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



(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 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?


Director Michael Wadleigh's only non-Woodstock related film. 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 »


Rebecca Neff: South Bronx and Wall Street! What's the connection?
Dewey Wilson: They're both dead!
See more »


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


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

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User Reviews

Absolutely stands the test of time
16 July 2015 | by (PA) – See all my reviews

After years of reading and watching all the werewolf stuff I can get my hands on, I finally got around to reading and then watching Wolfen, and I was blown away by the gorgeous, chilling cinematography. You may take me at my word that I have seldom seen a film that was able to build the tension of what you don't see, and reward you when you finally do see it: I have never seen real wolves used so well, or shot so beautifully. As in the book, the Wolfen are both terrifying and yet somehow noble, and you respect the antagonism between them and the human characters (played very well by Albert Finney and co.), and while the ending is somewhat anticlimactic as opposed to its book counterpart, I was still quite pleased with the film as a whole. The introduction of the Native American element into the movie's version of the story made sense and was enjoyable (though E.J. Olmos's nudity was a little much), and I should also mention that the shots of New York were atmospheric and gorgeous as well, and when combined with the werewolf element, make a truly one-of-a-kind horror film. A must for werewolf fans, though they're not werewolves in the strictest sense, but a creatures as unique as their film: The Wolfen.

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