The Wraith (1986)

Action, Horror, Romance
Charlie Sheen, Nick Cassavetes, Sherilyn Fenn, Randy Quaid
Jamie, killed by neighborhood thugs, returns as a mystical figure named Jake (The Wraith) to gain revenge.
  • Lionsgate Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 21 Nov 1986 Released:
  • 26 Nov 2002 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Mike Marvin Writer:
  • Mike Marvin Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Good, cheesy fun5/10

This movie survives only because the plot idea is kinda' cool. The rest of it is tremendously cheesy, but the excellent car and a compulsive 80's sound track make this a movie worthy of a night in and a bucket of popcorn. Put up your feet, put your brain to bed, sit back and enjoy.
Lost and found!5/10

Well, this movie is one of those half-forgotten gems of this cool decade. As a child I use to rent this movie over and over again but then I forgot it's name when I grew older. Recently, when I started to look for old cult 80s, I
stumbled upon this little nice saga. The story is ridiculous but quite entertaining (I love revenge ;)) and there are many strange plot-holes through the whole movie. So why bother renting or buying this old s*** you may ask? Well if you are a child of the 80s and saw it back then, it can bring back some nice memories. If you are from that time but have not seen it, you MUST see it. Everyone else, just see it and enjoy a movie with one of the greatest cars ever on screen. For those who have seen it I just must make some statements of some of the major flaws in the film. How come that the police just let the thugs steal all the nerds cars in a small town like this? (very strange) And why don't the stupid morons see that they're next to die on the list when their buddies fall off one buy one. No fear at all...=) Well... all and all a funny flash-back. You know from like ten minutes into the movie how the end will be, but you'll KEEP on looking...
Great action, good characterisation, superb soundtrack10/10

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.
mindless fun8/10
Let's be serious... this movie isn't meant to win an Oscar. It's just supposed to be fun and in my opinion succeeds on every level. The script is hokey, yet there are some really tender moments, like when Billy Hankins realizes who the Wraith really is. The acting is OK but this isn't Shakespeare. This movie is a great escape. Plus the revenge angle is definitely cool. The ending is actually a little reminiscent of "High Plains Drifter", where there is that one unspoken moment where fantasy and reality blur. This is actually one of my favorite films of the 80's. Sure it is massively dated, but, interesting none the less. Just a side note.... one of the waitresses at the drive in is a young Brook Burke of Wild On and Rockstar INXS fame!!!
This IS a classic 80's b-movie!9/10
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!