“The Wraith” was released in 1986 and I just saw it for the very first time, this year. Yeah I know, it’s 2017. For years, Mrs. Monstermatt , her mom and brothers would quote the movie, as they saw it in the theater and it left a lasting impression. I would kind of scratch my head as I didn’t know the film. I now see the cheesy charm.
[Via] Obscure Trailers
SPOILERS for The Wraith Ahead!
“You lose the race, you lose your car!” Let that sink in. It’s a quote by Rughead (played by Clint Howard) in this delightful 80’s cheese fest of a film. The quote gets used quite a bit. Rughead is not the main character, but he’s a sight to see as he sports an Eraserhead like hairdo that is mesmerizing.
The Wraith is Charlie Sheen, who comes back from the dead to right some wrongs done to him, by a car racing gang led by Packard (played by Nick Cassavettes) in a southwestern town.
Mr. Wraith ( Charlie Sheen) is a spirit, and has some crazy ghostly modified car and he hunts down the gang and races them to the death, one by one. He also has a suit that is a little bit ” Robocop, ” a little bit “Dune.” With each act of revenge , a piece of the suit glows and disappears.
There’s characters to like, for their chatter or goofiness. None are very complex. Gutter and Skank keep drinking motor cleaners and fuel, etc., letting us know that “this has some kick” or “oh man, I’m tweaking!” Mrs. Monstermatt ‘s brother (who is a diesel mechanic) named every liquid they tried and verified if they did in fact “kick.” Most mechanics get various toxic things in their eyes, nose, mouth, ears at some point.
Randy Quaid is the town’s sherif and he asks the duo about a dozen different ways, if their brains are fried from chemicals. I kept giggling every time he said it, I mean once or twice, sure. But…
Sherilynn Fenn (Keri Johnson) is the object of desire between Packard and Jake Kesey/Wraith, and a buffer of sorts, to the teens at Big Kay’s Burgers, the local drive-in burger joint. She finds out that Jake is the spirit of her boyfriend and brother of the fry cook at Big Kay’s, who was killed by Packard and crew.
Once Jake/Wraith finishes his business with Packard’s gang, he gets ready to move on and take Keri with him. There’s some muttered lines about destiny.
Ok, that’s a racing lane’s take on the basic story. So, what did I think? It was very, very cheesy and charming in a way. I loved the soundtrack full of 80’s hair metal and synth pop. The Wraith sports the formula of bullying and a struggle to get the victims free, wether by their own growth or outside help. In this case, it was other worldly help. Add to that, a handful of car races for action, and it wraps up like something from Big Kay’s- full of stuff that’s bad for you, but tasty!
I’d give it two out of five oil cans.