Archeologists excavating the ruins of Pompeii discover what seems to be a perfectly preserved human figure, encased in lava. A scientific team led by Dr. Paul Mallon (Richard Anderson) begins to piece together the history and identity of the stone figure. Using surviving records from the city and the location where the figure was found as a starting point, the archeologists uncover the story of Quintilus, an Etruscan gladiator-slave who was tortured and sentenced to death for daring to love a noblewoman. He vowed to kill anyone who kept him from the woman he loved, and was in the process of being executed when the eruption of Vesuvius destroyed the city and buried Quintilus in molten lava. Their research takes on tremendous urgency when evidence -- in the form of a rising number of dead bodies -- begins to show that Quintilus may not only still be alive, in some impossible-to-fathom manner, but bent on carrying out his final wish, of rescuing and escaping with his beloved, and that the woman he loved has been reincarnated, in some manner, in the person of Mallon's fiancée, Tina Enright (Elaine Edwards). This all seems like fanciful speculation, especially to the police, until Quintilus breaks out one night and starts stalking Tina through the city, impervious to police bullets and a danger to everyone around him. When Quintilus takes the unconscious Tina, Mallon must try to anticipate his movements around the city by finding the modern locations of ancient streets that Quintilus seems able to navigate. He heads for the Cove of the Blind Fisherman, hoping to save his fiancée and put an end to this ancient curse.