The Black Widows, a teenage girl gang, find one of their number killed; they suspect Barbara, sometime girlfriend of Eddie Rand, the leader of rival gang the Vandals. As the gangs prepare for a rumble, we glimpse the members' home lives, exaggerating every type of family dysfunction.
The leader of the Black Widows is Hel (Helen) who decides to offer Rand money to turn Barbara over to them. The gang need to raise money. Squirrel/Eva, takes money from the cash register of her parents' restaurant. Lorrie takes money sent by her father to support her impoverished younger sister. May gets money off her older sister, Janet, who is dating her boss. Hel finds her father cheating on her mother.
Barbara is the daughter of a policeman but doesn't tell her father what happened. Detective Dunston starts an investigation into the girl's death.
The Black Widows gather money then go looking for Barbara. She escapes to the Vandals' clubhouse. Rand agrees to help her.
The Vandals prepare for battle so the Black Widows call in their male gang, the Tarantulas. The rumble begins, and Barbara escapes as the police arrive. Bett and Squirrel decide to leave the gang.
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