August 1st: Saturday Special: Charlie Sheen’s Teeth and Sherilyn Fenn’s Tits.

wraith

160. The Wraith (Mike Marvin, 1986)

Well, as soon as Educating Rita had finished I turned over to find The Wraith on BBC1. Charlie Sheen is the avenging angel who turns up in a small Arizona town to clean up the local drag racing gang. Lead by the cold Packard Walsh, Nick Cassavetes on scenery chewing form, they killed young Jamie Haskins. Walsh took Haskins girlfriend and continues to bully his younger brother. That is until Sheen’s Jake Kesey arrives to avenge Haskins. Jake is The Wraith and with the power of his Knight Rider-esque sportscar and gleaming white teeth he sets about disposing of the gang bit by bit, whilst also getting the girl and taking the younger brother under his wing.

It’s revenge by numbers but notable for one or two things. The drag racing subculture on display makes this a kind of proto The Fast and The Furious. Nothing special but it is always interesting to see how low-budget genre films are able to capitalise on niche youth culture to garner an audience. Sheen himself has that cheeky smirk on his face throughout, he seems to be having a great time. And then there’s Sherilyn Fenn. I had a huge crush on Sherilyn Fenn when I watched the entirety of Twin Peaks on VHS over a two week period. I also went a tiny bit mad and heard weird plinky jazz music all the time, but that’s another story. This is an early appearance for her and it is pretty clear that she wasn’t backward about coming forward. Perfect dross for a late and lazy Saturday night.