6.3/10
8,898
109 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 »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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:

Their hunting ground - New York City. Their prey - the people. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When the movie was being filmed, major parts of New York's boroughs were undergoing re-gentrification. This was incorporated into the story that if First Nations NAM protesters and iron worker 'sky walkers' were skin changers, or werewolves, and worked high rise construction by day, and hid in the ruins of Queens and hunted the inhabitants of New York City by night, thus creating a police investigation. 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: E.T - New Girl in Town (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
Atmospheric and Entertaining
21 April 2015 | by avidnewbieSee all my reviews

Wolfen is absolutely a classic of the horror genre. Released in succession after the likes of Altered States, The Howling and An American Werewolf in London it actually provides more tension than the rest because it doesn't overdo the creature effects. The Howling is probably the most famous of the three films yet after purchasing and watching the blu-ray I realized something 33 years later... It's just not scary. The transformations are graphic but feel too long and drawn out now. As an adult I find that werewolves just are no longer scary. Neither is Dracula. At least American Werewolf was funny and had a charismatic lead. Where Wolfen exceeds it's genre roots is in it's attention to plot details and character development. Albert Finney is believable as a burned out cop and Gregory Hines is a treat as his co- star/sidekick the coroner. There are scenes in this film that work on a suspense level that few others can muster and the abandoned tenements provide a creepy location for their two man reconnaissance. As far as 80's horror goes this is essential viewing.


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 109 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wolfen See more »

Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed