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The Wraith (1986)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 8,436 users  
Reviews: 93 user | 65 critic

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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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 (65) »

Taglines:

If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to fear. 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming a chase sequence shot on a mountainside outside of Tuscon, a crew member was killed and another was critically injured. According to supplementary material on the DVD a camera car was overloaded and overturned. This was the only serious accident during the filming. 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

References The Exterminator (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

REBEL YELL
By Billy Idol and Steve Stevens
Performed by Billy Idol
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Sheen's Post-Impressionist Masterpiece
14 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Very few films past or present stray from the predictable form of a fluid linear narrative. Exposition, conflict, resolution, and possibly an occasional flashback or revisiting of an earlier moment---these are all staples of visual story telling.

Charlie Sheen's late 80's action masterpiece THE WRAITH, however, successfully ventures down a road much less traveled by filmmakers, a road which guides viewers through an assemblage of scenes which seem somehow related, but give no indication of how or why.

Ingeniuosly, the many questions of THE WRAITH, much like the guiding directions in other impressionist images, provide a grander picture of a straight forward story of love, loss, and revenge. Who is the angelic avenger that, one by one, picks off the gang of road-rash-ruffians in a futuristic car? Who, inexplicably halfway through the picture, receives his untimely demise from the ruffians in the trunk of car? Can it be the same character so craftily played by Sheen, a charming young man who both befriends the young short-order chef and knocks boots with the buxomly Sherilyn Flynn?

Thankfully the audience is given a clue to THE WRAITH's avante-garde modus in the air brushed leather jacket of Nick Cassavettes: the skull-among-flames symbolizes many things, maybe most important of which is the picture's dramatic refutation of sensible organization. The line between the beautiful, bone-white skull and the jacket's hot, licking flames, is blurred in the same fashion as the line of narrative arch which threads through THE WRAITH.

80's Action connoisseurs will appreciate the steely-eyed performance Sheen gives, as well as the supplemental contributions of Chuck Howard and Randy "Uncle Eddy" Quaid. From the first moment Flynn appears on the screen, there can be no doubt that Sheen will take her to the mat---or in this case, an Arizona hot spring---and there can be no doubt that Cassevettes and co. will receive their devilish comeuppance. During the course of such a spectacle, the audience must then ultimately ask itself, will we be able to handle the power contained in rest of this film? And if so, more importantly, will we be able to ever again stomach the banality of traditional film?


18 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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