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Episode 164 - The Wraith: LIVE!

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Is Jason okay? First, he liked this pile of garbage. And second, he failed to mention Sherilyn Fenn being on "Gilmore Girls." I have concerns.

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I caught the first few minutes of this this morning and have my doubts of the claim that Charlie Sheen was supposed to play the murder victim in flashbacks but couldn't because he had to go shoot Platoon.

 

The reason I think this is inaccurate is because The Wraith is actually a (loose) remake of Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter, which also uses the mechanism of a vengeful ghost who looks similar to how he looked in life but is played by a different actor.

 

Also, did anybody else notice how many people in this movie are related to more famous people?

 

-- Charlie Sheen (Martin)

-- Nick Cassavetes (John)

-- Randy Quaid (Dennis)

-- Clint Howard (Ron)

 

 

Also, the guy who played Oggie is Griffin O'Neal, son of Ryan O'Neal and Joanna Moore and brother of Tatum O'Neal. :blink:

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In response to the guy in the duster in the movie poster...

 

If no one pointed it out...the guy in the duster is Auggie...otherwise this is definitely a ridiculous poster..

 

Also, everyone was great, but Eliza was especially hilarious in this episode..smart decision..

 

I thought that was Auggie, but GD that looks nothing like him. I mean everyone is pretty airbrushed on this poster, but he looks incredibly different. That said, the wardrobe does match!

 

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And honestly, why isn't Randy Quaid the fourth person on this poster over Auggie? He's listed as one of the stars. Just makes no sense to feature this actor who is the first to die in the film. I mean if you are gonna use one of the interesting looking gang members... it's Rughead all the way!

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This movie is basically The Crow meets the Fast and the Furious. This movie came out in 1986 and the Crow was written as a graphic novel in 1989. Clearly we have the Wraith to thank for that...just as clearly as the bitchin cars in this movie could account for the "Fast" series. Just like in the Crow, if you're going to come back from death to avenge your own demise, you're most likely going to do it one at a time. What fun is it blowing them all up at once?

 

 

I was thinking this through the entire movie! There's even a character named Skank who's part of the gang in both movies.

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Paul mentioned the Kenny Rogers movie Six Pack which I think he described as "Bad News Bears for NASCAR". I remember this movie fondly as a kid because it was constantly on cable. Of note, two of the kids in that movie were played by Anthony Michael Hall and Diane Lane (both featured on the right of the photo below).

 

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Also featured, Erin Gray of Buck Rogers and Silver Spoons fame.

 

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If you follow the syntax of the phrasing "'~~' virgin" it means one hasn't experienced the proceeding action or noun. I.E. "I'm a Disneyland virgin" means I have not experienced Disneyland. Now if you are talking about a person and their lack of sexual experience virgin no longer modifies what precedes it. Thus if you were twenty and still sexually inexperienced you would not say "I'm a twenty year virgin" you would have to say "I'm a twenty year old virgin." By modifying virgin with a time you now are indicating how long it's been since that action has taken place or more accurately how long since you last experienced it. In the case of the movie he means that he hasn't had sex in four days. Nothing exceptionally deep to be had just a corny line.

 

As an English professor, your grammatical pedantry brings me great joy, and therefore ... [stands and slow claps]

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It's been suggested that Billy would go down for the murders now that he owns the murder car, but I don't think that's the case. As far as we can see, Billy is the only cook working at Big Kay's Burgers. Most (if not all) of the murders happen when he's working. Sheriff Quaid even goes to Big Kay's to question Billy about the murders right after Skank and Gutterboy are killed, and Billy is there working through (presumably) the lunch rush. Someone would have noticed if the only cook was missing long enough to kill our two favorite gang members.

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It's been suggested that Billy would go down for the murders now that he owns the murder car, but I don't think that's the case. As far as we can see, Billy is the only cook working at Big Kay's Burgers. Most (if not all) of the murders happen when he's working. Sheriff Quaid even goes to Big Kay's to question Billy about the murders right after Skank and Gutterboy are killed, and Billy is there working through (presumably) the lunch rush. Someone would have noticed if the only cook was missing long enough to kill our two favorite gang members.

 

True, but the cops might be a little interested with just how he came to be in possession of the murder car. He's at least going to be questioned as a possible accessory, and if he tries to give him the whole cockamamie "ghost-alien-murder-robot story" he's either going to be accused of obstruction of justice or be institutionalized.

 

Giving Billy that car is a burden that poor kid doesn't deserve.

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I'm interested in knowing what 'instructions' are in the 'glove compartment' of the Alien Murder Car. Do the instructions say 'the clutch is a bit fussy, and don't forget to use premium gas', or do they say 'press the red button to vanish into four indistinct beams of light after you've murdered a dude'? Is Billy inheriting the right to intergalactic powers, or just a really sweet ride he can drive to the swimmin' hole?

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I would like a literal how did this get made for this movie. To me it felt like some movie producer bought that Dodge Turbo Interceptor at an auction, decided it was cool enough to be the star of a movie, and then hired Mike Marvin and told him he had 4 weeks to write a script and finish pre-production.

