Last weekend I was lucky enough to watch the wonderfully terrible Howling II: My Sister is a Werewolf and I even have a copy at my house now that fellow cinematic masochist Daniel Roos was unwilling to take it home with him. Never heard of it? Well, maybe you heard of it by it’s other title: Howling II: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch. Terrible joke you say? Well, I counter with I wasn’t joking, that was actually the title upon release.
The film which was directed by Phillipe Mora begins with the funeral of journalist Karen White (the heroine from the first Howling film) which is attended by her brother Ben and her colleague Jenny as well as creepy Stefan played by the great Christopher Lee. Spoiler alert – she sleeps with the young good looking guy who can’t act, not the creepy old guy who can! Anyway, Stephan hasn’t come to bring flowers or offer condolences or even stand in the background looking uninterested like the rest of the extras, he has come to tell Ben that… wait for it… his sister is a werewolf! Ben is not thrilled to here this which is obvious because he is able to recite the lines that he was given. Not with any noticeable emotion, but the words themselves are fairly clear. Stephan invites Jenny and Ben over to his lovely suburban home, to tell them all about it and even show news footage of her becoming a werewolf and being gunned down. Stefan warns them that during the autopsy the silver bullets were removed from her and that come the full moon she will rise from the grave and become a werewolf because, well apparently werewolves do that. Stephan then proceeds to kill all werewolves he encounters by stabbing them with a silver knife which he then cleans and puts away (apparently a knife doesn’t have to stay in the body – I hope you are taking notes fair reader). Ben, Jenny and Stefan wind up at Karen’s grave and are assaulted by werewolves who trigger happy Ben guns down left and right, however he is still not convinced that his sister could possibly be one of them. In an effort to help her brother look less stupid, Karen turns into a werewolf and rises from the grave so he can finally believe what has been obvious to everyone else since they agreed to watch a film called Howling II: My Sister is a Werewolf (I assume those who saw the film under it’s original title Howling II: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch were able to figure it out as well, but I can’t be sure).
With this newfound knowledge, Ben and Jenny agree to accompany Stephan to Transylvania to seek out and destroy the werewolf queen Stirba played by B-movie queen Sybil Danning. These werewolves are devious my friends, let me tell you. They use such age old killing techniques as convincing drunk guys in bars to come to abandoned warehouses under the misguided premise that they are going to get lucky, then they hit them over the head with a bottle. But Ben and Jenny are made of harder stuff and they soldier on, attempting to convey to the audience that they are passionately in love all of a sudden and devoted to ending the scourge of werewolf tomfoolery once and for all. Unfortunately for them, they are barely able to convey that they are actors in the film, not just extras. The fact that they speak gives it away to a savvy movie goes such as myself, however neophytes might miss it. That’s why I am here, to point out the subtleties of Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf. The films pace picks up at this point, and the tension mounts. When a midget looks at them from accross a crowded square, we get this gem of dialogue:
Jenny: He’s looking at us, should we follow him?
Ben: Why not?
Why not indeed. The little fellow leads them to the secret headquarters of Werewolf Busters Inc, where Stefan gives us the plan to finally defeat Stirba. The intrepid warrior set out on a mission that will end with exploding midget eyeballs, almost every character dying and a shot of Stirba ripping off her top which is recycled at least 18 times (I have watched this several times trying to get an accurate count but I keep forgetting to actually count while I watch and so I am forced to try again. One day, if I keep reaching for those stars…) Who lives? Who dies? Only those brave viewer who persevere to the end will find out.
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