Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sir Christopher Lee Week: The Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen for Day 3 of Sir Christopher Lee Week. Well it pains me to say that every so often even a great actor such as the gentleman of the week does find himself in the occasional stinker. Sayth whaaaaaat??? Surely not, Jake. Alas my readers it is so. Normally I do not sully a good man's work in this case, this particular flick has an cult following for some of the bizarre alterations to the mythos, the ever screaming, gun blasting Reb Brown and the voluptuous Sybil Danning. This is Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf.

No, no. Not Dracula this time around.

Attempting to directly follow the original (by the way, this is the only sequel in the series that bothers with that notion.) after the death of Karen White, who morphed on film and then her was shot during broadcast, her funeral is being attended by her brother... who was never mentioned in the previous film. Ben White (Reb Brown of Yor, the Hunter from the Future, Uncommon Valor, Space Mutiny, Big Wednesday, The Cage, Captain America, Captain America II: Death Too Soon, The Cage II and Night Claws) is a big, beefy guy that doesn't even know why his sister was murdered and somehow the station hushed up the whole on-air murder. Grief stricken Benis visited by his sister's colleague Jenny (Annie McEnroe of The Hand, Beetlejuice, Wall Street and True Stories) and an imposing man known as Stefan (Christopher Lee) who presents Ben with a video of her on-air transmografication and execution. Apparently they could not get the rights to Joe Dante's original footage so they had the re-create the wolfing out and it is MOST DEFINITELY not Rick Baker's brilliant transformation SFX and not even Dee Wallace of the original. The actress looks like a wookie getting pissed off and then splattered in her chair.

Ben calls BS and well I am inclined to agree. Stefan assures Ben that now that her body is ready to be placed in the ground she will no doubtlessly have the silver removed from her corpse and rise from beyond the grave... like she was a vampire. He furthermore tells Ben he will stake his dead sister... like a vampire and Ben storms off in a huff. Sheesh, who hasn't lost a loved one to a strange supernatural occurrence? At the mortuary, Stefan preps to stake away when Ben sneaks out of the shadows with a shotgun pointed at our 6'5 hero. It looks like curtains for Stefan when suddenly werewolves (kinda) appear at the mortuary and ambush the both of them. Ben blasts a few in his typical Reb Brown shouty way and Stefan still does in faux Karen.

Yeah the two reasons Sybil Danning got this part.

According to Stefan, only titanium can do in these particular werewolves that hail from Transylvania... like vampires. And suddenly silver, the basis of most werewolf mythos has been tossed aside for titanium??? Stefan warns Ben and Jenny that an ancient immortal vampire er um werewolf is poised to dominate the Earth unless they put a stop to it. Because Seal Team 3 through 6 were not available that day. Our immortal Striba (Sybil Danning of The Lady in Red Kills Seven Times, The Night of the Askari, Meteor, Chained Heat, Hercules, and Halloween) is not only a werewolf but a sorceress as well and has kept the town in fear feeds from young girls to replenish her beauty and a vampire again!!!   Will Stefan and gang arrive in time to do in this foul creature of the night? Why the hell is silver not an option? What's with the creepy dwarf? Dear God how many nude scenes are in this?

Quick few comments on the film.

Being cast for Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Lee apologized to Joe Dante who helmed the original The Howling for starring in its less than stellar sequel. Lee went for the role as he had not been in a werewolf movie... and I feel he still hadn't. This movie was released during the early 80s werewolf craze like: Wolfen, Full Moon Hight, Teen Wolf, The Company of Wolves and of course An American Werewolf in London.

The pee wee puppet heads for the creatures look as though they were filmed on a sound stage and then edited in with the odd paw to swing at the actors. The transformations are laughable, the plot weak and the mythos mangled. The only thing I really enjoyed out of this movie was the soundtrack written and performed by Stephen Parsons and the Punk Group Babel. Way too much boobage for the kiddies and I guess the violence but not so much for the blood and gore.

Werewolf or Cornelius from Planet of the Apes??