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Wolfen (1981)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  24 July 1981 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 6,155 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 80 critic

A New York cop investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks.

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(based on the novel by), (screen story), 4 more credits »
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Title: Wolfen (1981)

Wolfen (1981) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dehl Berti ...
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Sam Gray ...
Ralph Bell ...
Max M. Brown ...
Anne Marie Pohtamo ...
Sarah Felder ...
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Morgue Attendant (as Reginald Vel Johnson)
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Storyline

A city cop is assigned to solve a bizarre set of violent murders where it appears that the victoms were killed by animals. In his pursuit he learns of an Indian legend about wolf spirits. Written by K. Rose <rcs@texas.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They can hear a cloud pass overhead, the rhythm of your blood. They can track you by yesterday's shadow. They can tear the scream from your throat. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A farkas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (MegaSound encoding) (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was delayed because the effects for the Wolfen were unusable and the filmmakers had to hire another effects company to handle them. See more »

Goofs

When the doctor is riding his motorbike through the tunnel and spots the wolf, he is mouthing "Help me," repeatedly, but we don't hear his voice. At the end, he says, "Oh my god," but is still mouthing, "Help me." See more »

Quotes

Edddie Holt: The smartest ones, they went underground into a new wilderness, YOUR CITIES. You have your technology but you lost. You lost your senses
Old Indian: In their world, there can be no lies, no crimes.
Edddie Holt: No need for detectives.
Old Indian: In their eyes, YOU ARE THE SAVAGE.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Underground: The Julian Assange Story (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Jitterbug Boy
Written by Tom Waits
Performed by Tom Waits
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User Reviews

 
A New York Cop submerges himself in the mythology of the werewolf to hunt a serial killer
6 April 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Here's one you'll rarely see the likes of ever again, an urban horror story based on Native American mythology that sends us a message about mankind's selfish destruction of nature. Sounds boring doesn't it? It's not. In fact it's actually a very thoughtful, suspenseful and instinctive horror film based around a moral rather than trying to force feed you someone else's ideals.

Wolfen sets about with the murder of a very wealthy architect businessman and his girlfriend in a New York City park. From what we gather, this is no human but some sort of creature with very sharp teeth or claws.

Enter lonely, weary and tragic detective Dewey Wilson, portrayed by brilliant Irish actor Albert Finney. He's assigned to the more gruesome cases and his closest friend and the closest thing to a partner he has is criminal pathologist Whittington, played by the late charmer Gregory Hines.

Together they stumble upon several leads that begin to pose the question whether what is stalking the streets is a man who thinks he's a werewolf or something unquestionably supernatural, as the Native American Indians working on the skyscrapers want to have Wilson believe.

There are a number of factors that work in Wolfen's favour and as I always pointed out, one large factor is that this film's visual effects were stolen some six years later by a certain director by the name of John McTiernan. That film, where we saw from the killer's eyes as he stalked his prey was none other than Predator.

This is a serial killer crime thriller with a huge twist and part of that twist is that the film is so well made that no matter how far fetched it may seem, you truly understand it and enjoy it.

The old decayed and abandoned New York is the majority setting for Wolfen, which suits its style to the ground and provides some chilling moments, especially as Albert Finney portrays one of the most unhealthy and out of shape detectives ever devoted to lead character. It's refreshing to see an older film like this where talent overrides appearance.

James Horner (Aliens, Enemy At The Gates, Troy) provides the chilling old-school orchestral soundtrack, which really sets the scenes on edge and the dialogue is all original, making the characters all very believable and down to earth.

I can't compare this film to any other but I highly recommend it!


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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