Splatter Time Fun Fest 2012: Wolfen (1981)

Wolves are nowhere near as scary as a naked Edward James Olmos frolicking on the beach at night time!

Screenplay By: David Eyre & Michael Wadleigh
Directed By: Michael Wadleigh

I’m not sure at what point the horror, suspense, or action of Wolfen was supposed to kick in, but I’m still waiting. As a comedy, a tremendously bad comedy, Wolfen is actually quite funny. It’s funny in a ludicrous fashion, hysterical even in the way that it sets up its world and deals with its characters. Wolfen is not supposed to be funny, it’s not supposed to be a comedy, but if it functions in any respect it is as a comedy.

Wolfen is literally a movie where Albert Finney cracks lots of bad one liners, shuffles from scene to scene, and acts bewildered all the time. The rest of the characters exist as magical beings that pop up out of nowhere, have skills that are beyond their station in life, and generally act like the type of idiot that can only populate the world of film. Yet Wolfen trudges forward, somehow hoping that I would believe in its created world, its lackluster characters, and its utter stupidity. Unluckily for Wolfen, but lucky for you depending on where you fall on the issue of negative reviews, I was not able to accept Wolfen’s utter stupidity.

The main problem with Wolfen is that it is so dreadfully dull and that for most of its run time absolutely nothing of interest occurs. So much of Wolfen is setup, but the setup consists of what I described above and that is why I found the movie so painful to sit through. The film tries to spice things up with its wolf camera point of view trick. That gets old really fast, and ultimately it doesn’t add much of anything to the film. The introduction of a Native American element is another late attempt at adding spice to the proceedings of the film. And, it is yet another attempt that falls flat.

When a naked Edward James Olmos howling at the moon on a beach during the middle of the night is the highlight of your film I think your film is in some trouble. Wolfen was in trouble by about the seven minute mark, that was when I got my first inkling that I was not watching a movie interested in forward momentum or in making a whole lot of sense. There’s nothing horrific, suspenseful, or interesting about Wolfen. It’s a weird movie that fails in just about every thrust it makes to be compelling or something more than a snoozefest. Wolves certainly deserve better representation that Wolfen, I mean how do you screw up the coolness of wolves?




One response to “Splatter Time Fun Fest 2012: Wolfen (1981)

  1. Pingback: Splatter Time Fun Fest 2012: The 3rd Annual Bloody Machete Awards | Bill's Movie Emporium

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