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Howling II: Your Sister Is A Werewolf (1985)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Movie Connections:
The Howling
> The Howling (1981)
> Howling II: Your Sister Is A... (1985)
Genres:
Horror, Werewolf Film
Director:
Philippe Mora Philippe Mora
Starring:
Christopher Lee Christopher Lee
Annie McEnroe Annie McEnroe
Reb Brown Reb Brown
Marsha A. Hunt Marsha A. Hunt
Sybil Danning Sybil Danning
User Lists:
> Werewolf Month

3.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: February 16, 2015
As much as I love werewolves, I never really found genre classic The Howling that great of a movie. Still, it does enjoy one hell of a cult following, and since February has long served as my personal werewolf celebration, I thought I'd use the occasion to bring some of its sequels to the ol' M and V. I just sat through part two however, and I may not have the stomach to go any further.

After she was shot on live TV while transforming into a werewolf, the news station covered up Karen White's death as a publicity stunt. At her funeral, her brother Ben meets one of her co-workers, Jenny and they start discussing Karen's final moments. Afterwards, they're approached by a mysterious old man named Stefan that tells them the truth about Karen's condition. Naturally, being told that his dead sister is a werewolf at her funeral doesn't go over well, and Ben storms off, only to realize later that Stefan revealed he was planning on stabbing Karen's corpse with silver. He rushes back to her crypt and arrives just in time to see two werewolves attack Stefan and his sister wake back up. After the hunter neutralizes the threat, he reveals that things are actually much worse. You see, in Transylvania, it's the ten thousandth birthday of Stirba, the werewolf queen. If they don't kill her before the full moon, all the werewolves will something something. It wasn't really explained, but it's probably not a good thing, so the trio head to Eastern Europe where they team up with with a couple of priests and a midget to fight for humankind.

In execution, that plot is just as meandering and pointless as it sounds on paper. And just in case that wasn't enough, let's throw in a forced romance angle between Jenny and Ben to derail this piece of shit even further. I said I wasn't a fan of the first movie, but this is a slap to the face of everything it did. Not only did that movie have a passable story, but it also boasts one of the best werewolf transformations there is. Howling II's transformations consists of a few cheap facial prosthetics and gluing pieces of fur to their bodies. A worthy sequel this is not. On top of all that, Phillippe Mora had some tricks up his sleeve that never should have been used outside of a Directing 101 class. First of all, anytime a character's name was mentioned, he thought it was a fantastic idea to flash a second of said character on the screen. Of the ten times or so he did it, it was effective once. Plus, he had no qualms of simply reusing footage, even when it made no god damned sense. In the beginning, while we were still in the States, we meet a werewolf at a New Wave concert with the band playing a song about werewolves. Later, that same band is playing that same song over in Transylvania, intercut with scenes of a werewolf orgy. Finally, after the movie has wrapped up, he plays that same concert AGAIN, this time intercut with random clips from its running time and a scene where Stirba rips off her shirt. As much a fan of Sybil Danning's breasts as I am, they showed that two second scene SEVENTEEN times in those final three minutes. Often in groups of four or five times in a row. Talk about shitty film making.

To go along with everything else, these actors sucked. And I'm referring to pretty much everyone in front of the camera here. Reb Brown and Annie McEnroe played the part of two wooden statues, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone worse. That is unless you take a peek over at Sybil Danning's scenes. Yes, I know she has this cult following, but that's based more on her tits than anything else, and as we've already discussed, they drove that into the ground as hard as they could. It could have been worse I suppose: they kind of just made her chant at things in a foreign language. I could only imagine how bad things could have been if they gave her real dialogue. They couldn't even get her outfit right, as her medieval chain link armor apparently wasn't complete without a pair of Ray-Bans. Obviously, none of these criticisms apply to Christopher Lee. Hell, Lee was so distraught at how terrible his co-stars were that he mentally distanced himself from the shoot while off-set, and years later would apologize to Howling director Joe Dante for being a part of this mess.

I'm amazed that they were able to kick out as many sequels as they did after this travesty. Fans of werewolves, The Howling, or just movies in general need to stay away from this one. Considering my custom for throwing it a bonus point for wonton nudity, we'll go with a 1/10, but don't get it twisted. That's just a zero in disguise.
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