BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Wraith: Vestron Video Collector's Series (1986) - Blu-ray Review

The Wraith: Vestron Video Collector's Series

I’m tweakin’ dude!  One of my favorite B-grade flicks from Cinemax’s yesteryear is now on blu-ray!  The Wraith has arrived!

Complete with a crazy ass performance from Clint Howard (AND HIS HAIR) and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Secret Loser” (from The Ultimate Sin) blasting at the start of the first racing sequence in this high octane flick, The Wraith is a B-level BLAST of ‘80s canned cheese aimed right at your open mouth.  

"this flick fires away never stopping to check for understanding"


Hell, yeah!  Give me more!  Never surrender, boys!

And now, thanks to Vestron Video’s ongoing Collector’s Series, fans get to witness Charlie Sheen, Sherilyn Fenn, Nick Cassavetes, and Randy Quaid race for their lives alongside a badass helmeted driver who hauls ass in a Dodge Turbo Interceptor across an Arizona highway.  Forget about gas, man. This avenging angel runs on revenge.  

Written and directed by Mike Marvin, The Wraith begins when four mysterious orbs crash into each other and create a lone figure in the desert, standing like a stud in front of one of the wildest rides to ever grace the Arizona desert.  This car is straight black and while there might not be an explanation for it, his sudden appearance can mean only one thing.  Somebody done fucked up BIG TIME.

His name is The Wraith and this is HIS highway . . . 

. . . except Packard (Cassavetes) and his gang of gear-head gang bangers claim the highway as theirs.  Packard is as dumb as they come, but he is fierce when it comes to protecting his crew, his car, AND a young girl named Keri (Fenn).  You might say he is a tad jealous of everything that she says and does that doesn’t concern him.  Given the fact that he and his crew killed her last boyfriend (an event that so scarred her that she doesn’t remember it), he should be.  Everything about him is crooked.The Wraith: Vestron Video Collector's Series

And, as The Wraith’s sudden appearance on the highway aligns with Jacob "Jake" Kesey (Sheen) riding his Honda into the dusty town of Brooks, Arizona, something feels completely messed up.  Packard couldn’t be more right.  The stars have aligned and are responsible for bringing about the end of his demented reign.

We aren’t but 30-minutes in when we realize that the new boy in town and The Wraith are one and the same and, with a hell of a lot of supernatural mojo running through his veins, Kesey takes on the crew that, yes, killed him dead a few months ago.  One by one until the dead is done.  This is the bloody territory of this revenge fantasy flick as they become maggot pies even before their cars explode!

Picture High Plains Drifter except on a chemical overload and you get the picture as this flick fires away never stopping to check for understanding.  You either get in or you get lost.  There’s no in-between when .  This is a flick which embraces the supernatural, the pop anthems of the 1980s, a whole lot of drugs, and the mythos of the desert crossroads as one avenging stranger gets his hands dirty in order to get another chance with the girl of his dreams.

5/5 stars

 

The Wraith: Vestron Video Collector's Series

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate Films
Available on Blu-ray
- July 20, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Charlie Sheen, Nick Cassavetes, Sherilyn Fenn, and Randy Quaid star in this turbocharged cult classic! When four glowing orbs crash into each other over the Arizona desert, they leave in their wake a badass Dodge Turbo Interceptor — and its enigmatic, helmeted driver. The next day, the mysterious Jake (Sheen) appears in the town of Brooks, catching the eye of Keri (Fenn) and the ire of Packard (Cassavetes), the ruthless leader of a gang of street racers. When gang members start losing races — and lives — to the Interceptor, the recent death of Keri’s boyfriend suddenly seems connected to the arrival of Jake, the unbeatable car…and an avenging entity called THE WRAITH.

Video:

Offered courtesy of Lionsgate Films and its new handling of the Vestron Video imprint in 2.35:1, the AVC-encoded 1080p transfer of The Wraith is a relative goldmine of previously unseen details and colors.  The details in the diner, where all the cool kids work, and the clothing and some of the furnishing items are a reason to appreciate the visual “pop” throughout the high definition transfer.  The atmosphere – especially the cinematography – is especially nice.  The crisp image quality is the best you’re going to get with a film like this and, admittedly, even a bit better than expected.  Some stuff from the same era hasn’t made the HD transition quite as well, but The Wraith and his badass car looks better than it ever did.  Colors are perfect. Blacks are solid. Skin tones are detailed and appropriate.  

Audio:

The sound – offered here in a strong DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo track – presents this revenge flick by way of the supernatural in an engaging manner.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

This release is HOT! HOT! HOT!  The new supplemental materials are fantastic, giving fans of the flick more reasons to love it.

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4.5/5 stars


Film Details

The Wraith: Vestron Video Collector's Series

MPAA Rating: PG-13.
Runtime:
93 mins
Director
: Mike Marvin
Writer:
Mike Marvin
Cast:
Charlie Sheen; Nick Cassavetes; Sherilyn Fennr
Genre
: Action | Horror
Tagline:
He's not from around here.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Forget it, Murphy. Roadblocks won't stop somethin' that can't be stopped."
Theatrical Distributor:
Lionsgate
Official Site:
Release Date:
Novemver 21, 1986
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 20, 2021.
Synopsis: When four glowing orbs crash into each other over the Arizona desert, they leave in their wake a badass Dodge Turbo Interceptor — and its enigmatic, helmeted driver. The next day, the mysterious Jake (Sheen) appears in the town of Brooks, catching the eye of Keri (Fenn) and the ire of Packard (Cassavetes), the ruthless leader of a gang of street racers. When gang members start losing races — and lives — to the Interceptor, the recent death of Keri's boyfriend suddenly seems connected to the arrival of Jake, the unbeatable car…and an avenging entity called The Wraith.

Art

The Wraith: Vestron Video Collector's Series

 

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