The film revolves around a series of murders of young women. The killer, Dirk, works for a pornographer named Johnny Ryde. It is outright stated that Dirk's impulsive murders are a direct result of viewing pornographic pictures and films. This is stated both by Ryde's boss, Gloria Henderson, and the police (represented by Lt. Carson, Sgt. Stone and Officer Kline). Several subplots attempt to emerge during the course of the film: the ongoing police investigation into underground pornographic distribution (in one scene, a fight breaks out between two rivals, one of whom is played uncredited by Wood himself); Ryde's attempts to shoot porn (accompanied by his director Jaffe, an elderly man who is somewhat elfin in appearance); Gloria's rising concern about the out-of-control Dirk, which comes to a head when her overlords in "the Syndicate" order her to remove Dirk permanently; and in an obvious attempt to interject pathos into the film, the tribulations of a young girl from a small Midwestern town who starts out seeking a career as a legitimate actress, but who ends up making porn for Ryde and Gloria, before becoming one of Dirk's victims.
The film reaches its climax when Gloria and Ryde attempt to get rid of Dirk by putting him in a car with faulty brakes. Dirk survives, and forces Ryde to blackmail Gloria. Dirk then murders Ryde, before being shot in the dark by Gloria, who assumed that she was shooting Ryde. The film ends with Gloria's disbelief that she shot the wrong man as the police arrest her.
THE SINISTER URGE
ED WOOD JR (1960)