The Wraith

This is an interesting movie that I tried to explain to a friend. You like fast cars? The first fast and furious movie? How about a ghost/human love story? Gang violence? Charlie Sheen and Randy Quaid? All good so far? Well then this is the trippy 80’s mashup of all those things for you.

TRAILER:

 

Synopsis:

The mysterious driver (Charlie Sheen) of a turbocharged domestic car drag-races an Arizona hot rodder (Nick Cassavetes) and his gang of murderous thugs in the desert. Unbeknownst to them (Damn that’s a good word, glad I got to use it today), the mysterious driver is a wraith, back from the dead to exact vengeance upon them for killing him because he was dating the girl the gang leader was crazy possessive about.

Wraith kills one by one, reconnects with girl (he looks different now, sorta like charlie sheen), and I guess resurrects after they’re all dead and he rides off into the sunset with the girl.

 

Vroom Vroom good.

This movie just oozes cool. From Nick Cassavetes’ oh so cool Cherokee Choker and sleeveless leather jacket, to the wide variety of cars featured. It also showcases a young Charlie Sheen on a motorbike, way before his Tupper Harley days.

It’s like need for speed, meets Poltergeist

There was an abundance of gratuitous bikini scenes. The movie was set in a desert town, but somehow there was an oasis / waterfall nearby where all the cool kids went to regularly.

Ridiculously unnecessary….right….?

The actual racing was fantastic. And the concept was sublimely cool. Our hero, a reincarnated Ghost of vengeance (Wraith), races the punks and kills them by literally crashing his super charger into their cars at high speeds kamikaze style. He and his car then regenerate, unharmed. Its original, it’s fun, its pure adrenaline fueled action!

Randy Quaid gave the quintessential small town 80’s sheriff performance, except he was not clueless. He knew exactly what was going on; i.e. why these punks were being killed. He connected the dots to the murder of our protagonist, and all in all was an excellent cop. When the last man was killed, he articulated that it was over. Justice had been served. This was an understated, nuanced performance from someone who’ll forever be remembered for either emptying his mobile home sewage into the storm sewer, or flying his jet into an alien mothership while screaming “up yours!”.

 

The movie also stars this guy, and therefore I automatically love it.

Boom Crash bad:

Honestly woman. Your boyfriend was murder stabbed while you were blindfolded, and your current boyfriend is super crazy possessive with a gang of thugs everyone is afraid of. Who do you THINK killed him?

Our hero came back looking different so noone recognises him. He also does not make any huge effort to connect with his YOUNGER BROTHER who himself faces bullying from said murder stabbing gang. He does continue to kill them off though, so I guess that’s ok? The younger brother realizes at the end of the movie who he was when they (hero and girl) ride off into the sunset in a very touching moment.

 

Conclusion:

I actually love this movie. It’s 80s, its camp but not too much. It’s just a COOL movie. I honestly watch this anytime I’m lucky enough to see it on TV. I may even see if I can find it on BluRay. I will forever recommend it for a fun couple of hours.

Look at this bad ass car. This was in the 80s!!!

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