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.)

Synopsis

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.

Opinion

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.

Recommendation

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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