Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

A Movie A Day: WOLFEN (1981)
You don’t have the eyes of the hunter. You have the eyes of the dead.

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with the newest October special horror run of A Movie A Day! [For the entirety of October I will be showcasing one horror film each day. Every film is pulled from my DVD shelf, recorded on the home DVR or streamed via Instant Netflix and will be one I haven’t seen. Unlike my usual A Movie A Day or A Movie A Week columns there won’t necessarily be connectors between each film, but you’ll more than likely see patterns emerge day to day. At the end of each standard AMAD I’m going to include a recommendation of a genre film that is either one of my personal favorites or too good of a double feature with the AMAD title to pass up a mention.] One’s life is filled with little surprises. I think it’s these surprises that keep us going, that feeling of chance at work. I live a very contented life, a very happy life, but the unexpected always gives me a little boost of joy. You can’t predict it, you can’t plan for it, you just have to roll with it when it comes to you. Like tonight, for instance. The last thing expected when I woke up today was to see Edward James Olmos’ cock flopping about and see it I did. Ah, the joys diving into vintage film! WOLFEN has long been a movie I’ve been interested in watching, but a little scared of. I didn’t have a fear of the movie being too intense, but that I wasn’t going to like it. I’ve talked to so many people that were disappointed that the movie doesn’t live up to the premise, that the evil monsters are just wolves, not some crazy supernatural horror, and that the ultimate result just wasn’t satisfying. I can’t tell you if my enjoyment of the film is a result of lower expectations, but enjoy it I did. A lot, actually.

The director, Michael Wadleigh, had been a cinematographer and directed one film before this one, the concert movie WOODSTOCK. It’s a damn shame he didn’t do more because the look of this movie is fantastic. You can tell he played with a ton of different lenses and looks to capture the living entity that is New York City in the early ‘80s. He also had a great eye for casting. Albert Finney and his flowing mane share the role of Dewey Wilson, a troubled cop coming out of a rough patch in his life. Dewey is brought in to look into the murder of a prominent businessman and finds he’s not dealing with your usual killer. He’s stepping into a world of old and vengeful gods. Along for the ride is the lovely Diane Venora (HEAT, F/X) and Gregory Hines. Hines is so awesome in this flick, sporting a huge afro and the perfect innocent wise-ass persona. He plays a mortician helping Dewey figure out what the fuck is killing these people. The aforementioned Edward James Olmos (and his schlong) show up in the role of Eddie Holt, a Native American that might know a lot more about these things than he lets on. Olmos plays the hell out of this role, injecting the right amount of mystique and pride into the character. And dances around naked while foaming at the mouth. Don’t forget that part. Speaking of foaming at the mouth, we can’t forget Tom Noonan who does dependably good work in this movie as the animal expert who sympathizes with the wolves more than the people. It’s like the role was made for him… weird, but with a soft side. I love watching Tom Noonan work. WOLFEN isn’t about werewolves or shapeshifters or a pack of ordinary dogs with a kill-boner. It’s a bit deeper than that without sacrificing the entertainment factor. No sir. When these wolves kill Wadleigh doesn’t hold back. It might not make much sense how a wolf can slice off a dude’s hand, but I don’t care. It looks rad and if I can buy that these wolves are really gods of some sort then I can buy their ability to fuck people up more than the average wolf. The photography of the film (by Gerry Fisher of EXORCIST III and HIGHLANDER) is really beautiful as should be suspected in a film directed by an ex-cinematographer. The look they go for with the wolf POV is a predecessor to PREDATOR-vision, using infrared photography to show the heat signatures of the victims. There’s beauty to the way Gerry Fisher shot this material, choosing to film it in a day for night style that heightens the reality. Really pretty stuff here.

