Set in the year 2017, Barb Wire takes place after democracy has fallen and a fascist military junta has taken over the U.S. government, plotting to wipe out the country with Red Ribbon, a laboratory-manufactured disease derived from the AIDS virus. The entire test city of Topeka has been annihilated, and only the small bastion of Steel Harbor remains the last free zone in the country, conveniently the home of the title heroine Pamela Lee. Barb, a leather-clad, silicon-stretched motorcycle mama, happens to carry antibodies for Red Ribbon in her DNA, thus making her an enemy of the state. She sets out to defend freedom and take down the evil government by posing as a stripper and seducing foolish male adversaries with her well-displayed assets. The plot thickens as she happens upon her freedom-fighter ex-lover and his wife (much in the vein of Casablanca).