What the hell did I just watch?
Howling 2 is apparently a direct continuation of the original The Howling, only now with Reb Brown and Christopher Lee joining forces in Transylvania to fight the werewolf sorceress Sybil Danning. You see, Reb Brown’s sister has been killed, only Christopher Lee arrives to reveal she is actually a werewolf and that the werewolves are preparing for the reveal of their high priestess savior-type who will bring doom and gloom to humanity. Only this werewolf savior also happens to be Christopher Lee’s sister, and she can cast magic spells to do things like make your eyes pop out and get your corpse to walk around. This means the subtitle works on two different levels.
So the werewolves all live in this castle in Romania and wear bondage gear while having blood-fueled hairy orgies and manipulating the gypsy townsfolk into serving them, because of course they do. Their way is heavily fueled by erotic violence, and Stirba, the werewolf queen, walks around with a weird bat-demon on her stick while wearing…I don’t know what she is wearing. Her costumes are ridiculous, though perhaps not moreso than the numerous other costumes her werewolf cabal comes dressed in. Also all the werewolves grow their fangs first apparently.
In short, Howling II feels like it was supposed to be a vampire movie, but somewhere along the way somebody said “Hey, werewolves are popular. Let’s use them instead!” Worse, the likes of Reb Brown’s acting is so poor that apparently Christopher Lee hated the project and personally apologized to Joe Dante, director of the first The Howling, for appearing in the film. The movie ranges from bad to awkward to borderline disturbing, such as the big three-way werewolf sex scene in which our three sexy werewolves look like they’re all clothed in a shag carpet. It’s like a porno from the 1970s, only with more body hair.
To top this all off, the end credits features the new wave band Babel playing their track “The Howling” in a sort of music video featuring clipped together footage of the film. Most notably is the shot of Sybil Danning ripping her dress off to expose her bare chest, which is used in the music video a grand total seventeen times. Hell, there’s even a sound effect to accompany it built into the song! Imagine repeatedly staring at Sybil Danning flashing you to a ripping sound effect during a rock song at a rate that would probably induce epileptic seizure. Yep, that’s how this movie ends.
Howling II is…bizarre. At best. It’s yet another glorious train wreck that I still don’t understand despite having had ample time to process. I think I’m going to have PTSD about this movie. Apparently it was also originally called Howling 2: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch, which once again works on a couple of levels I suppose, but that name was changed when the TV edit was released. It shocks me that someone thought this movie was worth being put on TV.