Also of note is the score by James Horner. Call him a self-cannibalizing composer if you want (you might not be wrong), but it’s fascinating listening to his score for this movie and hearing queues from his later scores. There are moments when his score kicks in that you expect the shot to cut from Albert Finney to Ricardo Montalban as Khan or a street chase to end up at LV-426 as Ripley is racing against the clock to rescue Newt. Now, the ending of the movie puzzles me a little bit. I’m going to talk about it below, so beware of spoilers. So, we’re told that this godlike tribe of wolves went underground during the slaughter of the Native Americans and wolves when the white man came and now they exist above-ground in the slums of our cities feeding upon the weakness of our society, the sick and diseased poor. They attacked the well to do businessman because he’s tearing down a slum and is going to enrich the area that is their hunting ground. Okay. So basically the end of the movie Albert Finney realizes that these wolves aren’t evil, but a necessary component to the survival of society. That had me scratching my head a bit… I mean, it feels very close to saying “It’s okay they killed the rich white guy because they usually only kill poor black people and if we just let them keep doing that we middle class and higher whites don’t have anything to worry about!” I’m not one to call racism on anything and I still don’t think that’s the intention of the film, but I’m just saying that’s how it came across to me. The original novel by Whitley Strieber (who also wrote the book THE HUNGER was based on) is supposed to be pretty kick-ass, actually getting into the thought process of the wolves themselves. I’m going to have to track it down. The movie has me curious. Final Thoughts: I wouldn’t say that Wolfen would be in my top tier favorite horror flicks, but I think it’s quite a good movie, definitely better than its reputation. Albert Finney classes it up considerably and doesn’t phone in his performance just because it’s a genre film. Tom Noonan is delightful, as always. Olmos is also quite good as is the great character actor Dick O’Neill who has probably the most honest reaction in the history of a disbeliever seeing the evidence of the supernatural right in front of him. “God-fucking-damn!” Wolfen is a classy horror flick that isn’t afraid to strike that balance between taking itself seriously as a motion picture, but also delivering some quality moments of horror and gore. I was quite happy with the movie.

I saw someone recommend Neil Jordan’s THE COMPANY OF WOLVES as my recommendation title on the Wolfen review, but I don’t know if I’m the best person to write that one up. I always thought the poster for THE COMPANY OF WOLVES was better than the movie. Instead my mind wandered over the key points of Wolfen… killer dogs, based on a book that everyone says is better… Aha! Got it!

Never one to pass up the chance to talk Stephen King, I couldn’t help but go for Cujo. It’s not as classy as WOLFEN, but it’s just as effective. Cujo means a lot to me as a story. King is one of my favorite authors and it all began with me reading Cujo in the 6th grade. It was a perfect introduction to adult reading. I had seen the movie, so I already had a handle on the plot. It was all about discovering a good novelist’s ability to pull you into the heads of the characters in the story. Having seen the movie was almost like training wheels. But you can imagine my shock when I got to the end of the book and little Tad Trenton doesn’t make it. The movie pussed out, but that worked out for me in a way. I was genuinely surprised and shocked at how King chose to end the book.

I love that King is healthy and enjoying a great life, but a very sadistic and selfish part of me wishes he’d go back on the coke and we could get a few more genuinely fucked up stories like we did in his drug-haze heyday. Although if that means I have to suffer through another Tommyknockers maybe he should tighten that seatbelt on the wagon and keep enjoying his sobriety. If you’re unfamiliar with the story it’s a perfectly simple horror story. A mother and her 6 year old son are trapped in a car by a rabid St Bernard. Yep, that’s it, on the surface, at least.

Digging a little deeper we see it’s quite a morality play, with punishment being dealt out to some unscrupulous characters. Even the mother, played by the ‘80s mom of choice Dee Wallace Stone, isn’t clean, having cheated on her husband. In fact, there are only two purely innocent characters: Tad and Cujo. Cujo?!? you say? Yes, Cujo. It’s easy to point at the six year old kid as an innocent party, but Cujo is just as innocent. When we meet the dog he’s a lovable, happy family dog. It’s only after being bitten by a bat that he starts going crazy. Cujo becomes the monster, but kind of like Frankenstein’s Monster he’s not at fault. He didn’t make the decision to start eating the shit out of the townspeople of Castle Rock just as Frankenstein’s Monster didn’t ask to be cobbled together and feared by the townspeople. As a kid I was scared by the dog, but I always sympathized with him. Directed by Lewis Teague, who directed another movie that I considered to pair with Wolfen… another monster in New York flick, the great ALLIGATOR starring Robert Forster, the film has a very grimy feel to it. Teague has a good creative eye, always moving the camera, keeping things visually interesting in a movie that essentially spends half of its runtime in a car. I really like the flick, especially the pre-trapped-in-a-car monster in the closet that torments young Danny Pintauro, foreshadowing the real nightmare to come. So there you go. The flick hits Blu-Ray next month. Hopefully the transfer is great as I am definitely going to be adding it to the shelf.

