Stingray (1978) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Lonigan and his partner Tony, two drug dealers, shoot two cops who attempt to set them up, and run away with a million bucks and the drugs, which they stash in a red Corvette Stingray in a used car lot. When they attempt to recover their stash with their leader, Abigail, they find out that two happy-go-lucky dudes, Elmo and Al, have bought the car. They quickly pursue the two along with the police who think that the car's new owners are the criminals.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • One night in a dark alley, two small-time crooks, Murray Lonigan (William Watson) and his partner Tony Agrosio (Bert Hinchman) are attempting to exchange some bags of heroin for a suitcase of cash by two drug dealers who they do not trust. The deal goes bad when Tony spots a tracking device on the back of one of the packs of money. The two shoot both of the men dead and escape into the night. When they start hearing police sirens, the two speed into a neighborhood car lot and stash the money in a red Corvette Stingray convertible. As they speed away, the lot owner Slim (Morgan Hatch) goes outside with a flashlight to see if there are any intruders, but the lot is empty and he puts a "sale" sign on the Corvette's windshield.

    At the local A&W restaurant, Longian and Tony are casually enjoying their food when two cops show up and arrest them. The two end up being held in the police station for 24 hours, but Lt. Herschel (Richard Consentino) and his partner Sgt. Murphy (Harry Gortusch) are forced to let them go when the police are unable to find anything in their car, but Herschel orders Murphy to follow them as he wants them busted. As Lonigan and Tony head to the elevator to leave, they run into their leader Abigail Bartowski (Sherry Jackson), who is disguised as a nun to avoid being exposed as she is wanted by the police in several states. The three head back to the car lot to retrieve the money, with Murphy on their tail, but his car gets disabled by jumping over a hill. They think they need more reinforcement by bringing along overweight hit man Rosco (Cliff Emmich).

    When they arrive at the lot, they find the car is being bought by two pals Al (Christopher Mitchum) and Elmo (Les Lannom). The group immediately chase after them when the Corvette roars out of the car lot, but Al immediately gets pulled over for speeding. Abigail, fearing the cops will find the drugs and money, ruthlessly orders her partners to shoot the cops and their car up in a drive-by shooting. Meanwhile, hiding in an abandoned warehouse, Al discovers an all points bulletin has been called for them by mistake, thinking they killed the two cops. Al thinks they should find the police and explain the whole situation, but Elmo does not like the idea.

    Meanwhile, Lonigan has an idea up his sleeve, get another tracking device from the tech wizard who supplied the two men that double-crossed him and Tony the previous night. Soon after, they catch up with Al and Elmo again. Herschel and Murphy also spot them, too in a squad car and give chase on Lonigan, but the car they are in gets damaged when a fallen ladder destroys the car's grill. The chase also disrupts a neighborhood concert in the local park, knocking over the musicians, stage, and the sound equipment. Abigail then tells Longian to pull over so she change out of her nun costume, much to his dismay. Al and Elmo finally leave town, but the Corvette runs out of gas and they have to pull into a roadside service station. Al thinks it is the perfect time to phone the police, but Elmo notices the few blue bags of heroin in the backseat and pulls Al out of the phone booth, causing him to rip out the receiver. Though annoyed, Al listens to Elmo that they should peddle the heroin for cash or end up getting shot dead by the cops. Al agrees and they quickly hurry to fill up the car, but when Lonigan spots them, Al quickly peels out, causing Lonigan to destroy the gas station's snack stand and Elmo forcing to run into the woods, with Abigail and Rosco on his tail. Longian and Tony go after Al and chase him onto a construction site, where he disables their car by pushing it against a hill of gravel by a bulldozer. In the woods, Elmo hides up in a tree, but falls and get chased away by Abigail's gunfire. Rosco decides he should handle the machine gun and a scuffle occurs, causing her to accidentally shoot him through his crotch and kill him.

    Meanwhile, Elmo manages to steal a motorbike from a nearby couple busy making out, with Abigail commandeering the second one, but soon after, her bike runs out of gas and winds up reuniting with Lonigan and Tony, as well as freeing their stalled car with the bulldozer. As night falls, Al decides to pull off at a neighborhood bar to relax and have a beer and shortly after, Elmo, weary and dirty, arrives and decides to clean up in the bathroom, but the tracking device indicates they are in the bar. The three criminals go in as a bar patron begins to hit on Abigail and she sets his crotch on fire, unintentionally triggering an all-out brawl with the other patrons. Al runs into the bathroom during the chaos and he and Elmo escape out of its narrow window, but run into Tony outside holding the machine gun, but Elmo knocks him out after he punches Al to the ground. Feeling defeated and refusing to let Abigail have all the credit, Lonigan and Tony decide to ditch her once and for all. Soon after, Herschel and Murphy arrive at the bar to see it in total disarray, because Abigail fired her gun into the air to get through to the bathroom. A fed-up Herschel tells Murphy to put out an all points bulletin on the three criminals.

    The next day, Al and Elmo are seen driving home and wind up picking up a hitchhiker (Sondra Theodore), something Al is reluctant to do,, t this point. Elmo decides the only way to avoid getting spotted is painting the car, an idea Al is not warming up to. Meanwhile, as Lonigan and Tony are watching the body shop the two guys are in, Lonigan is stabbed in the back of the neck with an ice pick by Abigail, who, somehow, tracked them down. She is ready to kill Tony, too, but decides to spare him, under the condition he shares the money with her. When Al, Elmo, and the hitchhiker spot them, again, they are forced to hide at a nearby car wash, only to accidentally have the car washed and the new paint job clean off. Abigail and Tony engage in a final chase with the gang that ends on a dead end embankment road. Elmo takes the gun that Tony left behind at the bar and shoots up their car, blasting the engine to ruins. The three run off and Abigail is ready to shoot them, but is shot by a double-crossing Tony. Thinking Abigail is dead, Tony collects the heroin bags Elmo left behind and plans to take off in the Corvette, but a wounded Abigail sits up and shoots Tony to his death. She staggers to her feet and gets into the car, but the shotgun Tony had is leaning against the car door and the charge ignites, shooting her in the head. A convoy of police cars and motorcycles arrive on the scene to notice all the dead bodies, including Lonigan's in the back of their disabled car.

    Later on, the three friends begin finding various $50 and $100 bills laying around the area. They find out it came from a jacket that was in the Corvette. They spot a derelict running off with it and Al and Elmo chase after him. They corner him under the bridge walkway, but the derelict decides he does not want it and throws it onto a bridge pole. Al goes out and retrieves it, but he falls into the river. Elmo notices and waits for him to come up, but does not. As the sun sets, Elmo and the hitchhiker are seen sitting near the river. He blames himself for being greedy and they should have gone to the police, originally. The two then notices Al's body floating over to the land and discovers Al was just playing a joke. He still thinks they should return the money to the police, but Elmo suggests they spend it all on a trip to Bolivia and the three then happily skip away.

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