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In this film, a wealthy land developer and his wife are viciously murdered in the South Bronx, and detective Dewey Wilson is assigned to the case. After more people turn up dead, Wilson encounters some Native Americans who reveal the nature of the creatures that are inhabiting the inner-city slums.
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Critic Reviews for Wolfen
The often muddled, but scary Wolfen tops The Howling and An American Werewolf in London as the best of 1981's three worthwhile lupine thrillers.
Sets up its mysteries with an admirable tenacity, though the resolution we're ultimately offered is more than a bit forgettable.
Wolfen goes through the paces of a typical detective thriller, but I'll bet you've never seen anything like it.
Audience Reviews for Wolfen
Wolfen has a cool opening and that's about it. None of the originality and shock value that the first five minutes can be reproduced at all in the two hours that follow. Mostly, the movie just contains a ridiculous amount of semi infrared shots that make no sense; supposedly being how these mutant wolves see. Why any viewer needed to be exposed to so much of this lame wolf vision is beyond me. The story is just uninteresting and the ending is so obvious and lame. Albert Finney had no business being in such a b-level movie, surrounded with d-level stars. I think the biggest misconception with this movie is that it's a true werewolf movie; in no way is this even close to being part of the genre. I hate to pick on this movie so much, but there was basically nothing redeeming about it. It fails as a horror movie, a thriller, cop drama, and funnily enough as an urbanization politics piece. There's no noteworthy moments aside from the opening, which isn't worth it in the end.More
"wolfen" is a political protest or an ecological dirge upon nature-wrecking urbanization which tends to provoke you into thinking so much that you demean its artistic creavities. besides the audience who chooses to watch "wolfen" has an expectation of horror relish from the werewolf legend hollywood has fromed along since 1930s along with lon chaney jr. in a nutshell, the common audience is more prepared to indulge himself within the gothic escapism of a bizarre supernatural tale instead of an anxious idealistic urge to care for the earth with sacred respect. that's exactly the merit of this movie, to evolve a mundane cheesy horror material into a meaningful interpretation, but that aspect also repulses certain audience attached to classic horror.
the title wolfen says it outloud on what it's about, wolfen, of course. generally it's a metaphor of the retribution civilization, especially american industrialization, would receive after devastating the nature for sorbid profits, and one evident fact would be early american genocide against indians that is compared to a wolf specy which has been distincted on earth, the number of the indians american conquerers had slaughtered could literily emulate hitler to jews. (if you look into the historical diagram) mostly, it utilizes a special digital heat-wave camera perspect to represent the vision of the wolfen detecting the reddish suboteuring elements each individual possess, and the wolfen is supposed to be the villian who ruins others gruesomely, but contrarily the wolfen is the victim of the rest since its homeland has been confiscated by the capitalists and the wolfen's final resident of a wasted building has to be torn down for new urban construction so the wolfen tribe is forced to run amok to eliminate their potential intruders mercilessly. such spirit might have a similarity with "the creature from the black lagoon" trilogy in which creature is only defending the lagoon he occupies, and he's been kidnapped into aquarium as exhibition, then he has to be made to use his lung by the evolution he doesn't desire at the end. but the major differance would be creature is the losing side who's defeated by human weapons but the wolfen is the winning side who's able to practice its revenge to a degree. (maybe that's what upsets some of the audience?)
"wolfen" is a great metaphor which could be considered excellent in the level of literature fable but would the audience enjoy "wolfen" since their primary purpose is some relaxation of other-worldly romanticism or some cheap fright of gore? would people who pick it up on the shelf give a damn to the environment and how long the earth is gonna sustain? from my experiences with people, at most of the time, regular, particularly rightist americans would dismiss anyone who favors organic food or concerned with ecology as hippies, and "trader joe's"(organic market) only opens in california and san fransisco has the biggest branch of this enterprise. so california is hippie-orientated state according to the opinion of some people. they're probably right, most people, particularly americans, take pleasure in making pollutions daily and eating un-healthy greasy food which's gonna give you cancer. (or smoking two packs of mablo a day, annoucing "i don't believe in your orangic shits")..a friend of mine once confided me that the existence of humans itself is a poison to earth, and if you wanna be friendly with the earth, people should get together to commit large-scale of suicides. it's sickeningly cynical but he has his point made. and my point is if you're the "i absolutely detest organic food" type, stay away from "wolfen", if you're leftist or neutral with a open-mind as me, you might be able to appreciate it. (even personally i don't like organic food as well but i can't say it ain't good for health, should i feel bad that organic food become a symbol of political stance?)
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