Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wolfen (1981)

Director: Michael Wadleigh

Starring: Albert Finney, Diane Venora, a naked Edward James Olmos, Gregory Hines

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: It will tear the scream from your throat.

Plot: A New York cop investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Would I watch it again? Yes

Awesome tagline, huh?

I went into this, as many do, thinking this is a werewolf horror movie. It's not, really, although it has horror elements and it has werewolf elements. It's more of a thriller with an environmental revenge slant to it.

There are some pretty creepy, eerie, intense scenes throughout the film that really surprised me. And I don't get wigged-out easily, either. The camera negative effect for the wolf vision helps create some of that tension. Nicely done.

BUT GODDAMNIT! The moment the film starts you hear the opening notes of James Horner's score. What's the big deal, you say? It's nearly identical to the theme he wrote for BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS the year earlier and for STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KAHN the following year (and again in ALIENS), that's what! This guy is more repetitive than Mel Tilis trying to say the word "CAKE". It's good stuff but would you like to hear John Williams STAR WARS theme in a half dozen movies? I didn't think so.

SEE! Admiral Adama naked!

There's really only one beef I have with the film besides Horner repeating himself and that's the circumstances around the death of a major character. It just didn't make sense how "they" got to him. Maybe it'll sort itself out on repeat viewings.

The build-up to the end is well-done and there's one final knuckle-biting sequence with the wolves and Dewey (Finney). In all, I enjoyed it. It's a well-done, different take on the werewolf mythology bringing it more in line with the mythos of the Native American Indian.

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