6.3/10
8,268
102 user 98 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 »

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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:

A farkas 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

The picture was released during an early-mid 1980s cycle of werewolf movies. These included Wolfen (1981), The Howling (1981), Teen Wolf (1985), Howling II: ... Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985), Full Moon High (1981), Teen Wolf Too (1987), The Company of Wolves (1984), Howling III (1987), and An American Werewolf in London (1981). 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: I'm going to team you up with Dewey Wilson on this Christopher VanderVeer thing.
Rebecca Neff: I didn't know he was back. I thought he retired, disabled, mental...?
Warren: He had a lot of family problems, he started to drink a little too much, police work... piled up on him. He's a good man, you'll like him.
Rebecca Neff: Okay, fine.
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: E.T - New Girl in Town (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Sharp teeth and an intelligent screenplay!
12 April 2004 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Wolfen – not wolves, like a terrifically spiritual Edward James Olmos explains it to us – is a truly inspired and solid horror film that belongs to the best genre-achievements of the 80's. Terrifically set in the pauperized wastelands of New York, where an ancient terror unconquerably reigns. Only when someone of political importance vanishes in these suburbs, attention is drawn and an investigation is started. Albert Finney is well cast as the confused police officer who slowly has to face the fact that the murders in his district are committed by inhumanly strong forces, more and more resembling to animal attacks. The script of Wolfen (based on Whitley Strieber's novel) is a compelling one and it's filled with original and imaginative ideas containing spiritual motivations and even historical elements. A basic script like that, accompanied by a stunning photography and convincing acting can only result in a terrific, overlooked horror classic. Two thumbs up for this film! Director Wadleigh even satisfied the more mainstream horror fans as his film includes a couple of bloody killing sequences and a constant frightening tone. Finney and Edward James Olmos are the most impressive cast members, yet they receive good feedback from Tom Noonan (in one of his earliest roles), Gregory Hines (I don't believe I ever saw him in a horror film before) and Diane Verona. Fans of action-packed werewolf film may face a disappointment when purchasing this film, but all other open-minded cinema audiences are in for a really pleasant surprise. Wolfen is highly recommended and thought-provoking entertainment!


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