Here are the next week’s worth of AMAD titles: Saturday, October 17th: MADHOUSE (1981)

Sunday, October 18th: THE HOUSE WITH THE LAUGHING WINDOWS (1976)

Monday, October 19th: THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1945)

Tuesday, October 20th: DEMON SEED (1977)

Wednesday, October 21th: STAGEFRIGHT (1987)

Thursday, October 22th: DEAD OF NIGHT (1977)

Friday, October 23th: THE SERPENT’S EGG (1978)

Tomorrow we move to a loony bin horror flick called MADHOUSE. See you tomorrow… well, later today… for that one! -Quint Follow Me On Twitter

AMAD Halloween Spectacular 2009: October 1st: Nothing But The Night (& The Wicker Man)
October 2nd: Beware! Children At Play (& The Devil Times Five)
October 3rd: Cameron’s Closet (& Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)
October 4th: Afraid of the Dark (& The Lady In White)
October 5th: The Pit (& The Gate)
October 6th: Brain Damage (& Basket Case)
October 7th: Brain Dead (& Braindead, aka Dead Alive)
October 8th: Visiting Hours (& Dressed To Kill)
October 9th: Macabre (& The Beyond)
October 10th: Private Parts (& Eating Raoul)
October 11th: Road Games (& Duel)
October 12th: Dead End Drive-In (& Repo Man)
October 13th: Psychic Killer (& Alone In The Dark)
October 14th: The Body Snatcher (& Son of Frankenstein)
October 15th: The Leopard Man (& The Ghost and The Darkness)
Click here for the full 215 movie run of A Movie A Day!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Oct. 17, 2009, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Woof, biatches.

    by TotoroSan

    Woof, woof.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Cujo the book...

    by loafroaster

    ...was SO fucking depressing.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 8:57 a.m. CST

    I saw Wolfen for the first time recently...

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    ...and it's not very good. Fine cast, but it's just not very scary. Plus, I kept thinking "KHAN! ALIENS! KHAN! ALIENS!" over and over listening to Horner's music (which is why he's such a frustrating composer...every good lick of music you've ever heard from him is usually lifted verbatim from some other movie he did a few years earlier).<BR><BR>Cujo, on the other hand, is excellent (and one of Stephen King's own personal favorites of movies adapted from his work, despite his not remembering even writing the book, written at the height of his substance abuse period). Great photography by Jan De Bont and music by Charles Bernstein, and Dee Wallace is superb ("Fuck you, dog"). I just remember some people being infuriated that the film's advertising campaign obscured the fact that it was about a rabid dog, instead of some supernatural evil. Anyways, it's a terrific film.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Wolfen is an awesome film

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    Thoroughly undeserving of it's word of mouth. Great book too. Watching it makes you realise what a loss Gregory Hines' death was, the guy was superb.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Wolfen is one of those movies. . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . like The Omen, that I watched a million times as a kid, scared me to death, and later on, in my adulthood, gets ripped on by just about every other person who's seen it. I won't bitch about it though, cause I haven't revisited it for a LONG time. And good LORD, why is Tom Noonan not in better movies? He should have several classic fanboy-genre parts under his belt by now outside of Manhunter.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST

    And regarding Tommyknockers . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . I, like most here, read all my King young, like in junior high. I thought Tommyknockers, at the time, was awesome. What's the general consensus here? I only watched a little over 10 minutes of that shitty TV movie.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    I love The Company of Wolves

    by judderman

    And Demon Seed is halfway decent.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    an early HBO staple

    by Dr. Sid Schaefer

    saw "wolfen" multiple times on HBO as a kid. mildly scary, but we much preferred "the howling" (more fun, more nudity). but we did like the other albert finney HBO staple, "looker!"

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 9:49 a.m. CST


    by Boba Fat

    Was the book that put me off King for a long time. I bought it when it first came out and I'd read everything by King up that point, but that book broke my addiction. At the time I thought I'd outgrown him, but came back to Gerald's Game and later The Cell. It's just a duff, loooong book. If it was in the middle of King's own addiction, that would explain it. <p> Looking forward to Quint's views on House With The Laughing Windows and Stagefright though. Got a soft spot for those two and Italian horror in general.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Guys-what's with turning EVERYTHING into a fucking ad

    by Sal_Bando

    Seriously. I can understand paying bills but that's kinda silly here.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Been meaning to check this out

    by Cinemanimetal

    I, like Quint, have been meaning to check out Wolfen for sometime as it sounded cool to me. However bad word of mouth turned me off of it. Maybe now is the time to finally check it out. Heads getting ripped off by wolves is awesome!

