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Wolfen (1981) Dir: Michael Wadleigh

One of three werewolf films – the others being Joe Dante’s The Howling and An American Werewolf in London-  released way back in 1981, Wolfen starring the great Albert Finney as a shabby New York cop investigating a series of gruesome murders in the South Bronx was the least heralded of this lupine triptych.

Within it’s horror film/thriller framework, the film functions as an examination of environmental displacement, economic deprivation and spiritual malaise within urban life which lends it if not more substance then gives it a strange mythical/mystical undertow that makes it stand out even to this day.

But it’s not only its intelligent treatment of  potentially pulp schlock subject matter that separates it from the genre pack so to speak.

The pioneering camera work in which Wadleigh uses heightened sound and an in camera thermographic effect to simulate a wolf/beast POV is eerie and unsettling throughout with Gerry Fisher‘s eerie, gliding Steadicam simulating the feel of an animal/predator stalking it’s prey in this desolate urban landscape.

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