The Wraith

The Wraith. Alliance Entertainment 1986.

Before watching the movie:

So what I’m seeing described here is a techno ghost chasing down the drag racing gang that killed him in a magic racing car. I’m trying to come up with a crazier movie synopsis and, okay, Ghost Rider probably counts. And a whole lot of other contemporary horror stories, I guess. I withdraw the question.

I’m not clear right now on who the protagonist is. The summary I saw framed it as the dead guy’s story, the poster looks like it’s about a group of people who may be the drag racing gang that got him killed, but I don’t think the heroes of a horror story would be as culpable as the summary I saw made out.

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Major League

Major League. Mirage Enterprises/Morgan Creek Productions 1989.
Major League. Mirage Enterprises/Morgan Creek Productions 1989.

Before watching the movie:

This is one of those that I feel like I should have more preconceptions of than I do. It’s a “The Producers” kind of sandbagging scheme, only the sandbagger isn’t the protagonist. It’s just about a team that’s so bad they’re good, I guess. I can’t tell what the mohawked sunglasses-wearing baseball is trying to convey. Attitude? Eighties attitude? Am I reading too much into the mohawk that’s probably just for the Cleveland Indians?

Kind of impressive that a movie could be made with a real pro sports franchise cast as the ragtag misfits. The only comparable example I can think of is The Mighty Ducks, and I think Disney money made the Ducks a real team after the fact. Maybe Angels in the Outfield, but the team is reasonably competent in that.

There are some more familiar names lower down in the credits, but of the headliners, I only really know Charlie Sheen.

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Red Dawn

Red Dawn. Valkyrie Films 1984.
Red Dawn. Valkyrie Films 1984.

Before watching the movie:

Even in the 80s, as the cold war thawed, open warfare between the US and Soviet Union seemed likely. However, apparently it seemed plausible that a Soviet invasion could be resisted by guerrilla teens, so fear of the red menace was probably eroding.

I’m finding it interesting to track depictions of the Enemy over the decades. I know the 90s had trouble giving up the Soviets as stock villains, but I haven’t previously noticed a shift in how Russia was treated before the breakup. It’s often just a looming shadow of calamity, like an anvil held over one’s head with a fraying rope. Here, however, is a take on what happens when the rope snaps.

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