6.3/10
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97 user 95 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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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 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:

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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$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

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

Eddie Holt: You've seen them, haven't you? You don't have the eyes of the Hunter. You have the eyes of the dead.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A cameo (about 15 seconds) by 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 Supernatural: All Dogs Go to Heaven (2010) 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 utgard14See 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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