What begins as a simple homicide case turns into a race against an epidemic of death! An autopsy of a murdered man reveals he had the bubonic plague; now his killer must be found before he becomes contagious and begins spreading the deadly scourge. Its a nightmare manhunt through the seamy, steamy underside of the New Orleans waterfront. Blackie (Jack Palance) is the cold-blooded killer who becomes a ticking time bomb. Lt. Cmdr. Clinton (Richard Widmark) is the public health service doctor who has 48 hours to find him.