 

The part of this movie that I loved was that the road pirate gang was operating under the premise that as long as they stole someone's car after a race then everything was square and legal. Even when the opponent had been forced into the race at the threat of rape and/or murder. And based on Packard yelling at Rughead that he almost lost a race maybe they would actually surrender their car after a loss? It doesn't seem like their operation was any secret and Randy Quaid never busted them so maybe it is all legal and I'm the dummy.

 

If I was going to find one little flaw with this movie that wasn't mentioned in the episode it would be that this movie lacks the tiniest bit of dramatic tension. The "good guy" is essentially omnipotent and the gang he is fighting stand absolutely no chance against him. There isn't one second of this movie where you think "uh oh how is Wraith going to get himself out of this one?"

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I'm interested in knowing what 'instructions' are in the 'glove compartment' of the Alien Murder Car. Do the instructions say 'the clutch is a bit fussy, and don't forget to use premium gas', or do they say 'press the red button to vanish into four indistinct beams of light after you've murdered a dude'? Is Billy inheriting the right to intergalactic powers, or just a really sweet ride he can drive to the swimmin' hole?

 

Speaking of "swimmin' holes," that water looked mighty stagnant. Enjoy all that flesh-eating bacteria, you rubes!

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I would like a literal how did this get made for this movie. To me it felt like some movie producer bought that Dodge Turbo Interceptor at an auction, decided it was cool enough to be the star of a movie, and then hired Mike Marvin and told him he had 4 weeks to write a script and finish pre-production.

 

The part of this movie that I loved was that the road pirate gang was operating under the premise that as long as they stole someone's car after a race then everything was square and legal. Even when the opponent had been forced into the race at the threat of rape and/or murder. And based on Packard yelling at Rughead that he almost lost a race maybe they would actually surrender their car after a loss? It doesn't seem like their operation was any secret and Randy Quaid never busted them so maybe it is all legal and I'm the dummy.

 

If I was going to find one tiny flaw with this movie that wasn't mentioned in the episode it would be that this movie lacks the tiniest bit of dramatic tension. The "good guy" is essentially omnipotent and the gang he is fighting stand absolutely no chance against him. There isn't one second of this movie where you think "uh oh how is Wraith going to get himself out of this one?"

 

Ah! You beat me to some of the points I wanted to make!

 

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However, if I might build on your points, if - as Packard claims - they are now the legal owner of these cars, why do they bother chopping them up? Aren't they their cars now? Are they just stripping them for parts? Why? So they can have faster cars to win more races for more cars? Why not sell the cars and make money? I just don't get the street pirate gangs' end game...

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However, if I might build on your points, if - as Packard claims - they are now the legal owner of these cars, why do they bother chopping them up? Aren't they their cars now? Are they just stripping them for parts? Why? So they can have faster cars to win more races for more cars? Why not sell the cars and make money? I just don't get the street pirate gangs' end game...

 

We're just like Darwin and that dude no one gives a shit about anymore.

 

I think we have to assume that Dipshit, AZ (did they ever name the town?) must have some really dense laws regarding road piracy. Things like all spoils gained in a race are yours however by law the vehicle cannot stay in its original state and must be broken down into its component parts etc etc.

 

By the way you're Darwin in that analogy.

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I think we have to assume that Dipshit, AZ (did they ever name the town?) must have some really dense laws regarding road piracy.

 

It's set in fictional Brooks, AZ, but it's pretty clearly shot all over Tucson. No idea why they didn't just call it Tucson, but I guess they wanted 'small town' stakes. I've only been to Tucson twice but I recognized it right away.

 

Here's a site that goes into this in detail: https://sites.google.com/site/80sfilmlocations/Film-List/the-wraith-1986

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Anybody have an explanation for this line? Just good ol' 1980s xenophobia?

 

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I have a theory about the Wraith's armor and why the movie takes such pains to show the armor's hardware disappearing after each crash:

 

A common aspect of the "avenging angel" trope is that the avenger is tormented by the events of the past and must experience them again as they carry out their revenge -- that's certainly the case with The Crow and High Plains Drifter. This is the reason why, in all three movies, the avenging angel has such visceral flashbacks when he encounters people from his past connected to the horrible event. The “avenger” has to suffer as they seek their revenge in order to finally rest in peace in the end – they are motivated to end their existential torture through vengeance.

 

I think those shots of the Wraith’s body armor disappearing after his crash-kills are supposed to show that he is blown up along with his car when its destroyed and then re-manifests afterward to continue his revenge. It’s all part of the avenging angel’s necessary suffering as he enacts his revenge.

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The part of this movie that I loved was that the road pirate gang was operating under the premise that as long as they stole someone's car after a race then everything was square and legal. Even when the opponent had been forced into the race at the threat of rape and/or murder. And based on Packard yelling at Rughead that he almost lost a race maybe they would actually surrender their car after a loss? It doesn't seem like their operation was any secret and Randy Quaid never busted them so maybe it is all legal and I'm the dummy.