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Dude, they're not 'Gods'...

    by NapalmTrancebath

    They're just badass wolves. Don't believe what any fool tells you they are, or how someone films them. Just run the hell the other way. Or hide.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Black Moon Over Manhatten!!

    by LargoJr

    Gregory Hines is, was, and always will be 100% pure bottled awesome

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Tom Waits can be seen in Wolfen!!!

    by tomwaitsisgod

    Tom Waits can be seen in Wolfen!!!Tom Waits can be seen in Wolfen!!!Tom Waits can be seen in Wolfen!!!Tom Waits can be seen in Wolfen!!!Tom Waits can be seen in Wolfen!!!Tom Waits can be seen in Wolfen!!!

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Oh my god,i didnt know Cujo was made into film

    by ominus

    i read cujo last year and i cant say that i was very thrilled.It didnt have much horror in it,and not even the kind i expected from King,the book was a bit fact it was even childish,the dark version of a disney movie with talking animals.not my cup of tea sorry.but i ll check the movie,just from curiosity. <p>What i am dying to see in a movie,is From a Buick 8,i dont know why they havent yet adapted this story.It reminded me somehow Twilight Zone meets Half Life.Btw for those who have read the book,who or what the fuck was that mysterious driver of the Buick and what on earth happened to him? the book gives vague implications of what transpired. <p>anyway.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Cujo is fuckin' insane!

    by SoylentMean

    I love the book and the movie. The movie freaked me out because I still don't know how they trained that dog to act that way...

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:27 a.m. CST

    I liked The Tommyknockers book...

    by SoylentMean

    the movie, not so much. The books of Stephen King that I don't dig on are Rose Madder and Insomnia. Also, I still haven't finished the Dark Tower series (I stopped at Wizard & Glass). Still, the guy has provided more than enough entertainment in my life to automatically get my money when he does something new. So I'm looking forward to Under the Dome in less than a month.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:38 a.m. CST

    I'll have to go back and rewatch wolfen...

    by The Mighty Molecule

    Sounds like i missed a fair bit, though admittedly i haven't seen in in about 12 years. Cujo's awesome, glad to see it getting some attention here. The gritty look of that film just doesnt exist in movies anymore. The poster for company of wolves used to scare the shit out of me as a kid, took me a long time before i watched the movie. It's not that scary, though its meant to be more cerebral i think. always liked it. Angela Carter's book is also meant to be much much better.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:44 a.m. CST


    by tomwaitsisgod

    Hell yeah, you missed a fair bit! You missed Tom Fucking Waits playing piano! May the cameo gods smile upon thee!

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST

    CUJO is based on a true story

    by LyingFuckingBastard

    Apparently a scaled down version of the events of the novel unfolded in Castle Rock, Arizona in 1978. Stephen King has even paid money to the victims of the original tragedy.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    You guys see Wolfen? They filmed it down here...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...They filmed it down here. You know, the movie about those gigantic wolves that come out at night. They eat people and rip their guts, got kinda shit hangin' out of their mouths and stuff. And they would live for an hour or so...just lay there twitching and stuff.<P> They filmed it here because this is EXACTLY where it happened.<P> It's a true story

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST


    by Genre_Baby

    You got a lot more out of Wolfen than I ever did. Looking forward to what you think about The House with Laughing Windows. The pacing is deliberately slow but the pay off is worth it...

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 11:11 a.m. CST

    I just noticed that the CUJO poster is a play on...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...the painting CHRISTINA'S WORLD.<P>That dog would gobble Christina right up.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST

    by Turingtestee

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 11:30 a.m. CST

    by Turingtestee

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    King was so coked out...

    by I am_NOTREAL

    ...he doesn't even remember writing "Cujo." Think about how weird that must be. There's a book out there--a bestseller no less--with your name on it that you don't remember writing.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Damn It!

    by Turingtestee

    Loved Cujo. I think the kid that played Tad was actually scared shitless. Book was better.<P>Stayed on board with Tommyknockers until the flying soda machine and human batteries.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Danny Pintauro freakout = WTF DELUXE!!!

    by DickBallsworth

    Every time the kid loses his shit in the car, it's such a genuine fucking knife in the heart... he totally goes beyond the "kid acting" and straight into the "severe emotional trauma" to such a degree that it's still uncomfortable for me to watch. Kinda like some of those early Our Gang shorts where it's obvious that the kids are really crying, probably because the director made them dwell on miserable memories to eke out the proper degree of credibility. In short: Hollywood fucks kids up for big bucks. Amazing!

