Downtrodden writer Henry and distressed goddess Wanda aren’t exactly husband and wife: they’re wedded to their bar stools. But they like each other’s company- and Barfly captures their giddy, gin-soaked attempts to make a go of life on the skids.
A woman escapes from the man who is about to rape her, but leaves her purse behind. Afraid that her attacker might come after her, she goes to the police, but with no proof of the incident, they can do nothing. In fact, the man does use the information in her bag and comes to her apartment with the intent of rape, but she sprays him in the face with insect repellent, and then holds him captive. She is then faced with deciding whether to go to the police who might not believe her and release him, or to kill him.
Driving to a wedding in Los Angeles through the Mojave Desert, Paul and Adrienne pull off the highway and into Roy’s Motel and Cafe. This roadside artifact proves to be a strange and surreal place with an unsettling mix of travelers, who force our couple to discover the secret hidden between them and ultimately, the horrifying reality of their current situation.