So, werewolf movies are kind of my thing. Knitting, jogging, paying homeless people to choke you while you masturbate, everyone has a thing. Watching werewolf movies, both good and bad, is mine. I’ve already talked about some of my favorite werewolf movies, so I won’t go into that again. But I will say this. The Howling, though many aspects of it are dated (the hair, my god, the hair), is one of the good ones.
This can not be said for any of it’s sequels. None of them. That’s not to say some of them are not entertaining in some ways, because one or two of them are, but not The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf.
Quick! What is Transylvania famous for? Did you say Dracula? If so, you are an idiot. It’s famous for werewolves, apparently. That’s where most of this movie takes place, though it starts with Christopher Lee floating through space while reading an excerpt from the bible. No, I’m serious. We are then shown a shot of L.A. with the subtitle “Los Angeles, California, U.S.A” (followed by “City of the angels”, in case you didn’t know Spanish) and then we’re off to a funeral. The funeral for Karen White, the reporter-turned-werewolf from the first film, is attended by none other than Christopher Lee himself (I have no idea how or when he came back from space). His purpose at this funeral? To tell the Ben White (played by Captain America himself, Reb Brown) that his deceased sister is a werewolf. This explains the subtitle to the film, and while we’re on the subject of subtitles, this film actually has two. The Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf and The Howling 2: Stirba– Werewolf Bitch. I honestly don’t know which one of these I love more. I mean, Your Sister is a Werewolf is so straightforward. It’s literally a line in the film. “Your sister is a werewolf.” But Stirba– Werewolf Bitch is great because a female werewolf technically would be a bitch, because the terminology would be correct there. However, since you have no idea who Stirba is until halfway through the movie, I tend to use Your Sister is a Werewolf when talking about this film to friends (which I do, at great length, all the time).
Ben takes the news that his freshly buried sister was a werewolf as well as pretty much anyone would (exact quote: “BULLSHIT!”), but Jenny Templeton, who claims to have been a colleague of Karen’s, even though she was not in the original film at all, believes Count Dooku and ends up dragging Ben into the whole mess. Having successfully telling Ben and his newfound sidekick Jenny that Karen was a werewolf, Stefan (Christopher Lee) he gives them a business card then walks away without giving any sort of context or explanation of his intent. While walking away from the graveyard, he passes an attractive woman dressed in black and a creepy bearded guy, both of whom are giving off the “Yeah, we’re totally fucking werewolves” vibe.
Later, we see Stefan at a night club where a typical 1980s band is performing a song about howling at the pale light of the moon (because of course they are). He sees the attractive woman from the funeral at the bar, as she is approached by a bunch of 1980s street hoods (honestly the only description that does them justice) and they ask her if she would like to have spontaneous sexual intercourse with them. She agrees and says she wants to take them to her favorite place for such activities. She leads them to an abandoned warehouse (why, where do you guys have spontaneous sexual intercourse with total strangers you meet in shitty night clubs?), where the street hoods are certain they are going to have their worlds rocked. SURPRISE! Werewolf ambush. The attractive woman howls and a bunch of werewolves come out of nowhere and eat the criminals. Good times. Keep in mind, Stefan never shows up to stop them. He’s clearly seen at the night club when the attractive woman leads these guys to their grisly deaths, but he doesn’t follow them to the warehouse or bust a silver cap in anyone’s ass or anything.
The next day, Jenny Templeton: Kid Reporter and Ben show up at Stefan’s house. He shows them a pair of silver bullets and tells them that bullets like these were responsible for the death of Karen White. He then shows them a video of Karen turning into a werewolf during a television news segment (the end of the first film), during which time she is shot and killed. Ben tells him the tape must be faked, but Jenny says it must be real because she recognizes the other people seen in the video as past co-workers. Stefan holds up a series of stalker photos depicting the attractive woman at the funeral (named Mariana) and informs them that she, too, is a werewolf. But not just any werewolf. She is one of the most dangerous kind of werewolf, the kind that is immune to silver bullets! What’s the way around such a hindrance, you may ask. Well, titanium bullets, dummy. I mean, obviously. Since the silver bullets were removed from Karen’s body during her autopsy, she’s doomed to rise from the grave and continue being a werewolf. Stefan intends to put a stop to that, by going back to the graveyard at night and shoving a silver stake through her heart. Stefan also says that the werewolves have a leader, a queen (Head Bitch In Charge, if you prefer) named Stirba (NOW that subtitle makes sense) and the next full moon will mark the tenth millennium since Stirba’s first transformation. It’s at this time that all of the werewolves in the world will reveal themselves and start wreaking havoc. Stefan says she must be killed before that transformation takes place, and he’s the one who will do it.
After storming out in absolute disbelief at what Stefan was saying, Ben realizes that one of the things he said was that he was going to shove a silver stake into his sister’s heart. He doesn’t take kindly to this and decides he’s going to meet him in the graveyard and stop him. Jenny tags along, of course, and while the two are traversing through the spooky graveyard in the middle of the night, they hear all sorts of animal noises and howling coming from the shadows. “What was that?” Jenny asks. “I don’t know.” Ben replies. “Are you shitting me?” Rob says from his couch.
A showdown in the cemetary forces Ben to finally believe all of this werewolf shit, then it’s off to Transylvania for some wacky madcap adventures in killing the werewolf queen!
A lot of crazy shit happens in this movie. Werewolf threesomes in old Romanian castles, a werewolf cult that look like an S&M convention, too many amazingly crazy things to mention in one review.
This is not the worst werewolf sequel I’ve seen (that’s The Howling 3, actually, so STAY TUNED!), but good lord is it bad. The acting, most of the makeup effects, everything. The only person in this movie who can act is Christopher God Damn Lee. Of all The Howling films (there have been eight, guys, think about that), this is the only one to have a writing credit given to the author of the original novels, Gary Brandner, as he helped co-write the screenplay. So, you might think the movie would turn out as a good adaptation, since the original author helped write it. But you would be very, very wrong. I know I say this a lot, but this movie is truly awful. Yet, again, not as bad as some of the subsequent sequels. I would recommend this movie for Christopher Lee alone, but the music and horrible dialogue are also things that one might find entertaining. Watch at your own risk.