|Directed by||Gary Sherman|
|Written by||Gary Sherman
|Distributed by||MGM/UA Entertainment Co.|
|Running time||95 minutes|
Fourteen-year-old Lisa Holland (Staci Keanan) lives with her mother Katherine (Cheryl Ladd) in Venice Beach, California. Lisa is beginning to show a keen interest in boys but is not allowed to date due to her mother’s strict rule about not dating until she is 16. It is revealed that Katherine had Lisa when she was 14 years old. Abandoned by Lisa's father, Katherine was forced to leave home after her parents demanded that she put Lisa up for adoption. These facts have made Katherine very wary about Lisa dating, feeling that it would further Lisa's desire to date and possibly have sex. Although she has a boyfriend, unbeknownst to Lisa, she keeps him at arm's length and around Lisa rejects the advances of flirtatious men. Despite years of hardship, however, Katherine has managed to build up her own successful florist business, which provides for the both of them very well. Aside from the issue of dating the two have a very good, almost sister-like relationship, although when they are at odds Katherine does make it clear that she is the mother. Lisa’s desire to have a boyfriend is furthered by her best friend Wendy Marks, whose less-strict mother and father have allowed her to start dating. Lisa keeps a secret scrapbook of men she encounters and would secretly like to date.
In the meanwhile there is a serial killer running loose in Venice, nicknamed the Candlelight Killer, so called because he seduces and rapes his victims by candlelight before killing them. The Candlelight Killer is a suave, good-looking, and successful restaurateur named Richard (DW Moffett), who looks more like a sexy model than a serial killer. Richard stalks good-looking women and then kills them once he finds out where they live. Uniquely, Richard calls his victims over the telephone leaving messages on their answering machines saying he's in their house and is going to kill them. As the women are listening to his message Richard grabs them from behind and then begins his candlelight rape and murder of them. In the opening of the film he does this to a woman named Mary (it's revealed later in the newspaper that Mary had been the Candlelight Killer's seventh victim), and later on to two other women named Allison and Judy.
One night Lisa is coming home from the grocery store and accidentally runs into Richard, knocking her groceries onto the sidewalk. Richard is leaving the house of Allison, whom he has just killed, and helps Lisa up while flirting with her. Lisa is mesmerized by his good looks and follows him to his car once he leaves, copying down his license plate number. Through the DMV she is able to get his address and telephone number. Upset that her mother has refused to allow her to go on a double date with Wendy, Lisa begins to call up Richard on the phone and engages him in seducing conversation. Richard is intrigued by their conversations, yet is more interested in finding out who she is, mainly because he is the one now being stalked. Lisa and Wendy follow Richard finding out where he lives and works. Lisa even gets into Richard's car alone at one point only to have to hide in the back seat when he unexpectedly shows up. All this goes on unknown to Katherine, and with each succeeding conversation, in which Lisa reveals more about herself including her scrapbook, Richard pushes Lisa towards meeting him for a date. Still at a standoff with her mother when it comes to dating, Wendy suggests that Lisa set up Katherine with Richard, implying that maybe if her mother gets some she will ease up and let Lisa date.
As Easter weekend approaches Lisa plans to go away with Wendy and her family to Big Bear, California as Katherine stays behind due to Easter being one of her busiest weekends. Katherine and Lisa decide to have a girls' night out dinner before she leaves and Lisa makes reservations at Richard's restaurant. Lisa calls Richard telling him that she will be at the restaurant that night and will wear a sexy white dress, the dress that her mother is wearing. While at the restaurant Lisa and her mother get into a quiet argument over dating again, with Lisa telling her mother that "if she got laid once in a while maybe she wouldn't be such a bitch about [her] dating". A furious Katherine goes to the bathroom telling Lisa to pay the bill with her credit card. As she is signing for the bill Lisa sees Richard and leaves him a love note with it. As Katherine comes out of the bathroom she bumps into Richard who recognizes her sexy white dress. Richard gets the love note with the bill, which reveals Katherine's credit card information, which he uses to track her down. Meanwhile a furious Katherine grounds Lisa due to the fight, forbidding her to go to Big Bear with Wendy. Despite this, Lisa goes anyway, leaving Katherine in their apartment all alone. Katherine calls Lisa in Big Bear telling her that she will deal with her when she comes home.
Meanwhile Richard begins to stalk the unsuspecting Katherine. He hides in her car, smoking cigarettes, which unnerves Katherine when she gets in the car and sees the cigarettes yet no one there. While in Big Bear, Lisa decides to give Richard a call. He reveals to her that he knows her name is Katherine, thinking Lisa is her mother, and that he knows where she lives. Fearing that her mother will find out about her calls to Richard, she phones Katherine and leaves a message telling her to ignore Richard if he calls, saying that he is a kid from school who is playing a joke. Richard meanwhile prepares to kill Katherine, buying candles at the local grocery store and asking the cashier for change so that he can use the pay phone.
On the night Lisa is to return from Big Bear, Katherine enters the apartment and plays her answering machine. She hears Richard's message and discounts it as a joke, based on Lisa's earlier message. Thinking Lisa is home, she goes into her room only to be attacked by Richard. Meanwhile Lisa returns home and enters the apartment. She sees her bedroom door open and sees her secret scrapbook opened on the floor with a lamp shining onto it. Running into her room she is attacked by Richard who has knocked her mother unconscious. Richard brings Lisa into Katherine's bedroom and plans to rape and kill her; Lisa sees the candles and realizes he is the Candlelight Killer. Katherine regains consciousness, however, and stabs Richard with a butcher knife and maces him. A maimed Richard grabs the knife attempting to kill both ladies and, while trying to regain his sight from the mace, trashes their apartment. However, Katherine is able to take a baseball bat and knock Richard out a window in which he is killed as he falls to the alley below. The movie ends with Katherine and Lisa holding one another close and crying, while the knocked-over answering machine continuously plays Richard's macabre message over and over again.
- Staci Keanan as Lisa Holland
- Cheryl Ladd as Katherine Holland
- DW Moffett as Richard aka The Candlelight Killer
- Tanya Fenmore as Wendy Marks
- Jeffrey Tambor as Mr. Marks Wendy's father
- Julie Cobb as Mrs. Marks Wendy's mother
- Edan Gross as Ralph Marks Wendy's brother