At a Detroit theater showing kung fu films, Alabama Whitman strikes up a conversation with Elvis Presley fanatic Clarence Worley. They later have sex at Clarence's apartment in downtown Detroit. Alabama tearfully confesses that she is a call girl hired by Clarence's boss as a birthday present but has fallen in love with Clarence. They marry.
An apparition of Elvis visits Clarence and convinces him to kill Alabama's pimp Drexl. Clarence goes to the brothel where Alabama worked, shoots and kills Drexl, and takes a bag he assumes contains Alabama's belongings. Back at the apartment, he and Alabama discover the bag contains a large amount of cocaine.
The couple visit Clarence's estranged father, Clifford, a former cop and now a security guard, for help. Clifford tells Clarence that the police assume Drexl's murder is a gang killing. After the couple leave for Los Angeles, Clifford is interrogated by Don Vincenzo Coccotti, consigliere to a mobster named "Blue Lou Boyle", who wants the drugs. Clifford, realizing he will die anyway, mockingly defies Coccotti. Infuriated, Coccotti shoots Clifford dead. A note on the refrigerator leads the mobsters to Clarence's Los Angeles address.
In Los Angeles, Clarence and Alabama meet Clarence's friend Dick, an aspiring actor. Dick introduces Clarence to a friend of his, actor Elliot Blitzer, who reluctantly agrees to broker the sale of the drugs to film producer Lee Donowitz. While Clarence is out buying lunch, Coccotti's underboss, Virgil, finds Alabama in her motel room and beats her for information. She fights back and kills him with his shotgun.
Elliot is pulled over for speeding and arrested for drug possession. To stay out of jail, he agrees to record the drug deal between Clarence and Donowitz for the police. Coccotti's crew learn where the deal will take place from Dick's roommate Floyd. Clarence, Alabama, Dick, and Elliot go to Donowitz's suite at the Ambassador Hotel with the drugs. In the elevator, a suspicious Clarence threatens Elliot at gunpoint, but is persuaded by Elliott's pleading.
Clarence fabricates a story for Donowitz that the drugs were given to him by a corrupt cop, and Donowitz agrees to the sale. Clarence excuses himself to the bathroom, where a vision of Elvis reassures him that things are going well. Donowitz and his bodyguards are ambushed by the cops and mobsters and a shootout begins after Elliott accidentally reveals himself as an informant. Dick abandons the drugs and flees. Almost everyone is killed in the gun battle, and Clarence is wounded as he exits the bathroom. He and Alabama escape with Donowitz's money as more police arrive. They flee to Mexico where Alabama gives birth to a son, whom she names Elvis.