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The Wraith (1986)

R  |   |  Action, Horror, Romance  |  21 November 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 9,506 users  
Reviews: 95 user | 68 critic

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Vickie Benson ...
Peder Melhuse ...
Jeffrey Sudzin ...
Michael Hungerford ...
George in Daytona


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) »


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


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Aparição  »

Box Office


$2,700,000 (estimated)


$3,500,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although listed as Plymouth Caravelles in other notes. The cop cars and Loomis's car are Dodge 600s as Caravelles have a plain grille and 600s have the cross-hair grille. See more »


At no point during the movie is the blower on Minty's Firebird ever shown to be functional despite having two carbs mounted on it. The butterfly valves on the air intake never open either. Normally it's impossible for an engine to run this way; however, when the blower is ripped off during the crash, there are a few frames showing it has no rotors inside. See more »


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 »


References The Exterminator (1980) See more »


By Haden Gregg, Mark Tiemens and John David Souther
Performed by LaMarca
Courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Great action, good characterisation, superb soundtrack
29 July 1999 | by (Lisburn, N.Ireland, UK) – See all my reviews

One of my all-time favourites. A nice idea in the spirit of "The Car" or "Christine" with great action (mostly of well-show car chases in Tucson, Arizona). The characters were well constructed and (on the whole) well implemented by the actors, with Nick Cassavetes stealing the show as nutter, Packard Walsh.

It also launched the careers of Charlie Sheen and Sherilyn Fenn (Fenn's fans will be happy to see "more" of her in this one).

The rock soundtrack is superb and a real collectors' item nowadays.

The original video cover was nice in that it was a holographic cover. Subsequent sell-thrus resorted to a standard litho-printed cover.

For a night in with a pizza and a few mates round, this is a great film.

40 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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