6.3/10
8,430
102 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:

Silent, unseen, the creatures live among us... and hunt. 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

Composer Craig Safan wrote an original score for this film and was replaced at the last minute by future Academy Award winner James Horner, who had only 12 days to write and record his score. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

ABC edited 19 minutes from this film for its 1985 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Flying Doctors: Sins of the Father (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

 
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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