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The Wraith

Year: 1986
Production Co: Alliance Communications Corporation
Director: Mike Marvin
Writer: Mike Marvin
Cast: Charlie Sheen, Sherilyn Fenn, Nick Cassevetes, Randy Quaid, Clint Howard

If this film came out right now (2010), I'd assume it was based on a comic book. An avenging spirit who comes back from the dead in a cool car with futuristic weapons to wreak havoc on neighbourhood bullies in his desert mountain range home looks like something straight out of the pages of Marvel or DC.

It should also have been cinematic, and while a few scenes of violence and nudity try their hardest to provide a bit of edge, the whole thing feels like a limp mash-up of 90210 and Tron in the desert, none of it hanging together comfortably.

In fact, it's hard to even remember the story of the guy (Sheen) who comes back as the monster/robot/ninja thing to avenge his death against the local drag racing gang.

For some reason it takes him a long time to get around to doing anything. With his invincible car and weapons he presumably could have gone right round to their house and blown them up in the first 10 minutes, but instead he cavorts in a spring with the leading lady and looks dazed and for long stretches I thought I was watching a cheesy 80s teen love story. Even Randy Quaid as the local sheriff looks baby-faced.

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