Clarence Worley is a well-meaning but socially unskilled comic-shop clerk whose idea of a big night out is catching a Sonny Chiba triple-feature at a downtown grindhouse. Clarence is celebrating his birthday in just such a manner when he meets a beautiful girl named Alabama, and it's love at first sight for both of them. Clarence's enthusiasm isn't dampened much when he discovers Alabama is actually a prostitute who was paid by his boss to bump into him; she's only been in the business for a few days, and is more than eager to give up streetwalking to be with Clarence. However, Alabama is certain her pimp, Drexl, will not be happy; he's an ill-mannered sort with mob connections and a fondness for violence. Chivalrous Clarence offers to break the news to Drexl and collect her belongings, but he doesn't tell her he also plans to kill Drexl while he's there; a melee breaks out that leaves Drexl and his henchmen dead. Clarence grabs a suitcase that he thinks contains Alabama's clothes, but he discovers it instead holds five million dollars' worth of cocaine. The couple hits the road for California, planning to sell the dope and enjoy the good life in South America with the proceeds, but soon a group of very unhappy underworld characters are after them, as well as the police.