Gort vs Charlie Sheen: Wraith is like The Crow meets Fast and Furious, but it's gloriously bad

"Rapey Nutcase catches Sherilyn Fenn with Charlie Sheen - we think she's probably safer with Rapey"

Rapey Nutcase has a cunning plan. He and his group of petrolhead hooligans are spending their nights chasing down expensive cars, holding the passengers hostage and forcing their drivers to drag race with them. Cheating, they win their victims' vehicles and then sell them for profit. You see, the drag race makes everything they do completely legal... somehow... so the police can't stop them. That's just how things work in 80s B-movie The Wraith.

Unfortunately for Rapey Nutcase, he has an achilles heel - a horribly eighties-haired girl who seems to think clothes are just something you put on top of your bikini until you can get somewhere you can wear a bikini and is actually Sherilyn Fenn under all that eighties somewhere. Rapey is so besotted with her that he is physically forcing her to date him, while he tries to pressure her into sex. His primary seduction technique seems to be cutting his hand with a knife and bleeding on her. Surprisingly, he's not getting far.

Rapey's mood is further darkened when he catches Bikini Girl letting Charlie Sheen give her a ride to work. We have to be honest, we think she's probably safer with Rapey. Sheen's arrival in town is almost simultaneous with the appearance of a crappy eighties-futuristic car, apparently a genuine prototype. Instead of questioning this, Rapey's crew immediately follow the suspicious vehicle and set up a drag race, despite having no contact with the driver.

The car may be futuristic, but it seems about on par with the eighties road racers, right up until it disappears, then pops back up in front of Rapey's mate's car, causing a crash and a massive explosion. Moments later, the mysterious car rematerialises and drives off. Sheriff Randy Quaid finds Rapey's mate's body in the car, magnificently preserved, aside from the eyes, which have been ripped out. Meanwhile, a mysterious Robocop-esque guy in a black helmet watches from a cliff above.

"Anyone order a pizza?"

This scene then repeats pretty much exactly for each of Rapey's gang, aside from a short interlude where Robodriver turns up at Rapey's garage with a digital shotgun and later when he suicide bombs the same place - each time re-appearing completely unscathed. Meanwhile, Rapey gets more and more agitated about Charlie Sheen hitting on his unconsenting honey, who is totally up for some "winning".

Rapey takes some time out for more rapiness
It all turns out that Sheen used to be Bikini Girl's actual boyfriend until Rapey's gang broke in on them post-coitus and brutally murdered him for smudging her body paint - to reference The Mummy. Somehow, and we never learn how, he returned from the grave in the closest copy of his original form he could manage - Charlie Sheen, apparently - with a host of scifi toys to play with.

"Rapey, don't you think your hair is a bit much?"
In the end, Sheen whacks all of Rapey's gang, reveals himself to Bikini Girl and they ride off into the sunset. Not a minute of it makes the slightest sense and the dark tropes jar with the Grease-style teen romance stuff, but while it feels derivative, the film predates The Crow's source material by three years, so could have been very influential. Overall, it's tremendously good fun and all fueled by a gloriously-eighties soundtrack, featuring Billy Idol, Bonnie Tyler, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue and Robert Palmer. Come back, Charlie, all is forgiven.

Wraith is currently available on UK Netflix. Have you seen it? Did you like it? Do you want to watch it now? Let us know below.

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