Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985) Review

1The art of the sequel subtitle is a refined and beautiful one. It takes scriptwriters, wordsmiths and marketeers sometimes months, sometimes minutes to come up with the perfect witty and whimsical name for the 3rd, 4th or 17th movie in a franchise that was once a smash hit and is now just shit.

The list of unbelievable, laughable and sometimes unpronounceable movie subtitles is a long one and features some fantastic wordplay and punmanship in many cases the movie names themselves offering up more imagination, creativity and talent than displayed in the entirety of the 90 minutes running time.

From Hollywood hits like 2 Fast 2 Furious, Live Free or Die Hard and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze to kids films like Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and Air Bud: World Pup to bargain bin cult classics like Cyborg 3: The Recycler the list is as endless as it is entertaining.

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Within the wonderful world of horror, a land rife with sequels, there are dozens of doozies. Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood, Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust and I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer stand out however Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf comes in the top five for sure. In fact being that it’s also known as Howling II: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch it probably should get a higher ranking!6

Luckily the film is as stupidly enjoyable as its nom de plume implies taking its heroic characters from L.A to the ancient land of Transylvania on a quest to destroy the leather-clad wolf queen Stirba (Sybil Danning) with punk’s being mauled at midnight, maniacal possessed midgets and a hairy werewolf threesome along the way just because it can.

Although based on The Howling novels by Gary Brandner who also co-wrote the screenplay the sequel takes a departure from the source material and Joe Dante’s amazing original with director Philippe Mora, also known for The Beast Within, reveling in the camp chaos, bountiful nudity and extreme gruesome effects. It won’t shock you to discover Mora went on to direct the next in the series the equally ridiculous The Marsupials: The Howling III which he also wrote the screenplay for.

You even get horror legend Christopher Lee as occult crusader Stefan Crosscoe a no nonsense hard-nosed werewolf hunting Van Helsing guiding reporter Jenny Templeton (Beetlejuice’s Annie McEnroe) and muscle bound Ben White (Reb Brown) whose sibling has succumb to the furry forces of evil after being bitten by lusty lupine Mariana (Marsha A. Hunt).

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Mashing up old and new with its punk rockers, synth score and fetish gear going against the ancient castle sets, superstition ridden villagers and nonsensical ancient explanations Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf knows exactly what the audience wants abandoning subtlety and atmosphere for all out action and gore and showing werewolf transformations like there was no full moon tomorrow.
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Tons of fun and packed with crazy cult rituals, blood splattered violence and plenty of monster make up effects Howling II is the sort of excessive horror the 80’s did so well and if you are a fan of the period and the like your werewolves with extra cheese this is most certainly straight up your moon lit street.

Movie Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Trailer:

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