“Wolves don’t kill people — that’s a myth. I mean, they’re too smart.”
A detective (Albert Finney) and a terrorism expert (Diane Venora) investigate a mysterious rash of killings across New York City, which may or may not involve Native Americans and/or wolves.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Albert Finney Films
- Detectives and Private Eyes
- Horror Films
- Killer Animals
- Murder Mystery
Director Michael Wadleigh had a most unusual Hollywood career, helming just two wildly different films: the documentary Woodstock (1970) and this ultra-atmospheric horror film, often associated with two werewolf-themed movies from the same year — An American Werewolf in London (1981) and The Howling (1981) — but not itself a werewolf movie. Instead, it’s a murder mystery detective flick based on the debut novel by Whitley Strieber, featuring a subplot about a Native American (Edward James Olmos) who engages in non-supernatural “shape-shifting”. While many elements of the film are nicely handled — including solarized cinematography throughout to show the perspective of the predator(s) — it eventually becomes repetitive and builds to a less-than-satisfying conclusion. James Horner’s score is a stand-out, though.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Highly atmospheric sets and cinematography
- James Horner’s score
No, but it’s worth a one time look if you’re interested.