The Wraith

November 21st, 1986


more trailers The Wraith

Still of Randy Quaid in The WraithStill of Charlie Sheen in The WraithStill of Nick Cassavetes, Clint Howard and Griffin O'Neal in The Wraith

Jake is killed by neighbourhood thugs, and returns as a mystical figure (The Wraith) to gain revenge.

Release Year: 1986

Rating: 5.3/10 (5,314 voted)

Director: Mike Marvin

Stars: Charlie Sheen, Nick Cassavetes, Sherilyn Fenn

Packard Walsh and his motorized gang control and terrorize an Arizona desert town where they force drivers to drag-race so they can 'win' their vehicles. After Walsh beats the decent teenager Jamie Hankins to death after finding him with his girlfriend, a mysterious power creates Jake Kesey, an extremely cool motor-biker who has a car which is invincible. Jake befriends Jamie's girlfriend Keri Johnson, takes Jamie's sweet brother Bill under his wing and manages what Sheriff Loomis couldn't; eliminate Packard's criminal gang the hard way...

Charlie Sheen - Jake Kesey / The Wraith
Nick Cassavetes - Packard Walsh
Sherilyn Fenn - Keri Johnson
Randy Quaid - Sheriff Loomis
Matthew Barry - Billy Hankins
David Sherrill - Skank
Jamie Bozian - Gutterboy
Clint Howard - Rughead
Griffin O'Neal - Oggie
Chris Nash - Minty
Vickie Benson - Waitress
Peder Melhuse - Murphy
Jeffrey Sudzin - Redd
Michael Hungerford - Stokes
Steven Eckholdt - George in Daytona

Taglines: ...his spirit returns for revenge.

Release Date: 21 November 1986

Filming Locations: 4th Avenue & 7th Street, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $2,700,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $1,402,535 (USA) (23 November 1986) (588 Screens)

Gross: $3,500,000 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The black car featured in the movie was a real-life technological wonder, the Dodge M4S. A joint effort of the Dodge Division of Chrysler Motors and PPG Industries, one of the highly sophisticated PPG Pace Cars for the PPG-CART Indy Car World Series. The M4S was designed and constructed at an estimated cost of $1.5 million, and featured performance and technology to match that lofty figure. The innovative body design was developed in the Chrysler studios, while PPG developed the finish - a special bronze pearl paint job formulated just for this car. The M4S was powered by a Chrysler 2.2-liter four-cylinder one-of-a-kind engine that exceeded 194 mph. According to 'Gary Hellerstein', transportation coordinator for this film, a total of seven versions of the M4S were needed for filming. The original, on loan from Dodge, was used for close-ups and details. Two more "drivers", consisting of perfectly detailed bodies on dune buggy chassis, were used for stunt driving chores. There were four "shells", empty bodies on bare, towable frames, that were sacrificed in various crash scenes.

Continuity: In most of the racing scenes the type of road (with single or double lines in the middle; without lines) and also the surrounding landscape changes between shots.

Skank: Lot of duckbutter out at the lake today, hey Pack?

User Review

Great action, good characterisation, superb soundtrack

Rating: 10/10

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.