6.3/10
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112 user 106 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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Photos

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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 ... 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:

There is no defense. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was the first movie to use a thermographic visual photographic look to represent the point-of-view of a character, in this case, the wolfen. The type of effect shot has been used in a number of movies to show the POV of a character, usually villainous, like a beast. One notable example of the popularizing of this kind of visual effects perspective is its use in the "Predator" films. 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

[about the wolves]
Old Indian: They're shiftless. They might be gods!
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 Joker (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Werewolf Classic
7 October 2015 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

A New York cop (Albert Finney) investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks. Tom Noonan and his beard guest star in a key role.

The film is known for its early use of an in-camera effect to portray the subjective point of view of a wolf. Similar to thermography, the technique was later adopted by other horror films such as the "Predator" film series.

Although considered a modern werewolf classic, Roger Ebert asserted Wolfen "is not about werewolves but is about the possibility that Indians and wolves can exchange souls." Well, yeah, that is true... but it is still werewolves, even if not in the traditional sense.

Where is the proper release? This is what people want to know. Apparently the director has a preferred cut, but instead all we get is a bare bones Blu-ray with nothing more than a trailer. Surely there is much more that could be done.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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