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J. Lee Thompson
Melissa Sue Anderson,
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Trade Paper 'Variety' reported that the film "...was reportedly recut several times (four editors are credited)". See more »
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 »
Very Pretentious And Disappointing If You've Read The Book
I read Whitley Striber's novel THE WOLFEN in the early 1980s and though not being much of a horror fan was mildly impressed with it and found out a couple of years later that a movie version starring Albert Finney had been released and I tried to find the movie on video but with no luck and it was several years later until I saw WOLFEN when it was broadcast on channel 4 one night and I was disappointed with it
Director Michael Wardleigh directed the classic Hippy concert movie WOODSTOCK and this adaptation has " Hippy anti corporate giant eco warrior " written all over it . In the book the wolfen are Darwian in concept - Nature is cruel so the wolfen are cruel . This is ignored for the most part in the film which often descends into smacking the audience around the head as to what a terrible thing industrialized societies are . Remember how conservationists and environmentalists put red Indians on a pedestal in the 1960s and 70s ? Well much of the narrative centres around mystic legends of the Native American Indians . Very noble sentiments I'm sure but much of this doesn't really go anywhere . Neither does the subplot about possible eco terrorists being involved in the murder of a powerful capitalist and his wife . We know who killed them at the start of the movie so why drag up people opposed to corporate economics into the story ? Strangely enough this might help WOLFEN become a sort of cult classic amongst anti globalisation protesters but for a mainstream audience who were expecting a horror film it's a turn off and what really spoils the movie is the ridiculous ending where we're told that it's all the fault of the human race and the Wolfen are really the good guys only protecting themselves from humanity . Sounds like this movie contributed to the movie career of Steven Segal . Reason enough to dislike it
To be fair to Wardleigh he has managed to capture some of the atmosphere and gore of Strieber's novel . One scene I recall from the book is something that doesn't appear in the film version per se is where a detective investigating the case is killed and when the paramedics pick up his body he spills in half ! Nasty . In the movie the nearest equivalent is when a detective has his hand bitten off and then his head - Which is lying on the pavement trying to say something . The director also manages to make New York come across as a cold , impersonal bleak place and when Wardleigh does this he succeeds . It's just a pity he didn't concentrate on these aspects more rather than cramming new age thinking and Indian legends down the audience throats
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