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The Wraith (1986)

R  |   |  Action, Horror, Romance  |  21 November 1986 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 9,181 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 67 critic

Jamie, killed by neighborhood thugs, returns as a mystical figure named Jake (The Wraith) to gain revenge.

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Title: The Wraith (1986)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Skank
...
Gutterboy
...
Rughead
Griffin O'Neal ...
Oggie
Chris Nash ...
Minty
Vickie Benson ...
Waitress
Peder Melhuse ...
Murphy
Jeffrey Sudzin ...
Redd
Michael Hungerford ...
Stokes
...
George in Daytona
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Storyline

Packard Walsh and his motorized gang control and terrorize an Arizona desert town where they force drivers to drag-race so they can 'win' their vehicles. After Walsh stabs the decent teenager Jamie Hankins to death for being intimate with a girl whom Walsh wants for himself, the mysterious Jake Kesey arrives, an extremely cool motor-biker with an invincible car. Jake befriends Jamie's girlfriend Keri Johnson, takes Jamie's sweet brother Billy under his wing and manages what Sheriff Loomis can not - the methodical and otherworldly elimination of Packard's criminal gang. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gang | police | death | sheriff | arizona | See All (66) »

Taglines:

He's heaven-sent and hell on wheels! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

21 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Aparição  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,700,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film contains recognizable elements from a clutch of other popular films: lights flying along lonely roadways and up into the night sky (1977's Close Encounters of the Third Kind), heavy, mechanical breathing from a lone menacing figure dressed in an all-black body suit (Darth Vader in 1977's Star Wars), road pirates terrorizing a wasteland territory in their modified cars (1981's The Road Warrior), waving a handkerchief between two cars to start a two-car road race (1955's Rebel Without a Cause) and a dark car from Hell (1977's The Car). "I don't know, but whoever he was, he's weird and pissed off!" is a strikingly similar line to one spoken in John Carpenter's The Thing in 1982. See more »

Goofs

When the custom Dodge first shows up at Big Kays burger stand there is repaired damage seen on Packard's Corvette and Minty's yellow Trans Am (the damage is caused by shotgun blasts later on in the movie). Then when they get to road to race after this scene, the damage is gone. See more »

Quotes

Billy Hankins: [Talking about Keri] Me and her are pretty good friends. Well, actually she's... she used to be tight with my brother. She's got real problems with that lunatic she's with there now.
Jake: What kind of problems?
Billy Hankins: Well, Packard's a mistake of nature or a genetic misfire.
Jake: [laughing] He's what?
Billy Hankins: Packard gets crazy jealous if anybody even looks at Keri cross-eyed. You gotta wear dark glasses so he doesn't catch you at it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

POWER LOVE
By Norman Swan
Performed by Lion
Courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This IS a classic 80's b-movie!
12 March 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It makes me laugh when I read bad reviews of this movie. No one claimed it was a classic, no claimed it would win awards or prizes for depth of storyline etc.

What it does have is earnest performances, fantastic fx, amazing score and very pretty photography.

Yes, laugh at the shadow of the camera (in the days before monitors) during the race scenes, at least they bothered to use real cars on real roads at high speed, unlike pathetic cgi cars (fast & the furious, 2 fast 2 furious, gone in 60 seconds) with crap physics.

This movie is totally innovative, nothing like it before or since and there are a lot of techniques used in this movie that I haven't seen bettered since. The bit where Jake's scrambler breaks into 4 meteorites still looks great, the tasteful re-animation of the Wraith mobile after crashes (nowadays that would probably be done using reverse photography).

The action scenes in Mad Max & Mad Max 2 are sped up and look ridiculous. (Watch the bit in Mad Max 2 just before he crashes his Interceptor...you'll see.)

The acting is pantomimish (baddies=very bad, goodies=very good) but that is the style of this movie. We know that these actors are capable of more in-depth characterisations, but this is a shallow b-movie. That's all it's supposed to be. Anyone who watches this movie and expects anything other than popcorn fodder is an absolute idiot. Moaning about technical problems and poor acting only makes you look like an idiot. And let's face it, even today's biggest blockbusters are chock full of mistakes and glitches.

You don't watch a Carry On movie and then say "Oh, that was quite unrealistic, and the acting is bad." That's the point. It's silly farce. You're not supposed to take it seriously!

I'm also aware that Charlie Sheen hates this movie and he must have good reason.

Strangely enough, I'm surprised that this movie was not seized upon by the pompous comic book brigade! I guess, if it was a little more Gothic and The Wraith was brooding and had a troubled back story it would have been more accepted. I'm glad it didn't and wasn't.

If it was made now, it would have stinking CGI fx and too much back story.

It's a bubblegum movie. You don't like it, don't watch it. As a b-movie for it's time, it is a technically superior easy watch which still towers over many newer movies of the same genre.

The Crow? Pompous nonsense!

Hellboy? Crap!

The Wraith? Know's it's place and doesn't try to overstep it's mark!

And for people moaning about rubbish acting, check out Matthew Barry's performance when Billy Hankins realises Jake is his brother. It's an amazing, emotionally charged moment. I dare you to disagree and if you do you must be tripping.

Stop henpecking this movie.....it's ace, I tell you...ACE!


44 of 64 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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