The Wraith (Vestron Video Collector’s Series) – Blu-ray Review

The Wraith

Cool cars. Hot chicks. Giant explosions. These are the elements that you’ll find in the cult classic, The Wraith. Needless to say, The Wraith is a pre-pubescent boy’s dream movie. However, no matter how cool you thought it was back then, there’s just no denying this movie is incompetently made and extremely stupid. Sure, the races are entertaining, but they’re also mind-numbingly redundant. Not to mention, much of the acting is so awful that it’s as bad as The Room.

Of course, The Room wouldn’t be as famous as it is if it was for its awfulness. That’s what The Wraith is. The film has so many cheesy moments and dialogue that it’s laughable to the point of it being entertaining. Despite the cheesy dialogue, Charlie Sheen is his charming self as the title character. In his first lead role, Sheen takes what’s given to him and does as much as he can with it.

Despite all of the bad, the good you remember from when you were young is still there. For one thing, the 80s rock soundtrack for Wraith is just so good. Tim Feehan’s “Where’s the Fire” and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Secret Loser” are just some of the many highlights of this soundtrack. Despite the killer soundtrack, the film’s biggest highlight is the iconic Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor. I have never seen The Wraith until now, but I know if I’ve seen this as a kid, I would’ve put up posters of the car on my wall.

Overall, The Wraith is the epitome of a “so bad it’s good” 80s flick. The film has enough goofiness and cheesy dialogue to offset the utter incompetence of the film. That being said, The Wraith has several decent concepts that it’s a surprise that the film hasn’t been remade yet — especially with the mega popularity of the Fast & Furious franchise.

Movie Rating: 3/5 atoms

The Wraith - Sherilyn Fenn

Video

The Wraith hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The black levels are deep black that doesn’t have much loss of details in the shadows. At the same time, the whites are bright without any bloom whatsoever. The colors are slightly bold, which is not normal for films from this era. For a flick that’s 35-years-old, the film, for the most part, looks splendid for its age. There are a few discrepancies with the picture, such as incorrect color grading or dust and scratches. Nevertheless, the picture looks good. The film grain is noticeable throughout — whether it’s a fine grain or thick and grainy. Overall, this is a satisfying video presentation for all fans of The Wraith.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms

The Wraith - Nick Cassavetes and Clint Howard

Audio

The Wraith hits Blu-ray with a 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track. This audio track manages a pretty good balance between the sound effects, score, and dialogue that help bring this cult classic to life. This stereo presentation delivers nicely on all fronts and provides a clean and crisp audio mix throughout. It effortlessly balances the various audio elements without any audible flaws in the track. As a result, it allows all of the audio components to sound clear, never allowing any of the audio elements to overpower one another.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

The Wraith - Charlie Sheen

Special Features

The Wraith‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Mike Marvin
  • Audio Commentary with Actors Dave Sherrill and Jamie Bozian
  • Isolated Score Selections featuring Audio Interview with Co-Composer J. Peter Robinson
  • Tales from the Desert
  • Rughead Speaks
  • Ride of the Future
  • The Ghost Car
  • The Wraith Filming Locations: Then and Now
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Alternate Title Sequence
  • Still Gallery

This Vestron Blu-ray release features several brand new features not seen from the 2010 DVD release. First is the audio commentary with Dave Sherrill and Jamie Bozian. This track is not like your typical commentary track. Michael Felsher, owner and operator of Red Shirt Pictures, moderates a Q&A-type commentary with the two actors. Sherrill and Bozian are honest and entertaining as they talk about their experiences filming the movie. It sounds like two buddies talking about their “war stories” over a couple of beers. Not to mention that even they laugh at the ridiculousness of the film’s dialogue.

Identically, the “Isolated Score” is another commentary track that’s a bit different than what you’re used to. Michael Felsher returns to interview J. Peter Robinson about the score, and Robinson provides a lot of insight into the score. Later on, the commentary transitions into the score playing throughout the film. Unlike the isolated score track from the Pretty in Pink Blu-ray release, there’s no long silence in-between the musical score. Eventually, the score selections will end, and the audio track will revert to its regular theatrical mix. “The Ghost Car” talks about how they created the impressive visual effects of the film. Finally, “Filming Locations” is a bonus feature where someone uses a GoPro camera to film himself at several of the film’s Tucson set locations.

The rest of the bonus features in this release can be found in the 2010 DVD release. Mike Marvin’s audio commentary is a legacy commentary track that’s both informational and honest. Marvin is not shy about talking about his grievances with producer John Kemeny. However, Marvin is very dry in his commentary, so it tends to drag at times. Also, there is an inconsistency within the commentary. There are times when Marvin’s long pauses would be replaced with audio from the movie, and other times it would be long stretches of complete silence. 

“Tales from the Desert” is a legacy feature where writer/director Mike Marvin talks at length about the film — including its genesis, the production, and the cast. Marvin divulges information that you’ll hear in his audio commentary, but there are some new pieces of information in there. Basically, think of this feature as a cliff notes version of his audio commentary. Similarly, “Rughead Speaks” is another legacy feature where storied character actor, Clint Howard, talks about his career and his time working on the film. 

For the most part, “Ride of the Future” focuses more on the tragic fatal camera car crash instead of the film’s iconic Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor. Also, it features the crew members expressing their amazement that the movie has since amassed a massive cult following.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms


Overall, The Wraith is a film that’s so trashy that it’s pretty entertaining. It contains so many 80s cliches that it could very well be the quintessential 80s movie. The video and audio are acceptable for this kind of 80s release. Besides, you can’t complain when the last home release of the film was the 2010 DVD release. However, the best part of any Vestron release is the special features. The new and archival bonus features are a real treat for fans of the film.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

The Wraith hits Blu-ray on July 20th.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Vestron Video and Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Facebook Comments

About author

Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1669 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.

View all posts by this author →