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Directed by Michael Wadleigh
US 1981

Wolfen, a frightening horror movie based upon a novel by Whitley Strieber, concerns Detective Dewey Wilson (Albert Finney), who gets assigned to investigate the strange murder of a millionaire and his wife in a downtown park. Wilson and his friend, city coroner Whittington (Gregory Hines), aided by criminal psychologist Rebecca Neff (Diane Venora) connect the killing to those of several others, primarily winos, drug addicts and derelicts, all of whom seem to have been mutilated by wild animals. Their search leads them to a group of Native Americans led by Edward James Olmos who tell them of a legend of a superior species that once roamed the area, but now are living and hunting in the slums of New York. The film is engrossing, frightening and intelligent, with sensational special effects. Director Michael Wadleigh uses these effects to great advantage, frequently showing the movements of the characters through the eyes of the "Wolfen." This film is also the screen debut of Hines.

 

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Theatrical Release:  July 24th, 1981

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Comparison:

Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

    

  

    

Distribution Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Warner
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:53:56 1:54:05.922
Video 2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 34,587,123,319 bytes

Feature Size: 33,956,536,320 bytes

Total Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2682 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2682 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
Cast and Crew text pages

Howl-y-wood (text pages)

Trailer (2:17)

DVD Release Date: August 13th, 2002

Keep Case
Chapters: 36

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

 

Disc Size: 34,587,123,319 bytes

Feature Size: 33,956,536,320 bytes

Total Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Trailer (2:26)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 9

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Warner Archive (MoD) - Region FREE - Blu-ray June 15': I was pretty keen to see how the higher resolution would handle Robert Blalack's creepy special visual effects - frequently seeing through the Wolfen's eyes. The image certainly look brighter, but more effective especially with James Horner's pulsing intense score in lossless. I don't have much to say, the transfer is dual-layered with a max'ed-out bitrate and colors become richer- flesh tones normalize (warmer). It may be a bit horizontally-stretched with fatter faces (or perhaps the DVD was vertically stretched a bit). This was an early DVD and has an appallingly low bitrate (The BD is over 7X higher.) This showed in some compression artifacts on the SD, that are nowhere to be seen on the Blu-ray. The DTS-HD 5.1 score sounds terrific - a wide step up from the simple Dolby on the SD. Its a huge part of the horror-factor of the presentation. Warner include optional English subtitles but only a trailer as an extra. The Blu-ray is region FREE.

Wolfen is one of those films I revisit every few years. I have to admit the Blu-ray a/v is a substantial difference over the old snapper-cased DVD. Maybe it's Finney, maybe Blalack's effects, perhaps the Indian-relationship to the Wolfen creature (this is kinda of a modern creature-feature) - but I have always had a soft spot for this film and glad I own it in HD now. 

Gary W. Tooze




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1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

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1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

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1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Box Covers

    

  

    

Distribution Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Warner
Region FREE -
Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

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