a prank, a panicked Dag flees into the desert trying to escape images of her tortured childhood. Continuing their journey later that day in a desert wind storm, they are forced to take refuge in an abandoned café, where owner and Native American witch Op serves them stew made with marijuana. Claiming that she works with spiritual powers, Op warns against revenge, suggesting instead that Dag's own guilt is driving her mad.
Dag breaks down and admits that images of the murder are driving her to kill, but is unwilling to take Op's advice. Soon, Dag, Jonsie and Bernie begin loudly accosting Op. As the tension mounts, Dag thrusts Op's hand into the fire, but when Op's flesh remains untouched, the three are stunned into silence. The forgiving Op explains that Dag was only trying to have her feel Dag's pain, but says that she cannot. That night Dag dreams of shooting the killer, who is unaffected by the wounds. Dag awakens the next morning to find a note from Op wishing Dag luck with her "karma." That day, the three drive north into a ski area to which Preacher had indicated the killer was headed on his way to Canada. Stopping at a diner, they meet art school teacher and biker Ken, who recognizes the assailant's description as a recently hired school handyman.
Claiming that the killer is a friend whom they wish to surprise, Dag asks Ken not to tell him about their visit. Dag is attracted to the easy going Ken, but when he invites them to stay at his cabin, she refuses. Desperate to mete out justice to her brother's killer, Dag drives with Jonsie and Bernie to the school, where she holds the principal at gunpoint until he reveals that the handyman will return Monday for his check and is most probably living at an abandoned cabin. To amass money for dinner, Dag plays pool and takes the winnings to the diner, where Ken offers to take her for a tour of the town. When she and Ken return to his home to make love later, Dag is once again haunted by images of both the killer and her brother. Fleeing Ken's arms in fear and disgust, a desperate Dag returns to camp and prods Jonsie and Bernie into immediately continuing their hunt into the mountains. Soon after, Dag finds the killer at a cabin and sends Bernie and Jonsie away. Facing Dag's gun barrel, the terrified man claims that he had only meant to scare Dennis, who stole his bike, but the gun went off accidentally.
Seeing that Dag has every intention of killing him, the man begs for his life and then deliriously announces that he knows her secret, that she and Dennis had an incestuous relationship. Horrified that she is forced remember the truth, Dag fires a wild shot through a window missing her target, staggers out of the cabin and falls to the ground. Digging the butt of her gun into the ground, she screams out, "I've got to bury him."
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