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Movies From the Black Lagoon: Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf
Movies From the Black Lagoon
Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf - 1986,Rated R
Trios of undeveloped characters take on the Queen of all werewolves in this camp sequel that is often entertaining though far from enlightening.
MGM Pictures scored a trifecta with the release of the original "The Howling" when it beat "An American Werewolf in London" into theaters and won over critics with its mixture of comedy, thrills, and graphic special effects. The film launched the careers of director Joe Dante, make-up maestro Rob Bottin (The Thing), and actress Dee Wallace (E.T.). They waited five years to launch a sequel and then dropped the ball with this effort, which focused more on the exploitation elements and was lensed on the cheap in Eastern Europe.
It all begins with the funeral of the lead character from the original (who was killed on the air when she transformed into a werewolf). Her brother Ben, a colleague named Jenny, and a werewolf hunter named Crosscoe (played by horror icon Christopher Lee in a change of pace role as he usually played the monster in these flicks and was often pursued by fellow star Peter Cushing), attended her service. Crosscoe may know a lot about lycanthropes but he's a total boob socially and uses the occasion to inform Ben that they must save his sister's soul by plunging a silver dagger in her heart before she rises again.
We are then treated to a hilarious scene that sees Crosscoe tracking a pack of wolf people who troll punk rock clubs in search of victims.
What follows is a gory massacre at an abandoned warehouse but the only part you'll remember is the sight of the reserved and ultra British Lee decked out in "Devo" style sunglasses. The film picks up its pace now as Crosscoe makes believers of Jenny and Ben during a brawl with the wolves at the cemetery. Afterwards Ben is forced to put a silver bullet into his sister and he avows to end all werewolves.
The trio bonds and they head off to Transylvania for a final reckoning with the Queen of werewolves who is about to celebrate her birthday by creating a werewolf army and then conquering the world. Luckily for our trio the Queen wolf(Stirba) is addicted to the kinkier side of wolf culture and is too busy enjoying various sexual trysts to jump-start her plan. This gives the trio ample time to get to Europe and assemble an army of their own before invading Stirba's castle for a final fire fight that ends abruptly when Crosscoe embraces Stirba and the pair burst into flames. Once again we're treated to a final shot of an escaping wolf creature, which promised more sequels.
Despite the fact that all of those sequels would go direct to video the series had legs and produced five more films of diminishing quality until the cycle ran itself out. This one is a keeper though as it as entertaining as a film can be though for all of the wrong reasons. Here the emphasis is on werewolves at play and they have a lot of fun cavorting about in leather thongs while engaged in several orgies . The cast is pretty terrible and includes Reb Brown(T.V.'S Captain America) as a thick-necked Ben who has the tendency to scream "arrgh" and "urrgh" whenever called upon to shoot werewolves.
However he is nowhere near as bad as Sybill Danning as Stirba. Danning recites her lines like a third grader who missed rehearsals for the "Christmas Pageant." Christopher Lee goes in the other direction and imparts so much gravitas that he appears to be in a different movie.
That said there's plenty of gore and eye candy here and it all proves to be a campy distraction that should kill ninety minutes of your day.
Best Line: " You see that dwarf staring at us? Should we follow him?"
Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail and to read to children every Wednesday at 10:30am at Borders in Hagerstown. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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