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Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Wraith (1986) - Mike Marvin



The Wraith could only exist in the nineteen eighties. This is that special kind of idea that pops up when you're at least four to five rails of coke into the evening. Seriously. This is insanity. It mixes sci-fi, horror and action in no way that any other movie could do. It has car chases and aliens. It's equally as good as it is terrible. And it features some really great actors. It's a huge cult classic from the era when PG-13 movies actually had some balls. This movie is really bizarre and I couldn't wait to see it. 

A stranger with an incredible car is challenging the members of a local gang to race for something much more valuable than pinks. This pisses off the local authorities and the hot-headed leader of the gang. What they don't know is that this isn't just any stranger. This is an alien with a intergalactic Turbo Interceptor and he is out for vengeance. 

Firstly, I love the soundtrack. It has a great lineup of awesome songs from the time. Artists like Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, Robert Palmer and a lot more. If you are a fan of eighties rock then I suggest at least giving the soundtrack a listen. It may not have been the best selection for a horror movie. But for an era with movies like Maximum Overdrive blazing AC/DC every five minutes, this is bliss. Plus the tunes are appropriate for the fast paced racing scenes. 

This movie hits a lot of highs for me. The mysterious driver has a really creepy vibe to him. At least the Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor that he was driving did. It was sleek, featureless and beautiful. The other cars in the movie were awesome too. Really tricked out ugly cars that tore up the television screen. Sorry, I just really like seeing these old school REAL car chases. Kudos to Buddy Joe Hooker for the amazing action sequences. 

These eighties punks were the best. The clothes were outrageous. Hollywood always knew just how to stylize these characters. The casting was actually pretty spot on. Clint Howard is really good in this feature. It's no wonder why Joe Bob Briggs claimed that The Wraith was his best picture. Also, Nick Cassavetes is a good gang leader. The acting isn't good. But it doesn't need to be. This movie exists on pure badassery alone. However, Sherilyn Fenn does have a long way to go.

I really liked The Wraith but it isn't very scary. It's more so just strange and kind of weird. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't suggest watching it. In fact this movie would go great in a marathon with Return of the Living Dead and Jason Lives. It has a great deal of nostalgic value. For some reason it just clicks with me.

Director: Mike Marvin
Producer: John Kemeny
Writer: Mike Marvin
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Nick Cassavetes. Sherilyn Fenn and Randy Quaid
Studio: New Century Entertainment Corporation and Alliance Entertainment
Release Date: November 21, 1986
Country: United States
Did ya know: Johnny Depp, who was then dating Sherilyn Fenn, was present during filming and was living in the film crew's hotel with Fenn.







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