When I was 12 and a pre-puberty kid with a Beatles haircut I had sleep-overs at friend’s houses.
One friend lived far out the village (possibly 10 kilometres out there) right in the mountains and woods. So we used to recreate and shoot our own 80s movie renditions: there was a scene where an avalanche hit us and we generously came up with no budget effects. We also used to camp outside his house one time and got scared and woke up early at night as boars where around the tent which made us move back into the house.
Most excitedly this friend’s parents had the most massive collection of VHS tapes I have seen in my life (these are not around anymore as far as I know). I’m saying they had two massive drawers full of movie tapes that they recorded from TV. So this amounted to around 200 or so movies at least. Naturally, every weekend sleep-over or meet up with that friend became movie filled. Movies were only interrupted by us eating (here they had one of those sandwich makers that lead to my early childhood obesity), shooting our own movies, playing with Ninja Turtles or Mega Drive. I still have nightmares of the bike level in Battletoads.
We watched everything and ratings were largely ignored, though horror movies sometimes were questioned or not allowed to be watched by us until we hit 14 or so. One time we watched 3 almost three hour long war movies in a row, I believe it was Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now. I don’t remember the order but I remember I asked to watch a cartoon or two right after. I believe we watched almost every Jackie Chan movie at his place that existed up until then. Definitely every Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Michael Dudikoff (of America Ninja fame if you have trouble remembering him) vehicle.
But there is one movie that stands out. One movie that still holds up today, that I still enjoy just as much as the first time I saw it and is just all around 80s move gold. And it’s still a hidden gem as the movie is not that well known.
Are you ready? I am!
The Crow is one of my favourite movies of all time and this movie shares a lot of similarities with it. The soundtrack is absolutely memorable and all around great. The story is simple and works, the setting is the 80s and there is revenge, cars, sex and a young Charlie Sheen.
The film is ‘The Wraith’ (in Germany known as ‘Interceptor’)and before you look it up on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes remember that they are clearly wrong. I couldn’t find a review that does that movie justice apart from the amazing video I will end this article with so here is my review of THE WRAITH/INTERCEPTOR:
The Wraith is a supernatural horror car action movie from 1986. A short synopsis would be that in the 80s a mysterious car shows up to avenge a murder and a gang gets taken out one by one.
Let’s get the few negative points out right away. It’s a pretty low budget movie with a simple story with a lot of plot holes and wooden acting here and there. That being said, still there is not a minute of the movie I would fast forward or skip. It’s totally silly that no one figured out that Packard killed Jamie back in the day, it’s also baffling how no one seems to connect the dots to the new kid on the block Jake
I am not a big car enthusiast but looking at the main character of the movie (it’s the car) makes me all excited. The soundtrack features 80s metal galore with Ozzy Osbourne, Bonnie Tyler and more of that calibre. Seriously when did movies (even bad ones) stop having all around great soundtracks, I mean Mortal Kombat, The Crow and even the more and more awful sequels had fantastic soundtracks. I can’t think of a modern movie that has a soundtrack that (apart from all instrumental soundtracks by Clint Mansell, Hans Zimmer or the Chemical Brothers) from start to finish has me hooked like these.
The characters in the movie are almost caricatures but they just work. The movie seems to be not pretentious, has suspense, does not overstate its welcome and the world it’s set in is just one that I want to return to, over and over. Also, with me barely noticing the CGI moustache of Her Cavil and movie mistakes in general, I did notice the camera in the shadows of the cars during some of the racing scenes and you can see some of the cars are replicas (just with chassis mounted) but that doesn’t bother me.
Here the movie by Good Bad Flicks: