Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson) and his wife Mallory (Juliette Lewis) are damaged. Both had horrible childhoods, and Mickey met Mallory while she still lived with her uncaring mother (Edie McClurg) and abusive father (Rodney Dangerfield in a rare dramatic role). Whether they were influenced by their pasts or not, they ended up becoming vicious serial killers. In what could be seen as a preview of the real-life glorification of tabloid news, their exploits are followed by Australian reporter Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.). Things go flying off the deep end from there.