 

 

I also questioned the deal made during the races, and I kinda doubt whether winning the race would actually prevent the rape/murder. Especially in the beginning -- they seem to pretty clearly be using the wager as a pretense toward getting what they want. It's all just part of the sick mind-game they play with their victims.

 

Remember that great line in the conversation they have in the beginning:

Guy in the car: "What do you want?"

Cassavetes: "Well, it's pink"

 

Yeah, there's no way they're not raping that girl ...

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How about the fucking scene (right after Gutterboy and Skank chase down and nearly kill Keri and Jake) when Jake offers her empty platitudes when she admits her very real fears about their safety and what Packard might do to them.

 

Keri: Well, I just think he's crazy. Try and be brave against Packard and he might kill you.

 

Jake: Or he might let you go. Courage isn't easy to come by. It's how he keeps those goons with him all the time. They're just scared.

 

Keri: So am I...

 

Jake: Keri, listen, there's going to come a time when you'll have to take a stand. When you do that, that's when you'll free yourself of him. No sooner.

 

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let me get this straight. So what Jake is saying is that her problem isn't the murderous, psychopathic stalker who kidnaps her on a daily basis, cuts her, and forces her to lick his blood, but that she's not doing her part to stand up to the aforementioned crazy person? Got it. You know what, Jake? Go fuck yourself.

 

During this same scene, he also tells her, "People are afraid because people like Packard prey on fear and weakness." I would love it if someone could parse the logic out of that sentence. People are afraid because he preys on fear? What the fuck does that mean?

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I also questioned the deal made during the races, and I kinda doubt whether winning the race would actually prevent the rape/murder. Especially in the beginning -- they seem to pretty clearly be using the wager as a pretense toward getting what they want. It's all just part of the sick mind-game they play with their victims.

 

Remember that great line in the conversation they have in the beginning:

Guy in the car: "What do you want?"

Cassavetes: "Well, it's pink"

 

Yeah, there's no way they're not raping that girl ...

 

Here's a question: why even race at all? I know I'm just repeating ChunkStyle here, but just be like "Give us the car or we'll kill you." Instead they are like, "Race us for possession of your car or we'll kill you." The race just seems like a waste of time at that point.

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Here's a question: why even race at all? I know I'm just repeating ChunkStyle here, but just be like "Give us the car or we'll kill you." Instead they are like, "Race us for possession of your car or we'll kill you." The race just seems like a waste of time at that point.

On top of that, in those windy mountain roads, there's no alternative route, so they say 'first one to rattlesnake pass' or whatever, but the rest of gang don't get to take another road so they're waiting at the finish line. Given the brain functions of some of these boneheads, all the racer needs to do is get to rattlesnake pass and then keep driving when Skank pulls over on the side of the road. Or if there are crossroads, why not, uh, take a left and drive away? Why not drive right to town, to the police station? This race logic is terrible.

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Here's a question: why even race at all? I know I'm just repeating ChunkStyle here, but just be like "Give us the car or we'll kill you." Instead they are like, "Race us for possession of your car or we'll kill you." The race just seems like a waste of time at that point.

What makes even more crazy is that Packard had to cheat to "win" the first race we see. He later tells Rughead that he needs to upgrade the car because he's worried he could be beaten soon. Again, they're the ones with all the power in that situation. Like you said they don't have to race but they are and they're worried about losing the race and not getting the car when they could just take it at any point. So they have a weird code of ethics that bounds them to do the legal work around of a race, but yet are still open to cheating to win said race which if you think about it would invalidate the actual race. Also, nobody sees the finish of these races except the two racing so at the end it's more of a he said she said about who really won.

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It blows my mind this was the start of a trilogy. What was going to happen in The Wraith Cinematic Universe?

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On top of that, in those windy mountain roads, there's no alternative route, so they say 'first one to rattlesnake pass' or whatever, but the rest of gang don't get to take another road so they're waiting at the finish line. Given the brain functions of some of these boneheads, all the racer needs to do is get to rattlesnake pass and then keep driving when Skank pulls over on the side of the road. Or if there are crossroads, why not, uh, take a left and drive away? Why not drive right to town, to the police station? This race logic is terrible.

 

At one point they are told to race to "Dragon's Fire Crossing" and I wondered when the movie turned into a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

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I think the question that really needs to be asked about the graveyard scene is where did that tombstone come from? Unless Packard is a name passed down from generation to generation with the first born son in the Walsh family there is no way that tombstone was there to begin with. I already talked about The Wraith's ability to create a car, but I guess he also has the ability to create tombstones as well. While we're at it where did Jake's motorcycle come from as well? Did he create that as well? If we think about it further he must have also created that inflatable mattress that Jake is using to float on the water with. He didn't have anything with him when he was going to the watering hole so after he got there he went behind a rock and used his Wraith powers to manifest an inflatable mattress, swim shorts and a towel. There is a whole element of The Wraith's ability to just manifest things he wants and needs out of thin air that needs to be talked about.

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At one point they are told to race to "Dragon's Fire Crossing" and I wondered when the movie turned into a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

Also a crossing would imply an intersection of roads, yet they seem to stop the race in the middle of a straightaway.

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