The Wraith

the wraith movie reviewThe Wraith is one my all time favorite movies. The Car, the Girl, and the Music made me fall in love with this movie when I first saw it as a kid. Although The Wraith was a B Movie, it had a lot of good things going for it and it was entertaining. The Wraith has since become a cult classic with a worldwide following.

The Wraith Storyline :
A motorized gang lead by Packard Walsh control and terrorize an Arizona desert town where they force drivers to drag race so they can win their vehicles. Walsh and his gang beat and kill a teenager named Jamie Hankins after finding him with his girlfriend Keri Johnson, a girl who he is obsessed with and seeks affection from. After Jamie's death, a mysterious power creates Jake Kesey, who looks much like Jamie and is a cool motor-biker who has a car which is invincible. Jake befriends Jamie's girlfriend Keri Johnson, takes Jamie's brother Billy Hankins under his wing and takes out Packard's criminal gang with his supernatural powers and car.

Movie Taglines - "An evil force took his life, an unearthly power has brought him back, he is a phantom, a wraith, a cosmic spirit given another chance."

"If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to fear."

"He's heaven-sent and hell on wheels!"

"...his spirit returns for revenge."

"He is a phantom - a wraith"

"He's not from around here."

The Wraith Cast :
Jake Kesey / The Wraith - Charlie Sheen
Packard Walsh - Nick Cassavetes
Keri Johnson - Sherilyn Fenn
Billy Hankins - Matthew Barry
Sheriff Loomis - Randy Quaid
Skank - David Sherrill
Gutterboy - Jamie Bozian
Oggie - Griffin O'Neal

Movie Details :
Director - Mike Marvin
Release - November 21 1986 (USA)
Runtime - 93 min
Sound Mix - Dolby
Budget - $2,700,000
Gross - $3,500,000 (USA)

the wraith dvd

Charlie Sheen is The Wraith

charlie sheen is winning in the movie the wraith as jake kesey

The Wraith / Jake Kesey was played by a young Charlie Sheen. Sheen's character first appears in the movie when he rides into town on a motorbike and starts Winning by picking up the beautiful Keri Johnson. If you're wondering what type of motorbike Charlie was riding, it's a 1985 Honda XL-350r, as seen here:

jake kesey's motorbike in the wraith

Charlie's character is the reincarnation of Jamie Hankins who is now endowed with mystical powers and a magical car. Sheen did a great job portraying his double character.

the wraith charlie sheen with shotgun

The Wraith Inspired Movies like the Fast and Furious

The car races in the Wraith were beautifully shot and definitely set the standard for how car race scenes should be done. The races in the Wraith definitely inspired movies such as The Fast and The Furious. There was no CGI at the time the Wraith was filmed, so everything had to be done with real cars and stunts.

The great soundtrack in the Wraith also helped take the race scenes to the next level. The music helped create that adrenaline and excitement feeling. Take a look at the video below of Minty's 1977 Trans AM versus the Wraith's Dodge MS4 Interceptor. The song being played during the race is "Never Surrender" by Lion.