The true story of Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist who became notorious after shooting art world icon Andy Warhol, is portrayed in this fact-based drama. In an attempt to present a fair assessment of her actions, writer-director Mary Harron focuses on Solanas' troubled life, from her childhood as an abuse victim to her life as teenage prostitute in New York City. These experiences left Solanas (played by Lili Taylor) deeply scarred, contributing to a hatred of men that later found full flower in her famous "SCUM Manifesto," an extremist tract calling for the establishment of a "Society for Cutting Up Men." Deeply troubled, she nevertheless briefly finds hope after befriending young transvestite Candy Darling (played by Stephen Dorff) and discovering herself on the fringes of the wild, colorful world surrounding the eccentric Warhol. She becomes obsessed with the idea that Warhol's support could change her life, only to become violently enraged when the artist and his friends begin to turn away from her.