Wolfen (1981)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  24 July 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 6,273 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 82 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


It will 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?


Production on the film began in October 1979 and the production was halted in Febuary 1980 due to budget concerns as well as the dailies. 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 »


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 »


Referenced in The Dream Team (1989) See more »


Jitterbug Boy
Written by Tom Waits
Performed by Tom Waits
See more »

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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 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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