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A doctor, taken captive by a cave dwelling cult, discovers their awful secret of longevity.
Medical student Rhona and her partner Charlie argue about having a family while scaling an Ayrshire sea cliff. Rhona falls and breaks her leg. Charlie goes for help but is captured by a cult of cave dwellers. Rhona is in a panic as the tide is coming in fast. Cultists Abe and Seamus, take Rhona through a sea cave to their underground lair. Leader Sawney Bean watches over as his partner Agnes strips Rhona. Agnes declares Rhona’s unusual birthmark a sign and Rhona is saved from being sacrificed.
Rhona is looked after by Sawney’s pregnant daughter, Mary. Her leg heals amazingly quickly with a fungus poultice. Meanwhile Abe, the father of Mary’s baby, plots with his mother Peg to take over the clan.
Rhona is horrified when she recognises tattooed meat in the broth. Is it Charlie’s butterfly tattoo? She freaks out and tries to escape but is recaptured and beaten up by Abe.
Rhona learns that the clan’s lives are prolonged by the fungus. However the clan has degenerated because of inbreeding and there is a power struggle for the leadership.
Abe beats Mary. Mary goes into labour. Rhona overcomes her fear of blood and delivers the baby Elspeth via caesarian. Sawney banishes Abe and declares Rhona as one of the clan. Abe kills Sawney and Agnes. He takes over the cult.
Rhona and Mary flee with Elspeth but Rhona falls down a shaft and is left for dead. Mary and Elspeth are captured. Rhona recovers. Peg helps Rhona, Mary and her granddaughter Elspeth to escape via an underground lake but are followed by Abe and the clan. Some unseen creature in the lake overturns Abe’s boat and he appears to drown.
Eventually Rhona, Mary and baby find another exit and come out from behind a waterfall into a valley. They head across a stream to a hill surrounded by trees. Abe rushes up out of the stream. Rhona deals Abe a fatal blow.
Rhona and Mary with baby climb up through the trees to the top of the hill. Rhona and Mary rest and fall asleep. In the morning Mary ages rapidly. Rhona tries to feed her the fungus but Mary dies. Rhona throws the fungus away. She heads back to civilisation with Elspeth.