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The Wraith (1986)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 8,421 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:
...
...
...
...
...
...
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

Rugheads truck is not a Chevrolet, as noted before, but a GMC as can be seen by the GMC emblem on the grille. See more »

Goofs

When Minty takes on Jake in the race, the headlights on his yellow Firebird change between two and four headlight between shots. See more »

Quotes

Keri Johnson: [after kissing Jake] Nice.
Jake: I thought so, too.
Keri Johnson: Look, Jake, if Packard knew I was here with you... I mean, people are afriad of him for a reason.
Jake: People are afraid because guys like Packard prey on fear and weakness.
Keri Johnson: Well, I just think he's crazy. Try and be brave against Packard and he might kill you.
Jake: Or he might let you go. Courage isn't easy to come by. That's how he keeps those goons with him all the time. They're just scared.
Keri Johnson: So am I.
Jake: Keri, listen. There's gonna come a time when you'll have ...
See more »

Connections

References The Exterminator (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

WHERE'S THE FIRE
Written and Performed by Tim Feehan
Courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An 80's Wonder
26 December 2004 | by (Palm Beach, FL) – See all my reviews

If you care to travel back to 1986, you'll see a young and not-yet popular Charlie Sheen star as a ghost with a vengeance. This, of course, means that you'll have to endure a few eighties quirks, which gave the decade its unique character.

"The Wraith" is a creative story about a bunch of drag-racing town bullies who are into taking what they wish, mostly by force. The town police (although shown as macho) appear feckless in apprehending the thugs. The town's populus remain largely actionless due to their fear. The kingpin of these hooligans is Packard Walsh (Nick Cassavetes - son of famous actor John Cassavetes). Charlie Sheen plays Jake, the reincarnation of a slain victim (Jamie) of the town thugs. He appears out of nowhere and soon begins conversations with Packard Walsh's girlfriend, an action considered lethal. Soon a mysterious driver with an exotic, futuristic-looking car (the real-life Dodge-Chrysler Interceptor M4S) appears on the scene and begins drag-racing Packard's gang into the grave.

This film gives us some great eighties in it's soundtrack which includes Robert Palmer and Billy Idol. It also gives a look at the popular "punk" look of the eighties in the character of Skank. I recently discovered that the Wraith's car was a real-life automobile. And only one original model was actually loaned from Chrysler. The other shots were of "shell" models, without engines, etc. During the filming of the good drag-race shots on the mountainsides outside of Tuscon, one of the crew members was killed and another critically wounded.

I had some dislike for the film in the completely idiotic and helpless nature of Packard's thugs. In fact, I had a bit of trouble in believing the entire town's pacifisim towards Packard. There is one strange scene involving a sexual encounter between Packard and some local girl, where she thanks the sheriff for showing up. This just didn't add any credibility. But then again the whole movie is a bit incredible, especially the Wraith's car and its ability to keep that Windex shine after blowing up. And I never did figure out what the deal was with that one part that glowed at the end of every crash. More 80's sfx...? I chuckled for an instant though when I saw the Wraith enter Packard's warehouse in that "spacesuit" with what appeared to be a "space shotgun". What was the deal with that? I was beginning to think Jake's body was beamed aboard an alien ship before he died and now he was returning with their technology.

A good story for the eighties, but not one to take too seriously. Be sure to admire Sherilyn Fenn's teeny character, Keri. Oh, I also read you can buy an M4S Interceptor replica for about $70,000. Ouch! 6/10


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