Wolfen belongs to a special, exclusive subgenre which I will call "werewolf procedural". Albert Finney and Gregory Hines (!) play a detective and a medical examiner who have teamed up to investigate a series of unusual murders in New York. They're assisted by a non-bald Tom Noonan, and Diane Venora (who you may recognize from Heat). Edward James Olmos plays a Native American "on the steel", who occasionally removes all of his clothes, and may or may not be the creature that they are hunting. I had pretty much no idea what was going to happen next as I watched this film for the first time.
The 80s surveillance tech and overall visual style in Wolfen could easily make it a Michael Mann horror film, although it's not nearly as atmospheric as The Keep, which he made two years later. Cinematographer Gerry Fisher (Excorcist III) provides some very memorable imagery, such as a flying severed hand (perhaps the inspiration for Errol Morris's notorious milkshake toss in The Thin Blue Line?) and wolves jumping through the glass windows of a high-rise building. During the opening scene, one of the characters fiddles around with what I think is a Harry Bertoia sound sculpture, which was an unexpected treat. There are also lots of over-the-top (and wonderful) POV "heat vision" shots, provided by Steadicam inventor and operator Garrett Brown, who became famous for his work on Rocky and the creepy, low-angle tracking shots in The Shining; in the same year he worked on Brian DePalma's Blow Out (possibly at the same time).
Wolfen happens to be the only fiction (and non-Woodstock-related) film by director Michael Wadleigh, who was fired during post-production, after handing the studio a four-and-a-half-hour cut of the film. Unfortunately, there is no commentary track or other special features on the DVD to tell the rest of the story. The screenplay was co-written by Whitley Streiber (Communion, The Hunger) and based on his debut 1978 book, The Wolfen. Also, I believe this film features the first major score by James Horner, who later provided scores for Star Trek II and Aliens.
If nothing else, this film is worth watching just to see Tom Noonan casually carrying a wolf taxidermy under his arm. It might also be your only chance to see what solarized blood looks like.