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Check out King's "On Writing"

    by Star Hump

    for a detailed account of his alcohol/cocaine period. He was a fucking die hard user. He'd destroy armies of tall boys and snort coke all night and day, all while typing away. His habits nearly cost him his family, but they pulled an intervention on his ass. Thank God he took the chance to get sober. Factoring in his recovery from being hit by that van, and there's no arguing that King is one tough sombitch.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 11:54 a.m. CST

    The Wolfen aren't eating the minorities

    by Phloton

    They eat the diseased, homeless and junkies (people that will not be missed). Not saying it's right, but just setting you straight.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 12:16 p.m. CST

    I prefer to read Wolfen, because it's awesome.

    by BlackBanana

    It's mainly a detective story about a cop tracking a werewolf-esque pack hunting in the heart of NYC. If this movie had been made with today's technology it'd have been something completely different. Definitely one of the few films of the last 25 years that deserves a novel-faithful remake.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Danny Pintauro vs. In the Closet Monster

    by Geekgasm

    Girlfriend slew that monster!

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    OK, fine. I'll say it myself if I have to. "Hey FlickaPoo!...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...extra points for the rad DREAM TEAM quote, and extra Quad Damage for the art history CUJO poster connection! Your knowledge of 80's Micheal Keaton PG comedies and mid 20th century realism are without equal on AICN!...and fill me with an overwhelming desire to pleasure you orally.<P>Your video game references are fucking dated though..."

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Back in the day, when Protagonists could be butt ugly.

    by the Green Gargantua

    Great movie! I remember sitting in the playground discussing how long a human head stays aware once it is separated from the body. I was 8!! FUCK YEA

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 12:50 p.m. CST


    by Quadio1

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 1:01 p.m. CST

    the studios butchered Wolfen

    by Gorgomel

    Michael Wadleigh was thrown out of the editing room so he didn't have the opportunity to gave us all the good stuffs he shoot for this movie. It's still a masterpiece, a flawed film, but a masterpiece. Gregory Hines and Finney are just brillant in this. Btw the french poster is just awesome. God or devil the tagline says. They dont make scary movies like this anymore.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 1:04 p.m. CST


    by uberman

    That is one solid, well written, well acted 'monster' movie. I read the book first and was a little disapointed with the 'design' of the wolfen in the movie but they still manage to carry an aura of menance far beyond a typical wolf. In the book they had a head that was kinda shaped like a humans if I recall. Really a good one to see if ya havent-theres not one bad spot in it.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST


    by Norton833

    Not sure if I agree with Quint's read of the ending, but Wolfen is a brilliant piece of work, and the retro 70's-style visual effects are a nice touch as well.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Didn't a wolf slice a guys head off at the end?

    by The Dum Guy

    Like, it looked as if it had been done with a katana.<br><br>I actually prefer The Company of Wolves to Wolfen, mainly 'cause of how weird it is.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 2:33 p.m. CST

    I loved Wolfen

    by disfigurehead

    but Cujo is a load of shit.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Wolfen: Dire Wolves have survived and evolved

    by MGTHEDJ

    I dig this movie. The ending is Finney showing the pack that with the blue-blood dead their territory is safe, since nobody in city gov. really wanted him to build that complex.<p>Dire Wolves were larger than the current Gray Wolf, with a far more powerful jaw and bite. They died out at the end of the last Ice Age. The limits of the budget only allowed for the use of gray wolves. No spectacular effects work from Rob Bottin because he was working on the rival project "The Howling."<p>Yes, Hines is on fire in this as well. We lost a major talent with his passing.-----later-----m

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Can I just say that the original poster for CUJO...

    by Nosferatu Jones a fucking classic? The film itself is certainly on the cheesy side (always preferred DEAD ZONE and CHRISTINE over the glut of 1983 Stephen King flicks), but that poster is stone-cold beautiful. If only the film lived up to the haunting nature of that artwork...

