"Strange Deal" is a fast-paced and gritty crime/ thriller/comedy built around the dual themes of friendship and civility versus savagery.
Zack and Cam -- both 24 and life long buddies -- pack for a weekend hunting trip. Zack has a next door neighbor, Milt, who is a police detective but also more than a little strange.
Milt invites them over for a poker party. Cam wants to go because he’s constantly short on cash and thinks poker will be an easy way to make some fast money.
Zack would prefer to hangout with his new girlfriend, Amber. Cam prevails and the two buddies head next door for the game, not realizing they are about to be “hunted” in a way they never imagined.
At Milt’s house only two other players show up, a pair of sketchy characters named Helmet (45) and Zippy (25).
Helmet is polished and diplomatic and clearly a gangster with business to conduct with Milt, while Helmet’s “associate,” Zippy, is a runtish and repugnant tweaker. While Milt and Helmet discuss business in a back bedroom Zippy regales Zack and Cam with a crude story about Milt’s “Mommy.” Milt appears, without Helmet, and as Milt and Zippy banter aggressively Milt produces a lead pipe and knocks Zippy out cold.
Zack and Cam watch in horror as Milt takes a hunting knife and drives the blade up through the base of Zippy’s skull and into his brain. Milt is quite pleased with himself because the killing resulted in no blood being spilled. Zack, however, is less than thrilled to learn that Milt used Zack’s knife to kill Zippy and Zack’s pistol to kill Helmet.
It turns out that “poker night” was all part of Milt’s plot to take control of Helmet’s rackets. Milt is constantly upbeat and happy-go-lucky, even when he’s in the act of murder.
The second act picks up with Milt’s outlining his intentions to recruit Zack and Cam to be his new underlings, or, if they refuse, be framed for killing Helmet and Zippy. Cam, always hard up for money, likes the idea of becoming a gangster-in-training, but Zack wants no part of it.
A new mobster, named Bob, shows up to dispose of the corpses via a chain saw and body bags. Bob is towering and intimidating. As the night progresses the boys fail at their gangster audition in several ways.
By the third act Zack and Amber are tied up in the basement while Milt, Bob, and Milt’s foul mouthed and ultra-violent hooker girlfriend, Mommy, give the two friends a choice. It’s at this point that the relationship between Zack and Cam comes to a head. Each has an opportunity to kill the other to save his own skin. And it looks like they might do it.
But in spite of the constantly shifting alliances between Zack and Cam friendship prevails and Zack, Amber, and Cam manage to escape and mount their own offensive -- using Zack and Cam’s hunting equipment -- against Milt, Bob, and Mommy.
During the ensuing confrontation Bob is killed and, in order to avoid more bloodshed, Milt and Mommy agree to a truce with Zack, Cam and Amber. Cam agrees to get rid of Bob’s corpse in exchange for a job with Milt while Amber agrees to help Mommy cut up and get rid of Helmet and Zippy. Enraged that his best friend and girlfriend have fallen under Milt and Mommy’s corrupting influences, Zack calls Milt out for a final showdown.