Howe (Tim Choate), Jordan (Kate Lynch), and Walker (John Walsh) are three astronauts who return to earth two months after a nuclear holocast and confront a new and terrifying reality. All cities and towns have been destroyed. Shanty towns have been constructed by the survivors out of the refuse of the old world. Civilisation has give way to barbarism. The space craft lands, considerably off-course, on a beach in eastern Canada. Jordan is knocked unconscious on impact. Walker exits first and is quickly killed by 'Terminals' - humans crazed by disease. Several hours later, in the middle of the night, Howe ventures out in search of help and a way to escape. He soon encounters Vinny (Maury Chaykin), a survivalist who has fortified his house with barbed wire and booby tramps. Vinny saves him from the Terminals and makes him his own prisoner along with another prison - a young woman, J. J. (Lenore Zann). Vinny, J. J, and Howe are captured and taken in chains to a makeshift fortress built out of junk. The leader is Gideon Hayes (Kevin King), a teenage warmonger. He runs his camp under the reign of terror. His one objective is to escape by sea in a boat he has hidden.