A psychological thriller where the activities of two groups of travellers clash on a bizarre barren volcanic landscape.
Five passengers from an international flight are interned at a remote quarantine station, in the forest below a volcano. On the spur of the moment they abscond, in the mistaken belief that a town is nearby.
After an optimistic beginning they become hopelessly lost. In the days that follow, their relationships deteriorate as they trade allegiances. Cultural props become meaningless as they confront the prospects for survival.
Eric (TOM BRENNAN) is their natural leader. Older, urbane and persuasive, he instigates the walkout. Thomas (CTIBOR TURBA), an enigmatic European revolutionary who speaks little English, is frustrated in his mission and eventually finds himself stranded without friend or foe. The predatory Keith (ROY BILLING), is a hasbeen and a troublemaker. Angry with himself, he lashes out at everyone else. Gaylene (MARY REGAN) and Tony (PETER NICOLL) are suburban newlyweds, whose honeymoon trip is a disaster.
Meanwhile, camped high on the volcano is Victor (NIGEL DAVENPORT), an eminent vulcanologist, who has built his whole life around isolated landscapes and vaporous theories. He is accompanied by Margaret (JUDY MORRIS), a journalist who is writing his biography, and Steve (JOHN BANAS), a photographer.
By chance, these three discover the group which is lost. They are unprepared for the encounter and its consequences.