The Cult Film Club is approaching its seventh birthday and we have to admit that we’re getting a little nostalgic. So, while we’re pressing forward with new episodes of the show and digging into all sorts of ephemera and trivia for the movies we’re going to be covering, we’re also going to go back into our archive and flesh out some of the support content for the movies we’ve already covered. Kicking things off we thought it would be fun to revisit our first flick and dig even deeper into the newsprint movie section archives from across the country looking for fun advertisements.
Back in December of 2012, the CFC launched with our discussion of one of our collective favorite films, the 1986 Charlie Sheen sci-fi/horror film, The Wraith. At the time we were able to locate a single newspaper ad featuring the film, but we just recently put on some sweet fingerless gloves and took a deep dive into the archives looking for more. Here’s what we managed to dig up…
Ripped from The Desert News on November 21st, 1986 we have this great wide ad featuring the quad version of the main film poster. This image always cracked me up a bit because it showcases all of the main protagonists together gawking at the trail of light left in the wake of the spectral, alien car. But Charlie Sheen IS that car, so, how’s he staring at himself?
Most papers we searched didn’t even feature ads for the Wraith, and if they did it was just listed as a text addition with movie times underneath a more popular film playing at the same theater. So we were elated when we found that the movie pops up in a second feature in the same paper, only instead of a solid ad for the film it’s in an assortment all playing at a single theater chain.
How crazy is it that Jim Jarmusch’s Down By Law got so much real estate in this group of Plitt theater ads? And check out that WWF One Fall to End It All ad for Hulk Hogan’s match against Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff thrown into the mix for good measure! Last but not least, and we’ve cover this more in-depth in a later Now Playing installment, but scope that ad for the 86 re-release of Disney’s Song of the South. Very cool.
Next up is this great line-up of ads from the Ocala Starr Banner, November 21st, 1986, again, opening weekend for the Wraith.
Again, I love how prominently this is paired with An American Tail and Song of the South. Also, Cinemas West totally has supervised auditoriums, so no buying a ticker for An American Tail and sneaking into the Wraith kids!
Also from the Ocala Starr Banner, but a week later during the Thanksgiving holiday on November 28th, 1986 there’s this new Cinemas West ad that literally has the Wraith in-between Song of the South and An American Tail. How sad is it that only one week later the film was relegated to only one showing per night?! I’m getting Monster Squad flashbacks…
Last up is this ad from the Spokane Chronicle that went live on November 28th, ’86.
I love this side-by-side with Soul Man for a couple of reasons. Number one, this is a great follow up pairing for both C. Thomas Howell and Charlie Sheen after their turn together in Red Dawn just a couple years earlier, but I also love the contrasting light and dark ads as well as the fact that these are both misunderstood and semi-forgotten films. 1986 was such a great year for bonkers movies.