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Supernatural wolves that kill neo-con rich americans

    by AsimovLives

    who get rich by hurting and fucking up the poor? There should be more of those. I call what those wolves do in Wolven a service to society.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 3:27 p.m. CST

    The Company Of Wolves is really very good

    by AsimovLives

    Really very good movie. But i fear many of the "kewl" crowd will like it. Not enough CGI, shaky-cam and fast-paced editing for them, i guess. But if that doesn't distract and detracts you, then you will get a very interesting and intelligent take on the reason why failry tells exists, mixed with the psicological facts of the gorwing and maturity of a young girl into womanhood. And some dandy and imaginative latex morphing effects, 80s style. And, more important of all, a rare chance to see a good guy role for David Warner.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    "The Company of Wolves" is brilliant, AsimovLives—

    by blakindigo

    —but in it's time it was criticized for many of the elements that weren't "traditional," including it's elliptical story, and believe it or not some of the surreal imagery. Some critics seemed to think that the movie was too much subtext and not enough text. Basically, they said it was style over substance.<br><br>Kinda strange though; a lot of those criticisms have morphed into the current generic complaints about CGI and shaky-cam stylistic tropes. I don't mean to imply that you're doing this, btw.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST


    by Hipshot

    Is an extremely nice guy. Through a mutual acquaintance, I once got him to send a copy of "Eye of the Dragon," his kid's book, to me on the occasion of my daughter's birth. He signed it to her, adding "Welcome to Live, Sweetheart". Met him several times, and he's both brilliant, crazy, and a really down to Earth guy, amused by his level of success, but one hard-working son of a bitch. Like and respect him a lot.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Danny Pintauro was NOT traumatized by Cujo

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    At least, that's what he said when interviewed for the DVD. He even says that he's not scared of dogs or anything. Tough little fucker...

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    One of those movies I feel I SHOULD like than actually do

    by Redmond

    Lots of good elements, and if it was on cable, I'd stop and watch and be entertained. But it just never clicked with me.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Danny Pintauro is not afraid of dogs

    by Chakraborty

    But he is afraid of cats...nothing scares him more than a pussy.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Wolfen's original cut was 3-4 hours

    by reflecto

    or something like that. Was taken away from Wadleigh by the studio and ripped apart. I think it's a strange and interesting film now, but does not add up at all in the theatrical cut. I liked The Tommyknockers BTW. As a kid, my first inkling of being a film geek was when I realized I was storyboarding the scene where Gardner kills Bobbi for film in my head. As for Cujo, I'm sure Danny Pintauro isn't scared of dogs or much else. A few years back he got caught stuffing everything and the kitchen sink into his asshole on gay personals websites.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Cujo was TCM for me

    by Neosamurai85

    Growing up in the part of Virginia where wild dogs, rabies and even coyote attacks have not been unheard of, Cujo was the scariest thing next to Jaws when I was a kid. Scarier even because I knew that sharks weren't like that. But rabies... yeah, I believed that movie. I believed that I could go play in the woods unattended and get mauled by the neighbors dog after that movie. And as cheesy as it may seem now, that film was intense as shit back in the day. The Breed ain't got shit on Cujo. Living in the county, Cujo was Jaws motherfucker. It was Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It scared me in broad daylight. I love that silly movie.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Dammit FlickaPoo

    by Durendal

    You beat me to it with The Dream Team reference. That is a criminally little-known comedy. Peter Boyle, Michael Keaton, Christopher Lloyd...come on man, it was fucking genius the way those guys bounced off each other. And Keaton plays a sarcastic asshole so well.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Durendal.....thank god! Finally...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...someone else with taste, wit, class, and good looks. I was beginning to fear my Doctor had been seized by the Romans. Those guys were great together...and one great line after another.<P>This is the body and blood of our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And a damned fine Beaujolais.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 9:10 p.m. CST

    The best part of Wolfen...

    by mthrndr

    Are the shots of the south Bronx. So fucked up.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 9:34 p.m. CST

    It's already been mentioned by someone...

    by Ironhelix

    ...but "Wolfen" and "Looker" were in constant rotation when HBO first went on the air. As a kid, I must have seen those two flicks dozens of times. I am not going to ruin my fond memories by watching either of them again.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Tom Waits in WOLFEN

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Here's a question for you experts: Is the scene with Tom Waits in the theatrical version or was that a cut scene that's been added to the edited version that plays on some TV stations?<br /><br />I remember telling my ex wife to watch it when it ran in an edited version on TBS or one of those channels & she mentioned the Tom Waits scene but last time I rented the theatrical version I don't remember that scene at all. Is it a blink and U miss him cameo?

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 10:12 p.m. CST

    "Our god is an indian that turns into a wolf."

    by MCVamp

    "That's Wolfen, man." "Oh. Well...the Wolfen will come after you with his razor."

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 11:13 p.m. CST

    P.D. Cacek's Canyons and Ray Garton's Ravenous

    by SoylentMean

    Are two kick ass werewolf novels. If you all are looking for some fanged fuzzball reads...

