It’s been my experience, that Christopher Lee can improve almost any movie with his mere godlike presence and unwavering dedication to his roles, regardless of how sucktastic they may be. This is especially true in The Howling II, where Sir Christopher is, if I’m not mistaken, the only real actor in the entire cast.
Note: I love Christopher Lee, a lot…a whole heck of a lot; in fact, in an alternate universe, I’m pretty sure he’s my twin sister, but let’s not go there for now. Another thing I really love is the Howling II…and yeah, it totally does suck, but that is actually a huge part of it’s appeal…
Centering around newly introduced characters Ben and Jenny (Reb Brown and Annie McEnroe), the sequel takes place directly following the events of the first film (which, unlike this crap, is an indisputable classic of the genre). It begins at the funeral of Karen White (Dee Wallace, here replaced by…not Dee Wallace…who incidentally is breathing really deeply in that coffin) where both werewolves and hunters converge to pay their respects…sort of.
The hunter, Stefan Crosscoe, is portrayed by Lee as a serious, dedicated man of God who wants only to rid the world of evil werewolves and their Queen Stirba. As with all his roles, Sir Christopher plays it straight, and I can’t help but love him for his commitment to his craft; no phoning in the role for this living legend.
On the other end, we have seductive (and evil) werewolf Mariana (Marsha A. Hunt aka Mick Jagger’s ex/Baby mama), who is extra dangerous because SHE is immune to silver. How does one kill this shape-shifting vixen then? Titanium of course…yeah, I know, but bare with me, it gets better.
Fun Fact: When we first see Mariana at the funeral, she is accompanied by an older man/werewolf who horror fans may recognize as veteran actor Ferdy Mayne, also known as the wicked Count Von Krolock in Roman Polanski’s classic The Fearless Vampire Killers, which incidentally is one of my personal faves.
So, the good guys discover that the werewolf queen Stirba is in “the dark country”, Transylvania, and off they jet to find/destroy her. While on the trip, the two leads fall in love…can I just say that Brown and McEnroe are the blandest movie couple in the history of ever and together are about as sexy as a jar of mayonnaise…I’m being nice here.
Meanwhile, over at Stirba’s evil lair, the werewolves prepare to re-invigorate their queen by sacrificing a fresh young girl to her. Now this scene is particularly hilarious to me for the following reasons, when we first see Stirba, she’s an elderly woman, and after devouring the girl’s life force she transforms into a perfectly coiffed Sybil Danning…and then promptly rips off her ceremonial robe to reveal a low cut, skin tight dress that leaves very very little to the imagination. You may be asking why this is funny…well, because I can’t help but picture “elderly” Stirba trying to stuff herself into the risqué outfit with the intent of being post-transformation sexy.
And then there’s the hairy werewolf love scene featuring Sybill, Marsha A. Hunt and Judd Omen…as far as sex scenes go, this one is definitely…ummm…here’s a picture…
…suffice to say that the scene is so utterly ludicrous it’s gotta be seen to be, uhhhh, appreciated.
Sybil does her balls to the wall villain act without a shred of irony, even in the scenes where she’s acting against a plastic bat on a stick, this lady gives the part her cheesy best…you really couldn’t ask for more. Meanwhile, Marsha is, unfortunately, not much more than attractive half-nude wallpaper, and fellow villain Omen is simultaneously kinda hot and kinda not at all…I’m guessing all three of the above were cast based on their willingness to expose their privates…although, to be fair, there is bush aplenty but there is not nearly enough (or any) penis in this movie.
Seriously, where’s the horror penis? Show your dicks boys, we wanna see ’em! Sybil Danning’s boobs, which are displayed repeatedly and for no reason at all, even get their own montage at the end of the movie where she rips off her top no less than 17 times (I counted), and they couldn’t show Judd Omen’s dong just once…bah.
Ahem…I’m really not penis obsessed.
All the while only Sir Chris manages to maintain some level of dignity during the proceedings…but to be fair, it’s only ‘just’, and I’m probably biased (no I’m not) due to my obsessive love for the world’s greatest Dracula. Of course maintaining his dignity doesn’t really make this movie any better, let’s be clear, this is a terrible movie, fun and crazy yeah, but really fucking bad. Even the theme song by alleged “punk” band Babel, which is on repeat throughout the movie, is so horribly catchy you’ll be singing along in no time…here have a listen…
Wasn’t that awful and awesome at the same time? Yeah, it was…
Anyway, despite it’s many many (many) flaws, it’s easy to see why Howling 2 achieved cult status with fans, because once it gets going its nearly impossible to look away from all the straight up crazy shit going on. So don’t try to resist horror fans, sit back, give in and enjoy the accidental awesome of The Howling 2…even if there is no penis present.