Review for Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf
Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf is such a strange film that I am not even sure what I am supposed to make of it.
Following from the first film, Ben White is at the funeral of his sister Karen (from the first film) where he encounters Stefan Crosscoe who tells Ben that his sister was a werewolf and that is how she died. He convinces Ben to come with him to Transylvania to battle a creature called Stirba, the Werewolf Queen.
This leads to a number of encounters battling her minions, including deadly killer dwarves in their deadly battle to destroy Stirba for all time.
I can't even wrap my head around this. This is possibly the worst film I have ever seen. It is funny that Christopher Lee was so embarrassed by this film that when he went to work for Joe Dante (The Howling's Director) on Gremlins 2, the first thing he did was apologise to him for being in this film.
Is the film really that bad?
Yes, yes it is.
I can't even lean on the 'So Bad it's Good' mantra as I simply found no enjoyment in this film. It has developed a cult following over the years. I'm not sure if it is because of the popularity of the first film or how insanely awful the later sequels became: Howling VI-The Freaks a notable example. Maybe it is the inclusion of horror icon Christopher Lee or cult film favourite Reb Brown? Possibly, the reason most males watched this film was the copious amount of times the gorgeous Sybil Danning is naked and even noted film critic Roger Ebert commented this provided the film with 'its second and third interesting moments', though by my count she gets her top off more times than that. Even this is not enough to recommend sitting through this badly made film.
And by badly made, I mean from every aspect of filmmaking. From script, to acting, the shot design to make up and effects. When you consider this was made four years after the original, the level of the quality is shocking. The werewolf effects look insane and at times look unfinished. Now, I will not compare them with the effects of today, but when you compare them with the effects of the time and it is simply embarrassing.
Now there's only one thing worse than a truly awful film and that's a truly awful film with a bucketful of extra features. This is the bane of my life. I understand the film has its fans and that some people do enjoy the camp, the boobs, the Christopher Lee effect, but having to sit through all of these features was a chore.
However, if you are a fan of this film you will overjoyed by the massive amount fo extra features. These include two commentaries from Director Philippe Mora and one by Composer Steve Parsons and Editor Charles Bornstein. Both of these are full of stories about the making of the film. Mora (as with all solo commentaries) is a bit quiet at times and really needed someone to bat stories and thoughts off. The other one is fine, but nothing special.
Interviews with Sybil Danning and Reb Brown are more for fans of them, but they are full of memories of making this film that fans will enjoy. There is also an interview with the make up artists and behind the scenes footage. There is also alternate opening/ending mainly created to avoid R ratings and for TV showings. There is a still gallery, trailer and for those lucky enough to get the first pressing will get a booklet from Michael Blyth about the film. It would probably have made more sense to have had him contribute a commentary or something as he obviously has a lot to say about the film.
The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf is not a good film from any aspect. I found myself unable to appreciate this film as a camp film, a cult film, an awful film or indeed as a film. This is the worst example of a werewolf film that has ever graced a Blu-ray... that is until the start releasing the other sequels.