Director: Mike Marvin
Cast: Charlie Sheen, Nick Cassavetes, Sherilyn Fenn
Release Date: July 20, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
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.
Please Note: Lionsgate Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The goofy, yet wildly enjoyable 1980’s cult classic ‘The Wraith’ follows the arrival of both a new kid in town and a talented racer in full getup behind the wheel of a Dodge Turbo Interceptor which quickly catches the eye of the local street gang known for their dangerous races used to legally steal other people’s cars. Unable to resist the temptation of this unknown new ride, the group starts to realize they may be in for more than they can handle after their attempts to take on the mysterious driver result in death on their end. Who are these new strangers and do they have a connection to a young man who was brutally killed prior? Get ready to hit the streets at full speed and find out.
The fun, fast-paced and often quite cheesy cult classic ‘The Wraith’ joins the ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ following the Fred Savage and Howie Mandel led family film ‘Little Monsters’ and serves as the twentieth installment in the limited edition, numbered lineup of cult classics on Blu-ray. Written and directed by Mike Marvin (Hamburger: The Motion Picture) and featuring a notable cast that includes Charlie Sheen, Nick Cassavetes, Sherilyn Fenn, Randy Quaid, Clint Howard and more, ‘The Wraith’ may be a bit goofy and over the top but still delivers a surprisingly exciting ride loaded with fun moments, memorable lines and plenty of talented star power to keep it moving along. As someone who hadn’t had the pleasure of this one prior to reviewing this release, it almost feels like ‘The Fast and the Furious’ may have borrowed a bit from the film and the race sequences within are actually remarkably well done, especially for a film that was shot in the mid-80’s. Fans of ‘The Wraith’ will want to consider picking up a copy of the film’s new ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ Blu-ray release which brings the 1980’s cult classic home on Blu-ray with quite decent high definition video and audio presentations, along with a solid collection of bonus content that includes many brand new interviews and extras created exclusively for this release. Add to that the highly reasonable price of the Blu-ray release and it will surely be worth picking up at some point for anyone who enjoys this fun and cheesy ride.
Overall, the ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ Blu-ray release of ‘The Wraith’ brings the high octane 80’s classic home on Blu-ray sporting a fairly solid, albeit imperfect high definition video presentation paired with a 2 channel DTS-MD MA soundtrack that holds up nicely, all topped off by a healthy collection of supplements including a handful of brand new extras created just for this release. If like me, you’ve never seen ‘The Wraith’ before, I would suggest trying to give it a chance at some point if you enjoy a fun and somewhat silly 1980’s style film that will surely elicit a few laughs for the dated content alone, but is still an immensely enjoyable ride worth taking. This new Blu-ray release is also recommended for any longtime fans of the film that might be considering a purchase; particularly with the more than reasonable price tag.
The ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ Blu-ray release of ‘The Wraith’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of the film with a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty decent for the most part and delivers a fairly sharp and nicely detailed presentation with plenty of grain and other welcome artifacts representative of its film source. It holds up nicely during the various darkly lit and fast moving moments, never resulting in any overwhelming issues or problems occurring throughout, although there is a bit of debris and other minor issues noticeable throughout; fortunately nothing that should deter fans of the film as it’s easily certain to still be the best presentation of the film around and a significant upgrade from other formats to say the least. Overall, this is a quite nice high definition video presentation that even if mildly problematic in a few spots, still looks quite gorgeous as a whole and should largely please the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a 2.0 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This two channel soundtrack offers up a fairly great audio presentation overall that nicely balances the various audio elements within and keeps everything sounding smooth, clean and sharp every step of the way. Contributing some nice aggression during the races and other action oriented moments while always making certain that all of the dialogue and fun music along with everything else sounds clean and fully audible even if occurring simultaneously; never allowing anything to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a solid 2.0 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that does its job nicely and shouldn’t disappoint.
The ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ Blu-ray release of ‘The Wraith’ features a nice collection of bonus material including many brand new interviews and extras exclusive to this release. Included on the release are ‘2 Audio Commentary’ tracks; the first being an ‘Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Mike Marvin’ and the second an ‘Audio Commentary with Actors Dave Sherrill and Jamie Bozian’. Also included are ‘Isolated Score Selections Featuring an Audio Interview with Co-Composer J. Peter Robinson’. The Blu-ray release are treats us to a handful of new Interviews with members of the cast and crew including ‘Tales from the Desert: An Interview with Writer/Director Mike Marvin’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length), ‘Rughead Speaks! An Interview with Actor Clint Howard’ (running approximately 12 minutes), ‘Ride of the Future: Interviews with Stunt Coordinator Buddy Joe Hooker and Transportation Coordinator Gary Hellerstein’ (approximately 12 minutes), and ‘The Ghost Car: Interviews with Visual Effects Producer Peter Kuran and Effects Animator Kevin Kutchaver’ (12 minutes). Also included on the release is ‘The Wraith Filming Locations: Then and Now’ (approximately 27 minutes), along with an ‘Alternate Title Sequence’ (approximately 2 minutes) and a ‘Still Gallery’. The ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes) and a few ‘TV Spots’ for the movie (85 seconds) are also included.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8/10
The 1980’s Cult Classic ‘The Wraith’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray As Part of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series from Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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