6.3/10
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96 user 95 critic

Wolfen (1981)

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

Director:

Writers:

(based on the novel by), (screen story) | 3 more credits »

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Dehl Berti ...
...
Ross
Sam Gray ...
Mayor
Ralph Bell ...
Commissioner
Max M. Brown ...
Christopher van der Veer
...
Pauline van der Veer
Sarah Felder ...
Cicely Rensselaer
...
Morgue Attendant (as Reginald Vel Johnson)
...
Baldy
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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:

It will 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,037,911, 26 July 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,626,725
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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

Warren: Well I'll be God fuckin' damned.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"You have the eyes of the dead."
14 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

When a famous tycoon, his wife, and his bodyguard are brutally murdered in Battery Park, a cynical detective (Albert Finney) is assigned to the case. With help from a police psychologist (Diane Venora), a colorful coroner (Gregory Hines), and a weirdo zoologist (Tom Noonan), his investigation leads him to suspect a Native American connection to the killings.

A great thriller with horror overtones that's a different kind of werewolf film than any other (certainly at the time of release). Many argue it isn't really a werewolf film at all. I can see why they'd say that but I think it obviously counts as one. The film is directed by Michael Wadleigh, whose only other directorial effort was the Woodstock documentary. It's a shame he didn't do more because he does show a good deal of talent here. Predator fans will notice this movie uses a similar visual technique for the wolves' point of view, including similar sound effects, years before the first Predator movie. The cast is excellent and the script is pretty good, if a little packed. Nice cinematography from Gerry Fisher and use of actual Bronx locations helps in creating a fine atmosphere. It's a very interesting film that tackles a number of subjects (probably too many). Monster movie fans might balk at the lack of any "wolf men," but the strength of the movie is not in its special effects or gore, but in its story and how it's presented. Keep an open mind and give it a shot and I'm sure you'll find something to like about Wolfen. I've seen it a few times now and each time it gets better.


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