Saturday, October 5, 2013

Franchise Review: Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1986)

I wanted to do this little Howling marathon by including all of the movies of course, but short of buying it, it doesn't look like I'll be able to watch the first Howling just now. It's definitely unfortunate because I have only seen that one once, many years ago, and I barely remember it. Surely, however, it couldn't have been more entertaining than Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf was.

The movie begins at the funeral of Karen White from the first movie, where Christopher Lee, playing occult investigator Stefan, informs her brother Ben that - you guessed it - "your sister is a werewolf." Karen's colleague Jenny also gets involved as the three travel to Transylvania to put an end to the one who started it all, the queen of the werewolves, Stirba.

What. The hell. I'm no stranger to flat out odd and ridiculous movies, let me tell you. The thing about Howling 2 that makes it so odd and ridiculous (and therefore highly entertaining), however, is just how freaking random everything is. The whole movie is a random mishmash of funky weird shit that has no flow whatsoever. After watching it for a while, you find yourself saying, "Oh, we're... we're going here now? Okay, sure, just transition without making any sense, yeah. That'll be fun." There's a bare minimum of a story here, and the movie just jumps right into it all with pretty much no set up. By the conclusion, I completely lost sight of where we all were and how we got there in the first place.

Oh, there is plenty of crazy to talk about here, but where does one begin? First of all, ditch any ideas you might have had about character, plot, good special effects - the stuff all those other "serious" movies rely way too much on. That doesn't happen here. Like I said, the movie dives right into the craziness with Ben and Jenny having almost no problem with the existence of werewolves and then deciding out of the blue to go to Transylvania with this weird guy where they do... kinda nothing. There was no reason for them to go to Transylvania. Anyway.

The actors playing werewolves here... give those people a gold star. They had to do the most stupid, embarrassing shit in Howling 2, but I'll be damned if they didn't seem totally committed! The hot black werewolf chick Mariana seemed to have the most fun, constantly growling and acting all werewolf-y even when she wasn't transformed into a werewolf. All of the werewolves do that, actually, and it's soooo dumb and hilarious. I'm pretty sure no one can talk about this movie without mentioning one particular scene: the werewolf threesome. Stirba, Vlad, and Mariana gettin' it on in the most sloppy and unsexy way possible. Wow.

Saying that this movie is very 80s is a major understatement. There's shitty music blaring everywhere and some serious rock 'n' roll and punk-related costuming. Stirba wears the best one, which I cannot describe but only show:

Rock it, girlfriend. The werewolf party scenes were reminiscent of the beginning of The Lost Boys - minus awesome saxophone man, but plus an equally hilarious punk band - and did nothing to help me take this movie the least bit seriously. Cocaine was pretty big in the 80s, yes? Okay, I think I understand the movie a bit more now.

The editing. Oh my goodness, the editing. It made the movie all the more fun. If there is one thing I love, it is a movie that has the sense of humor to use one of my favorite editing techniques - amateur screen wipes! Diagonal wipe. Diamond wipe. SPIRAL wipe. This movie uses a freaking spiral wipe and it was glorious. It also likes to cut to random statues or whatever on buildings, the people at the fair in Vlkava (the town in Transylvania that is the apparent epicenter for werewolves), and they also cut back several times to previous scenes in the movie. Maybe just to fill time or because they didn't know what the hell else to do. 

The best scene of the entire movie, however, is what plays over the credits. I've never seen a movie do anything like this before. It's pretty much like a music video for the punk band featured in the movie where they use all the good stuff that you've seen previously - most specifically focusing on the part where Stirba rips her top off to expose her boobies. I could not stop laughing. This part was edited beautifully for their purposes of yet again making Howling 2 as ridiculous as it possibly can.

Oh, so much more to talk about here. So little space on the internet. With horrible fight sequences, gunshots only seen in close-up, werewolf three-ways, and werewolves who can shoot red lightening out of their fingertips and pop a dwarf's eyeballs, Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf is immensely successful at being so random, so stupid, and so freaking awesome at the same time. Big time kudos for all that. 


  1. Gotta love that end credit sequence. Boobies galore!

  2. The end credit sequence is definitely the highlight. All those boobs...

    It's a terrible film, but I do like it on an "acid trip" level. At least it's more entertaining than what comes after it for sure.

    Great review!

  3. One of my biggest issues is the tape that shows his sister in the newsroom. I haven't been able to figure out why they filmed a much shittier version of that scene since it was at the end of the original movie. Rights? Money? Why not just use the original scene with Dee Stone ...

  4. In 'Howling II,' a Werewolf Witch with large boobs casts a magic spell that makes a Werewolf-hunting Dwarf with a Mace's eyes to explode and he dies. Is that not enough reason to see it?

    'Howling II' is by far the most entertaining in a 'let's laugh at this shit' way. 'The Howling' is still the best, by far, of course.

    You should get the original if you like Werewolf films. Thanks to the new Release, you should have quite a few options out there, even if you don't want the fancy new one. The film is still good if you don't get some random interview with the Cast or whatnot.

    Most importantly, it puts 'Howling IV' in perspective, since they tell the exact same story. One just tells it SO much better.

    Oh and that ending is really important when you watch 'Part 7.' Trust me.