Johnny Grissom—nicknamed "Johnny Gruesome" by his high school classmates—is a heavy metal hellion who loves to party, watch horror movies, and get into fights. One winter night, Johnny's car, The Death Mobile, is discovered submerged beneath the icy surface of Willow Creek, with Johnny's waterlogged corpse inside. The townspeople believe that his death was accidental. But soon the murders begin—horrible acts of violent vengeance that hint at a deepening mystery and terror yet to come. A headless body is discovered at the high school, a priest is forced to confront his own misdeeds, and a mortician encounters the impossible. The sound of a car engine and maniacal laughter fill the night, and one by one, Johnny's enemies meet a grisly demise. The students at Red Hill High School begin to fear for their lives—especially Johnny's closest friends, who all harbor a dark secret.