Puerto Rican actor Victor Mohica plays the title character, a Native American who has returned to his small California desert home town after service in Vietnam to face a new enemy -- a gang of ruthless racist thugs led by town boss Colby (Ralph Meeker).
Pushed to his breaking point by a neverending string of brawls and harassment by town sheriff Jesse (well-played by David Canary, later on All My Children), who is kept under Colby's thumb by a hidden secret. Johnny finally snaps when Colby's goons lynch his alcoholic grandfather (Frank De Kova of F Troop) for kicks.
Johnny escapes from prison and vanishes into the desert. There, he stalks and brutally murders each of the gang members responsible for his grandfather's death. A panicked Colby sends Jesse after Johnny, and soon, the two are facing each other down.
Jesse must choose between obeying his cruel employer or freeing a man who has suffered the same sort of injustice as he.