Edward James Olmos
|Released:||July 24, 1981|
|Internet Movie Database entry 0083336|
Wolfen is the title of a 1981 horror film starring Albert Finney, Diane Venora, Gregory Hines and Edward James Olmos based on Whitley Strieber's 1978 novel The Wolfen. It was directed by Michael Wadleigh and the screenplay was by David Eyre, Eric Roth (uncredited), and Wadleigh.
NYPD Detective Dewey Wilson (Finney) is assigned to solve a bizarre set of violent murders in which it appears the victims were killed by animals. In his investigation, Wilson learns of an Indian legend about wolf spirits, and that there may be predatory shapeshifters living in the vicinity.
The film is known for its early use of an in-camera effect to portray the subjective POV of a wolf. Similar to thermography, the technique was later adopted by other horror films such as the Predator series.
The setting for the transient home of the wolves was shot in the South Bronx (intersection of Louis Nine Blvd & Boston Road). The church seen in the opening panaorama shot was located at the intersection of E 172nd & Seabury Pl. The shot of this neighborhood is from the north looking roughly S - SE. The decrepit site of ruined buildings was no special effect. Urban decay in the Bronx in the early 80s was so widespread that it was the ideal production setting. Today, this community contains mostly suburban-style privately owned houses.
The Wolfen were not werewolves, but in fact a more advanced version of a wolf which sat above man on the food chain.
Selected premiere engagements of Wolfen were presented in Megasound, a high-impact surround sound system similar to Sensurround. Director Wadleigh was unsatisfied with the final cut of the movie, but so far no director's cut of the film is available.