Wolfen Soundtrack Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 24th December 2011.
Gloriously packaged with that fearsome cover-art, Intrada's release of James Horners by-turns terrifying and moving, but always hypnotic score for Wolfen is a real dream come true … since it has been one of those always elusive and much sought-after Holy Grails that fans thought would never actually happen. Horner's music for so many films is widely available and he remains one of the most bankable and prolific of Hollywood composers, but the real delights in his extensive oeuvre always seem to be found in his earlier works. For, certainly, it was during this incredible run of cinematic genre gold that he made his name, and created and developed the themes and the style that film-fans have come to expect and adore.

With Wolfen he found the voice, the eloquence and the lyrical surge and aggression that he would use to shape Star Trek II, Aliens, Glory, Titanic and Avatar. But here the material is fresh, alarmingly dynamic, wholly mesmerising and profoundly haunting. He manages to convey the spiritual worlds of both the spectral wolves and their blood-brothers, the Native Americans, and to lend a musical tableau that pays homage to a natural order that is defiantly fighting back against the heartless rush of civilisation. His score is epic and intimate, the province that only a handful of Golden and Silver Age composers seemed able to concoct, and his writing is passionate, deeply personal and thoroughly affecting. There is ominous fear, and deep, guttural fury at work here. But there is also morose reflection and heartrending realisation. From someone who was still so new to the game, this is nothing short of miraculous – and he did it in 12 days!

The audio quality of this release is stunning in clarity, and the booklet is full of trivia and imagery. I wish that the material from The Hand could have been incorporated, but this is still one of the best score releases from what has been a truly outstanding year for both new arrivals and for highly prized gems from yesteryear.

Intrada take us running with the pack as they defend their hunting ground, and the experience is nothing less than spellbinding. So rub your eyes for a long time to attain your own Wolfen-vision and let James Horner guide you on a New York odyssey of a decidedly more ferocious nature.

Very highly recommended.

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Fab review Chris i got my copy just over a week ago along with La La La Lands Die Hard.

This score was one of my holy grails and i never thought it would see the light of day so glad it finally has. A fine early score by Horner which sets the ground for what was too come a few years later.
Warner really know how to archive there soundtrack masters aswell, since this sounds brand new and could well have been recorded yesterday.
Looking back know to 1981 and the three Wolf movies that came out i would rate Wolfen as the best of the three, its easliy the best made and looking and the least dated. Garret Browns steadi cam work tops what he did in The Shinning if you ask me.
Know fingers crossed we get a blu ray release soon with some special features and deleated scenes. If they've kept the score so well in the vauls i'am betting the reels for the film have been aswell.

Chris McEneany

Well-known Member
You know, Marv, after we got both Brad Fiedel's score for the original Fright Night and then Delerue's for Rapture ... we then got the Blu-rays for them as well.

Well, my copy of Fright Night still hasn't turned up and it was tracked to the UK over two weeks ago now. Harrrumphhhh!!!

But, anyway, I'm absolutely convinced that a BD of Wolfen is on the way from Warner. And it should look and sound awesome too. Remember this had an astonishing and revolutionary Dolby track when it was originally released. The SD looked very good so I would expect great things.

Aye, deleted scenes would be fantastic. There were more killings and more set-pieces - similar to Jaws, in fact - though I have to say that I doubt they would improve the narrative that we know and love. I just wish that the full Tom Waits bar-scene could be reinstated. It adds a weird vibe and there is some dialogue missed out by Finney and Venora because of the edit.

But I'm real glad you enjoy this classic as much as me, Marv.

Have a great Christmas, mate! :thumbsup:


Chris McEneany :devil:


I've got Intraad's score to Fright Night But passed on Twilight Times Blu Ray release. But have followed the release and reviews very closey. I know Sony's said they have no intrest in releasing it but i'am sure they will eventually. I would find it very odd for a big Studio catalogue title not to make an apperance somwhere else in the world.

Wolfen does look fanstastic upscalled on dvd, its even more impressive when you think that it was'nt even remastered for dvd it should look great on blu ray. I bought the R2 dvd first and then a year later the region free US release just becuase i wanted too see the film without Pal speed up and plus it has the theatrical trailer. Which as a short deleted scene in it.

Fangoria ran a piece on the film this year in two of there issue with a new interview with Wadleigh. I've tracked down old copys of Fangoria and Starburst aswell from 1981 with had articals on the film. Thanks Ebay.
I also got an Original UK cinema Quad poster of Ebay of couple of years back which i had on my wall for a while but is know in storage.
Its nice to know there are other fans of this film out there, shame its still vastley underated and unseen. I try to tell as many people about it as i can. Describing the plot to people can be some what tricky though since its not really a horror film but then it has a few killings and blood lettings. Which i believe were added after Wadliegh was let go.

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