Fripp is a reclusive artist who makes a living selling artisan crossword puzzles -- paintings where the clues and answers come from the customer's life.
One evening, as Fripp is walking home through the bustling city, he is struck in the head by a random bullet. When he awakes, he is on his back on the sidewalk, a streetlight shining hazily down on him. As he slowly comes to, he sees a man in a deep-sea diver suit appear silently above him. The man in the deep-sea diver suit is Blank Frank, who tells Fripp that he is his best friend.
At home, Fripp awakes and answers a knock at the door; his head is bleeding from the previous evening's wound. At the door is Detective Jimmy Mannex, an old-school detective who might have watched too many TV detective shows in his youth.
Mannex quizzes Fripp about his whereabouts the previous evening: there is a prowler on the loose in Fripp's neighborhood, stealing women's panties. Mannex is rather obsessed by this case -- he is sure that the culprit will surely progress to more serious crimes.
Noticing the blood on Fripp's face, the detective becomes more suspicious of Fripp. Fripp explains that he doesn't see doctors, ever, and accepts what has happened to him as a random incident.
Mannex ends his questioning, telling Fripp that he has him in his sights; he leaves, but not before firing his finger as an imaginary gun at Fripp.
When Mannex returns to his car, he immediately snorts animal tranquilizer, to the mild admonishment of Danny Boy, his dead partner. Mannex reminisces about Danny Boy's first day on the job, a day that culminated in Danny Boy being shot dead as he was undercover in lederhosen at a Mexican drug cartel's Oktoberfest celebration.
That evening, Fripp has a reoccurring dream: he is walking alone through a cornfield, where he comes upon a scarecrow, fabric blowing in a heavy night wind. He feels that he is supposed to ask the scarecrow a question, but he doesn't know what that question is. Fripp first started having this dream when he was in a coma after a childhood accident -- it is the reason why he is unwilling to see doctors now.
Fripp awakes disoriented in the middle of the night to blood on his pillow; standing above him is Blank Frank. They speak briefly, and then Blank Frank slowly exits the room, leaving Fripp to wonder whether he is awake or still dreaming.
In the morning, Fripp finds an envelope on the counter in his kitchen: it is marked "A Request", and inside it is a cryptic puzzle in code. Drawn to this mystery, Fripp focuses on finding its meaning.
Detective Mannex pays another visit to Fripp; he is willing to accept that Fripp is not the panty thief if Fripp will pull down his pants to show that he is not wearing stolen panties. Fripp rejects this offer. After implying that he might forcibly pull down Fripp’s pants, Mannex leaves, more suspicious than before.
In the car, Danny Boy tries to talk Mannex into retiring. Mannex refuses: his job in the filthy city is his life, and he does not want his legacy to be that of having only shot innocent bystanders when he has fired his weapon. He is convinced that stopping Fripp will be his redemption.
Meanwhile, Fripp enters his kitchen to find Blank Frank at a chair, eating Cool Whip out of the tub, and perusing the solved puzzle. The puzzle is from a serial murderer in his dimension called the Xodiac: in Blank Frank’s dimension they do not have the letter ‘Z’.
Blank Frank has the tendency to talk in cryptic riddles that may or may not make any actual sense. Blank Frank then tells him that – in his dimension – Fripp is his best friend, who is also a debonair bon vivant and a revolutionary in Quebec. Understandably, Fripp is left somewhat confused by all of this information.
Fripp begins to wonder if Blank Frank is some kind of spiritual possession, and visits a Catholic priest. Unfortunately, the priest tells him that he cannot perform an exorcism on him, being that the Church is concerned about lawsuits, and will only perform exorcisms in Third World Countries. Father Miller does, however, recommend that Fripp get in a contact with Father Max, a tattooed, motorcycle-vest wearing agnostic lapsed-priest who hosts a late-night radio talk-show.
Listening to Father Max’s show, Fripp calls in and speaks with Father Max; Father Max agrees to visit Fripp to dig deeper into his possible spirit-possessed situation.
Upon visiting, Father Max is wearing a gas mask: he is suspicious of the spores that are spread by the Industrial Military Snack-Cake Complex. Father Max attempts an exorcism, to no discernable result; he then suggests setting Fripp on fire to burn the demon out, as demons are highly flammable. Fripp points out that he is highly flammable, too, and Father Max agrees to set aside that idea, noting that his previous experiences with setting the possessed on fire has had disappointing results.
At home, Fripp is visited by a woman wearing a mask and robe, who identifies herself as a Woman of the Corn. She explains that a Harvest is coming, and that the Corn Will Reign Supreme when the Scarecrow arrives. Fripp does his best to be nice to her, and accepts her pamphlet of rather violent ideology.
Later, Blank Frank explains to Fripp that there are several possibilities to his situation: that all of these vents are random flashes in his mind as he lays dying in the street from the bullet wound, that he is still in his childhood coma and dreaming – or that all of this is really happening.
Detective Mannex visits again, and due to his ingestion of drugs on the doorstep, he is able to see Blank Frank. He also sees what look to be women’s panties on the counter in the house, but Fripp and Frank explain that they are colorful tablecloths for a fancy dinner party that will include tiny Vienna sausages.
Father Max visits Fripp again, and – upon hearing that the Detective could see Blank Frank because of his drug intake – Father Max ingests drugs of his own, and is now able to see Blank Frank, himself. As they discuss the possibility of exorcism by dropping a toaster into a bathtub full of water, the Woman of the Corn arrives at the door again. She informs Fripp that the Scarecrow is here, and that he wants to see Fripp.
Blank Frank, Fripp and Father Max follow the Woman of the Corn to a snowy forest, where they meet the Scarecrow sitting outside in a rather nice chair. The Scarecrow announces that he is the Xodiac Killer, and has come to Fripp’s world because Fripp’s solving of the Xodiac’s puzzles had put the police closer to catching the killer.
The Xodiac further explains that he believes the Woman of the Corn are the victims he has killed who have been waiting for him to be his slaves; he doesn’t much buy into the ‘Corn is Supreme’ concept, but he is spiritually flexible as far as keeping the women under him.
Now that they have found the killer, Fripp and Blank Frank realize there is nothing they can do to stop him, short of killing him, which they cannot bring themselves to do. Father Max agrees that he cannot kill a man in cold blood, which makes him realize he is not an atheist.
Fortunately, Detective Jimmy Mannex has no such compunctions: he has followed the men to this snowy plain, only to be joined by his estranged daughter, who has left the hospital bubble-room in which she has lived her life due to genetic defects from Mannex’s damaged sperm.
Mannex’s daughter Mandy tells her father of her two dreams: to eat ice cream with him at a park, and to run naked on the beach with her girlfriend. Xodiac‘s interest is piqued by Mandy’s possible beach nudity, which is a step too far for Mannex: he shoots the Xodiac, blowing open his head to reveal flies and maggots.
At home, Fripp and Blank Frank have a last conversation before Blank Frank leaves to return to his dimension. When Fripp awakes, he finds the bullet from his head in a dish on the counter: Blank Frank has removed it, and in doing so, Fripp’s dream of the cornfield now ends with him rising peacefully above it.
Now that he has his legacy, Detective Mannex retires by urinating on his desk, and then goes to the park to eat ice cream with his daughter.