Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

October of Horror #21: The Wraith (1986)

Posted by Trixter on October 28, 2018

(For an explanation of what these posts in October are, see the parent post.)


Members of a car gang are challenged to races by an anonymous newcomer with a car nobody has ever seen before — and when they race for their lives, the newcomer always wins.


I had never heard of this film until a few years ago, when some co-workers and I talked about cheesy teen action films from the 1980s (especially the silly BMX films like BMX Bandits and Rad), and someone mentioned The Wraith.¬† When I learned it starred a young Sherilyn Fenn, Charlie Sheen, a ton of 80’s music, and a Dodge M4S with a serious paint job — and believe me, all four of those are equally the stars of the film — I had to check it out.¬† Amazingly, I found a 1080p print of the film and set out to watch it.¬† As I watched it, I felt like I had picked the wrong picture for October Of Horror, but was surprised by how much I wanted to see it through to the end.

So what makes this barely classifiable as horror?¬† (Spoiler alert!)¬† The plot involves the ghost of someone killed by the car gang coming back to take revenge on the gang.¬† Kids are killed by a car with supernatural powers.¬† “But wait,” you say, “Wasn’t that the plot of The Car¬†9 years earlier?”¬† Yes, but that movie — strange as it was — was a true horror film where the car is the physical embodiment of a demon and it kills a lot of people for seemingly no reason (which is the best kind of reason to kill people in a horror film).¬† The Wraith is more of an 80’s revenge picture for teens.


If you like any of the following:

  • Clint Howard playing the role of a nerd completely seriously (and well)
  • An 80’s soundtrack featuring Ozzy Osbourne, Stan Bush, Robert Palmer, Bonnie Tyler, and Billy Idol
  • A futuristic-style car creating ludicrously gigantic explosions

…then The Wraith is worth your time.¬† If not, skip it.

One Response to “October of Horror #21: The Wraith (1986)”

  1. […] October of Horror #21: The Wraith¬†(1986) […]

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