Friday, November 28, 2014

The Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf

I know good and well by now not to expect too much of a movie that stars Reb Brown, but holy hell! The Howling 2 goes beyond laughably bad into the realm of secondhand embarrassment. Even the title is ridiculous. Interestingly though, I have reason to suspect that the makers of this film had a sense of humor about it, and that it may even be a poor attempt at humor. It feels like they made the movie, realized it sucked, and then did some edits for the sake of being "funny." It's still embarrassing, but that's tempered by the idea that it may be self-aware.

The Howling 2 (I'm not typing out Your Sister is a Werewolf every time) begins with a nonsensical voiceover by Christopher Lee, and then we go to the funeral of the character from the first movie who was played by Dee Wallace Stone. You know, the lady who famously turned into a werewolf on the news in front of everyone in her viewing market before being shot dead. Only the corpse in the coffin, who later reanimates briefly because the silver bullets were removed during the autopsy, is played by a different actress other than Stone. And she is the sister to Reb Brown, playing a sheriff from Montana or someplace, and proving it by walking through every scene in a jeans jacket and jeans. I think they call that outfit a Canadian tuxedo!

After the funeral, Brown is approached by two weirdos, first an occult specialist played by Lee, and the second a reporter played by that weird voiced lady who was married to Spalding Grey in True Stories. (By the way, True Stories came out in 85, the same year as this furry monstrosity, and was a much better career choice for this lady and her voice.) Brown tells Lee to fuck off, Lee tells weird lady "His sister is a werewolf," then she tells Brown, "Your sister is a werewolf." Title in dialogue moment!

Then Lee goes to a club, where for some reason he is given ugly sunglasses to put on. The club is full of werewolves! One of them was at the funeral! She picks up some guys just so she can kill them! Then the reporter and Reb Brown go visit Chris Lee at home, where he shows them a big cardboard poster with pictures of the werewolf lady from the club. He also plays the videotape of Reb's sister turning into a werewolf on the news, only in this film's universe, the transformation and death weren't on TV and no one saw it happen. I don't know why they couldn't even get that detail right, if they were going to bother making this a sequel! I haven't watched The Howling in years, but I clearly remember reactions from some people in a bar who saw the news broadcast live on TV. Anyway, Lee tells Brown he's gonna have to kill his sister again. Brown tells him to fuck off again.

Until....he sees his sister turn into a werewolf later that night in the cemetery, where he has gone to kill Lee! Now he's ready to follow Lee to the ends of the earth, or at least to the former Czechoslovakia masquerading as Transylvania. Werewolves in Transylvania? Apparently. Not only werewolves await us in Transylvania, but also a puppet show, midgets, weird wipes between scenes, that guy who played Mickey the Convict in Pee Wee's Big Adventure, and Sybil Danning tearing off her clothes. She is the head werewolf, but we all know her real supernatural power is tearing off her clothes. Somehow the same people from the club in Los Angeles are all at her house, and then they run outside and Christopher Lee kills most of them with a pistol. Finally, Lee confronts Danning, and I think the implication is that she is HIS sister, but I'm not sure. All I know is that this movie should be ashamed of itself, and it could stand a good hard riffing. Also, the band in the club scenes sings a song with lyrics that include the word "Howling," so at least the movie gets some points for having a bad theme song that is about itself.

But what about that "funny" part I mentioned? Well, it's the credits sequence. It shows the moment when Sybil Danning takes her top off, over and over again, while other people in the film are intercut as if they were reacting to her bare boobs. I mean, that's got to be a joke, right? This can't be intended to be a scary film with an ending like that tacked on? You've got your good werewolf films, like The Wolf Man and An American Werewolf in London, and even to some extent The Howling, where you actually feel sorry for the main character who is doomed to turn into a werewolf and be killed. The werewolf idiom is supposed to be a tragic story of lost potential, of wasted youth, of a likable and hopeful person who lives in torment and then dies. And then you have this flaming bag of dogshit, strutting around in head to toe denim, laughing at us for having watched it, and sniffing its own ass. Here, watch the credits and see what you think. For a bad movie, it almost elevates itself to so-bad-its-good at the end. If only it would stop humping my leg.

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