In the darkening embers of a Communist utopia, life in a desolate Hungarian town has come to a virtual standstill. Flies buzz, spiders weave, water drips and animals root desultorily in the barnyard of a collective farm. But when the charismatic Irimias
- long-thought dead - returns to the commune, the villagers fall under his spell. The Devil has arrived in their midst.
Irimias will divide and rule: his arrival heralds the beginning of a period of violence and greed for the villagers as he sets about swindling them out of a fortune that might allow them to escape the emptiness and futility of their existence. He soon
attains a messianic aura as he plays on the fears of the townsfolk and a series of increasingly brutal events unfold.