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 12:34 a.m. CST

    Tom Waits is in Wolfen?

    by Neosamurai85

    Ok, reorganizing queue. Can't believe I didn't know this.Favorite artist. Period. Thanks!

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 5:56 a.m. CST


    by axemurder

    is totally under rated.

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Hipshot is right....

    by The_Crimson_King

    part of what's so cool about Stephen King is just how down to earth he is

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST


    by phifty2

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 1:58 p.m. CST


    by phifty2

    is one of my favorite King books. What the hell were you reading Quint?

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 2:50 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Good to know there's a fellow admirer of that still terribly underrated The Company Of Wolves.<br><br>You post points out very well how little the criticis of TCOW understood the movie, so that they had this mututally exclusive complains: that the movie had too much subtext (too smart) and was style over substance (too dumb). The people who disliked and dismiseed the movie didn't knew what to do with it.<br><br>But there's this thing to consider also about The Campnay Of Wolves: while the movie flopped in USA, it was a big commercial sucess in Europe and Japan. For some reason, all that artificial, alegarical fantasy, non-linear nature of the movie caught the imagination of the audiences in Europe and Japan. I still remember how bakc in the day the movie was huge and people couldn't stop talking about it.

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 2:54 p.m. CST

    The Dream Team could had been a really good movie

    by AsimovLives

    if they didn't shoved into it that stupid retard crime stuff in it. The movie should had been a comedy/character study of 4 maladjusted loonies who seethemselves alone in a big city without a guide, and how they would coup... as in, very very poorly.<br><br>Instead and for some stupid reason, they decided to turn that into a lame ass crime thriller with a very lame stupid bad guys and a very bad crime element to the procedings. what a fucking waste! Maybe one day soembody will take the movie and remake it, and do it properly, meaning, without the crime bullshit.

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    I'm going to ask my AICN compadres about Wolven

    by AsimovLives

    My AICN compares, since i haven't seen Wolven yet, i ask you, how good is it? Isit realyl worth watching? Should i even buy it sight unseen, since i don't think i can rent that movie, i don't think it was ever for rental here. So, what say you?

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Wolfen, not Wolven

    by AsimovLives


  • Oct. 18, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Kill yourself, then rent Wolfen

    by reflecto


  • Oct. 18, 2009, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Cujo ending

    by thatothercaptainjack

    I seen Wolfen on TV a few years ago and liked it. Cujo is one of the films i haven't seen but I did read the book and thought it was awesome.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Wolfen & 70mm -6 track sound

    by spudwas

    I saw this movie at the old "Pickwood" theater near Westwood,CA When "Wolfen" was originally released. The Print was absolutely phenomenal! Beautiful Sound,and Separation. One of the best sound experiences I ever had the pleasure of attending.So how come "Warner Bros" can only come up with a "mono" or plain "Dolby surround" print for release on vhs or dvd? Oh well.....maybe Blu-Ray might correct this mistake and find a 70mm print for transfer. Thanks for reading my gripe.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 7:18 a.m. CST

    I saw Cujo as a young lad

    by Uncle Salty Walt

    Caught it on HBO around the same time as Children of the Corn. And at my grandmother's house, no less! Tom Noonan fans should also check out the X-Files 4th season classic "Paper Hearts" for another creepy performance.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST


    by LegoKenobi

    i had that second poster on my bedroom wall door for years when i was in high school. i didn't realize tom waits was in it! now i need to watch it again. i always thought he concept of this movie was brilliant — this is one movie i'd like to see have a remake attempted.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 11:50 a.m. CST

    AsimovLives: be aware, they survive by eating the homeless!

    by JasonPratt

    It's a fine movie, but Quint has a point about how this angle is played in the script, like it's somehow okay for them to eat the homeless (not counting the rich white guy threatening their territory) because that's part of the circle of life or whatever. The book doesn't really take sides either, but presents the matter as understandable counter-antagonism by both the wolves (who understand their survival depends both on secrecy and keeping their human food supply) and the humans (who are going out of their minds being hunted by these ninja-level mutant wolves.) No real villains, in that sense; Streiber (the author) works to help you you care for both teams while fearing each of them from the other's p-o-v.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    I mean that the book doesn't end accepting the wolfen.

    by JasonPratt

    The Iroquois angle basically doesn't exist in the book; it was added for the movie. Makes sense in its own way, and it helps the movie audience sympathize with the wolves. But in the book the humans never sympathize with the wolves (though the father of the pack has a few sympathies for the humans--this plays into the plot, because it was kids from his pack who kill a couple of policemen, starting off the problem with the police, so he's the one the other packs figure ought to fix the problem by killing off everyone connected with the case. Which he does try to do.)

