The Wraith

1986, Movie, PG-13, 104 mins

Review

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A ridiculous mishmash of drag racing, ghosts, and science fiction, THE WRAITH swiftly disappeared, sparing Charlie Sheen a lot of embarrassment. In the Arizona desert, a gang of tough kids led by Packard Walsh (Nick Cassavetes) race against all comers, betting their cars on the outcome. One day Jake Kesey (Sheen) rides into town on a motor scooter and falls in love with Keri (Sherilyn Fenn), Packard's girl friend. Everyone seems to recall Jake's face, but no one can quite place it. At about the same time, a mysterious and very fast black car starts turning up on the highways outside of town. Eventually it is revealed that Jake is the reincarnation of a boy killed by the gang sometime before, and now...as "The Wraith," he has been returned to life by some aliens and sent back to get revenge. The performances range from poor to lousy (to be fair, Sheen isn't too bad), mostly the fault of an incomprehensible script that, instead of working anything out, simply throws in another bone to distract from the story's stupidity. Director-writer Mike Marvin is obviously working out of his element, which consists of ski films and features with titles of things you eat or drink (SIX PACK; HOT DOG--THE MOVIE; and HAMBURGER). The best thing here are the cars, which have no dialog and just stand around looking fast. Sheen's is a specially built Dodge pace car that cost over $1.5 million. leave a comment

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