6.3/10
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103 user 102 critic

Wolfen (1981)

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

Director:

Michael Wadleigh

Writers:

Whitley Strieber (based on the novel by), David Eyre (screen story) | 3 more credits »
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Finney ... Dewey Wilson
Diane Venora ... Rebecca Neff
Edward James Olmos ... Eddie Holt
Gregory Hines ... Whittington
Tom Noonan ... Ferguson
Dick O'Neill ... Warren
Dehl Berti Dehl Berti ... Old Indian
Peter Michael Goetz ... Ross
Sam Gray Sam Gray ... Mayor
Ralph Bell Ralph Bell ... Commissioner
Max M. Brown Max M. Brown ... Christopher van der Veer
Anne Marie Pohtamo ... Pauline van der Veer
Sarah Felder Sarah Felder ... Cicely Rensselaer
Reginald VelJohnson ... Morgue Attendant (as Reginald Vel Johnson)
James Tolkan ... Baldy
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Storyline

A city cop is assigned to solve a bizarre set of violent murders where it appears that the victims 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:

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 »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wolfen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,037,911, 26 July 1981

Gross USA:

$10,626,725

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,626,725
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (MegaSound encoding) (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Albert Finney's only ever "true" horror movie depending on whether one counts Looker (1981) (sci-fi thriller), Corpse Bride (2005) (animated fantasy), and Night Must Fall (1964) (crime thriller) as horror genre or not. 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

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

Alternate Versions

A cameo (about 15 seconds) by Tom Waits as a bar owner playing the piano and singing his song "Jitterbug Boy" was included in theatrical prints and early TV versions, but had to be removed from the film for video and DVD releases due to copyright reasons. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Flying Doctors: Someone Special (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
different enough and occasionally startling

Unusual film that takes a very different path from the traditional werewolf movie. Low budget in feel, which is good, this starts incredibly well with horror, gore and bewilderment. The use of the negative image when we see through the eyes of the wolves is great, its less plastic than ordinary SFX and far more realistic than CGI, its also cheap (I've used it myself!) but the best thing about it is that it is literally an inversion of reality, which is just what you want here. Finney is fine but maybe should have been encouraged to put a little more effort in. As for his co-star, Diane Venora, in her first film, her lack of presence is worrying. I guess first time director (apart from Woodstock work) Michael Wadleigh was not used to getting the best out of his actors and indeed never made another film. Not to take away from this little gem though, not perfect by any means but different enough and occasionally startling enough to make at least one viewing essential.


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