Wolfen (1981)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  24 July 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 6,366 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 85 critic

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



(based on the novel by), (screen story), 4 more credits »
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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 »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A farkas  »

Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the few films to be released theatrically with the "Megasound" sound system format. Megasound was a movie theater sound system created by Warner Bros in the early 1980s. It was used to enhance the premiere engagements of a handful of Warner features. Theaters equipped for Megasound had additional speakers mounted on the left, right and rear walls of the auditorium. Selected soundtrack events with lots of low-frequency content (thuds, crashes, explosions, etc) were directed to these speakers at very high volume, creating a visceral effect intended to thrill the audience. See more »


Moments before the first murder, the killers stalk their victim (using the "night vision" effect) and pass behind a parked car, revealing the reflection of a bright sunny day in the rear hood of the car when it is supposedly taking place at night. See more »


Dewey Wilson: They kill to protect family?
Old Indian: In the end, it's all for the HUNTING GROUND.
See more »


Referenced in The Flying Doctors: Sins of the Father (1986) See more »


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

all time favorite suspense film!
23 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I can understand why horror fans would be disappointed in this film? But who cares? There are enough stupid horror movies around to satisfy those who need gore and screams. Wolfen tackles some very heavy concepts all within the context of a police procedural, and I never really felt the movie was stereotyping Indians. There is just a lot of material to cover and I thought the scenes with the Indians were amazingly focused and powerful. The acting is absolutely phenomenal--I wish Finney and Hines worked together in other movies...the atmosphere in this film really conveys the desolation of the burned out slums, and there is a feeling of like, "Wow, what the hell ARE we doing with the earth." But it never got preachy and I think Finney portrayed the more subtle realizations brought forth by this great film. Scott in Boca Raton, FL

10 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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