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

Welp, for many people, a big bucket list item is being crossed off. For as long as I can remember over the last ten years, The Wraith has been at the top of many people’s wishlists to make the jump to Blu-ray. Years ago when Lionsgate introduced the Vestron Video line, peoples’ hopes grew bigger. Then there was rumor a year or so ago that it was indeed being worked on. FINALLY – no more speculation – its here! And they’ve done a heck of job putting together some new bonus materials for the release. And can you believe that for day 1 they are only charging $12 for this beauty? Its out now (It hit shelves on July 20th). You can easily order yourself a copy by using the paid Amazon Associates link following the review.

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Film

Charlie Sheen, Nick Cassavetes, Sherilyn Fenn, and Randy Quaid star in this turbocharged cult classic! When four glowing orbs crash into each other over the Arizona desert, they leave in their wake a badass Dodge Turbo Interceptor — and its enigmatic, helmeted driver. The next day, the mysterious Jake (Sheen) appears in the town of Brooks, catching the eye of Keri (Fenn) and the ire of Packard (Cassavetes), the ruthless leader of a gang of street racers. When gang members start losing races — and lives — to the Interceptor, the recent death of Keri’s boyfriend suddenly seems connected to the arrival of Jake, the unbeatable car…and an avenging entity called The Wraith.

Earlier this year on my podcast (The Brandon Peters Show) did a terrific episode on The Wraith which you should check out. It features guest Audery Lane, the film festival director for the PopCon International Film Festival and former director of the HorrorHound Film Festival. Below you can check it out in the audio-only finely edited version or the watchable uncut video version.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Details on the new transfer for The Wraith in its debut on Blu-ray were not shared or provided. However, I’m pretty sure this is just a standard HD master. It matches up to the stream I saw on TUBI earlier this year. Its a pretty good one, with some strong details and a nice color palette on display. Its sharpness is admirable and there’s a nice layer of grain included to help keep the image’s texture and depth honest.

Depth:  Depth of field is a mere decent. There are some impressive bits of scale and space during the racing scenes, the swimming quarry scenes and the assault in the garage. Movement is smooth and features no problems with motion distortions.

Black Levels: Black levels are decently deep, with a slight gray feel to them. The darker the frame, the more grain will show up. No real issues with information being hidden though its not perfect in that regard. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty solid. Its a very desert picture and the image reflects that. Flashier clothing has a bit more pop to it and explosions and fire have a nice roasting orange.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial textures and detail are better served in close ups, but further back does an admirable job with reasonable expectations in place.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: The Wraith comes with a pretty decent 2.0 track. This is a movie with some big action and it decently displays it with some deeper tones you might not be expecting. Overall, its a just slightly above average, but has some really good layering, depth and balance. Music comes through very with with nice tones and good presence.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

The Wraith – Collector’s Series comes with a redeemable digital code for the film.

Audio Commentary

  • With Writer/Director Mike Marvin
  • With Actors Dave Sherrill and Jamie Bozian
  • Isolated Score Selections featuring audio interview with co-composer J. Peter Robinson

Tales From The Desert (HD, 16:21) – “The whole movie’s real.” Writer/Director Mike Marvin starts by talking about making ski movies and inspiring the opening for The Spy Who Loved Me which kicked off his career. A studio executive at Disney gave him the idea for The Wraith which was inspired by High Plains Drifter. “It was stolen ideas put together into one until it was its own idea.” He gives a good run down of the shoot, the people he worked with and the stunts in the film.

Rughead Speaks (HD, 12:24) – Clint Howard opens by saying The Wraith was one of the movies he was most proud to work on. “I really enjoyed gainful employment. I didn’t care whether it was a big budget movie or a low budget movie.” Howard has a clear memory of it all and matter of factly goes over his work on the film and his character.

Ride Of The Future (HD, 11:44) – Stunt Coordinator Buddy Joe Hooker and Transportation Coordinator Gary Hellerstein go over the car and vehicles they used on the film, driving them, doing the stunts and pulling off the chases. They do cover the horrific accident that occurred during filming.

The Ghost Car (HD, 11:43) – Visual Effects Producer Peter Kuran and Effects Animator Kevin Kutchaver go over some of the model work and storyboarding and pulling off a lot of the special effects in the film.

The Wraith Filming Locations: Then And Now (HD, 27:11) – Our host with a selfie stick takes us on a tour of A LOT of the shooting locations from the film and provides some trivial tidbits along the way.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:03)

TV Spots (HD, 1:25)

Alternate Title Sequence (HD, 1:48) – Using the title Interceptor

Still Gallery (HD, 5:42)

Summary

The Wraith remains a stone cold cult classic in the finest sense. Its still there to be discovered by so many people. And hopefully many will do so on its Blu-ray debut. Vestron Video has brought it with a solid transfer and host of fantastic new extras to make for a rather complete package. And at $12, how can you not just jump at that price. Pick up The Wraith, its a pretty rad movie with a pretty rad Blu-ray Collector’s Series release.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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