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Wolfen: pretty worthy werewolf film, IMHO

    by HarryCalder

    The sex scene with Finney and Venora is weird (Finney, great actor, not someone I need to see doing the nasty) yet very hot, as I remember, mainly because Venora looks SO FINE.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Finney's romance is most horrifying thing in Wolfen. {g}

    by JasonPratt

    Ugh. The mind boggles as to why that even occurred in the plot. Finney's character is basically Joe Don Baker from _Mitchell_, except more Mitchelly. (Cue the distressed bots from MST3K: "but Mike... why would anyone want to do that with Mitchell!?!?") *** In the book, the female cop (and the cops are just normal NYPD) is married to someone completely different, and doesn't have an affair with her partner so far as I recall. (And her partner isn't basically Mitchell, either. {g})

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Heh... "Mitchell Returns!"--now with 100% more Wolfen!

    by JasonPratt

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Re: the Wolfen in the book

    by None_So_Blind

    Ditto on the differing looks - from what I recall, the Wolfen in the book were big, more so than the dogs (or whatever they were) used in the movie. Also, they had no thumbs, as someone mentioned above, as there is a specific line in the pack leader's thoughts about how he envied humans' opposable thumbs. And while it's hard to remember, I think their facial structures were different, not quite fully canine and not "Wolfman"-ish, but somewhere in between. What the movie missed that made the Wolfen so scary - two things: First, as the one poster mentions, they had senses on the level of Daredevil - smell and hearing so keen they could track people hundreds of yards away simply by hearing their heartbeats, etc. Second, they were fast. As in REALLY fast. There were multiple times in the book where a human with a gun would draw down on a Wolfen 20-30 feet away, have the gun leveled, and have their hand ripped off before they could finish pulling the trigger. Albert Finney's character was watching a couple of them by pretending to be a passed-out drunk, and as soon as he moved and they figured out he wasn't what he appeared to be, they were *gone* - he didn't see them running away, just they were there and then not there. Definitely not something to screw with....

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Oh, yeah, forgot to add:

    by None_So_Blind

    They were also smart. Not like humans using tech, but easily capable of using strategy, trickery, coordinated group attacks, even playing elaborate games while chasing humans (e.g., penalizing themselves to wait for "X" number of heartbeats of a human got a certain distance away, etc., just to make it challenging).

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Totally agree with you Spudwas

    by Guy Grand

    I caught this flick in Atlanta's Phipps Plaza theatre, which was the city's premiere movie house in the early 1980s. I was the only person in the audience on an afternoon matinee. It was the first time in my young adult life that I really took note of sound design and sound editing...without really knowing what it was I was responding too. "Wolfen" just sounded so fucking fantastic in that theatre. I've not had a similar response to a movie in a theatre since.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    None_So_Blind: good points

    by MGTHEDJ

    To reiterate, the movie suffered from it's budget. The "Wolfen" should have been as big as Rick Baker's wolf in "Am. Werewolf in London." In 1980-1981, there were 3 films being made at the same time, "Howling", "Wolfen", and "Am. Werewolf in London." Baker was working on "Howling", but the production was delayed and he had to leave for London to do "Am. Werewolf." He handed off the duties to his right hand man Rob Bottin. With these guys on the other projects, it forced "Wolfen" to use Gray Wolves.<p>In the scene were the black Wolfen is on the roof of the car, imagine him being the size of "Baker's Am. Werewolf!" That will make you piss your pants.------later-----m

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 3:35 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Thanks, friend.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Tommyknockers kicked ass

    by mighty_weevil

    Aside from 'Salem's Lot, I think Tommyknockers was one of his best books. And you can't do much better as far as a coke-fueled King novel.

  • Oct. 20, 2009, 3:33 p.m. CST

    ditto to guy grand , about theater experience

    by spudwas

    I forgot add that my brother and a friend of mine were the only people in the Pickwood theater that afternoon. And that theater had 1400 seats! Someone please find that original print and do something with it!

  • Oct. 20, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    correction oops

    by spudwas

    The theater was called PICWOOD not PICKWOOD..I found out that "Wolfen" in 70mm was only at the PICWOOD theater on the entire west coast! by the's a link to the theater where Wolfen played.(

  • Oct. 23, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    After Cujo...

    by Jamie McBain

    I don't think, that I would ever want to own a St. Bernard dog..