WOLF (1994) Reviews and overview

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‘The animal is out.’

Wolf is a 1994 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Mike Nichols (The Graduate) and written by Jim Harrison, Wesley Strick, and an uncredited Elaine May, with music by Ennio Morricone and cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno (The Stendhal Syndrome).


The film features Jack Nicholson (The Raven; The Terror; The Shining) and Michelle Pfeiffer in the lead roles, alongside James Spader (The WatcherAlien Hunter), Kate Nelligan (Dracula – 1979; Thérèse Raquin – BBC TV; Fatal Instinct), Richard Jenkins, Christopher Plummer (The Pyx; Murder by Decree; Vampire in Venice) Eileen Atkins, David Hyde Pierce, and Om Puri.

On 20 November 2017, Wolf is released by Powerhouse Films via their Indicator label as a limited edition Blu-ray.

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

  • High Definition remaster
  • Stereo audio
  • 5.1 surround soundtrack
  • The Beast Inside: Creating Wolf  (2017, 54 mins): a new documentary on the making of the film with new interviews from SFX legend Rick Baker, screenwriter Wesley Strick and producer Douglas Wick
  • Never-before-seen archival interviews with director Mike Nichols, actors Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader and Kate Nelligan, producer Douglas Wick and writer Jim Harrison
  • Never-before-seen archival interviews with SFX maestro Rick Baker and production designer Bo Welch
  • B-roll footage
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Brad Stevens, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film
  • UK premiere on Blu-ray
  • Limited Blu-ray Edition of 3,000 copies

Will Randall is bitten by a wolf while driving home through Vermont after it was seemingly hit by his car. Soon after, he is demoted from the editor-in-chief of a publishing house during a takeover by ruthless tycoon Raymond Alden, who replaces him with Will’s ambitious protégé Stewart Swinton.

Will begins experiencing physiological changes ranging from increased appetites and libido to hair regrowth and sharper-than-human sensory perceptions. Catching an unfamiliar scent on the clothing of his wife Charlotte, Will rushes over to Stewart’s house, bites Stewart during a brief physical altercation, and rushes upstairs to the bedroom where he finds evidence of Charlotte’s infidelity. Will leaves his wife, takes up residence at the Mayflower Hotel, and as the moon ripens, takes on increasingly bestial aggressive characteristics.

With the help of Alden’s rebellious daughter Laura, Will tries to adapt to his new existence. His first nocturnal escapade as a werewolf takes place at Laura’s guesthouse on the Alden estate where he partially transforms and hunts down a deer by moonlight. In the morning, Will finds himself on the bank of a stream, with blood all over his face and hands, and, fearing notice, hurriedly departs in his Volvo…

Wolf 1994 Jack Nicholson werewolf


“Quite frankly, it’s hard to fathom why exactly anyone would have wanted to make this slick, glossy, but utterly redundant werewolf movie… Overall, this is needlessly polished nonsense: not awful; just toothless, gutless and bloodless … Nichols makes it clear that directing a horror movie was the last thing on his mind.” Time Out

“a decidedly upscale horror film, a tony werewolf movie in which a full roster of talents tries to mate with unavoidably hoary material. Offspring of this union is less ungainly than might have been feared, but is also less than entirely convincing, an intriguing thriller more enjoyable for its humor than for its scare quotient.” Todd McCarthy, Variety

Wolf Nicholson

“No one puts more wicked zest into playing yuppie scum than the gifted Spader – he’s a roguish delight… Nichols is a master of the telling detail, and his vision of the New York publishing world as an urban jungle is elegantly stylized and bitingly funny… Nicholson is amazing, finding humor and poignancy in a role that could have slid into caricature.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“In its own delightfully peculiar way, the film is the only one of its kind ever made – a horror film about office politics… The movie isn’t wholly great; it starts to unravel just after the midway point. Still, there are charms enough all the way through to make it the most seductive, most enjoyable film of the summer… The main attraction, though, is Nicholson… ” Hal Hinson, Washington Post

Wolf 1994 Jack Nicholson fights back

“The tone of the movie is steadfastly smart and literate; even in the midst of his transformation, the Nicholson character is capable of sardonic asides and a certain ironic detachment… What is a little amazing is that this movie allegedly cost $70 million … The special effects are efficient but not sensational, the makeup by Rick Baker is convincing but wisely limited, and the movie looks great, but that doesn’t cost a lot of money.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Wolf bed scene handcuffs

Egyptian poster for Wolf

Wolf 1994 Vanity Fair cover

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