I recently watched a film with my wife, like I do quite often, and it inspired me to start up a new post series. We all know the concept of so-bad-it’s-good horror movies. There are a lot of them. Movies that make you laugh hysterically, making everyone watching turn into the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Most of these movies are completely forgettable, but there are a few that stand above the rest, so I will occasionally post a piece on The Best of the Worst. First up, the film that inspired it all, Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf aka Stirba-Werewolf Bitch. I had not seen this one before, but it is a masterpiece of mediocrity.
I love when I get a sense that at some point, the creators of a movie had every intention of making something grand, but early in the process realized they had something that could be described as nothing other than ridiculous. Instead of whining about it and making crap, they embrace the stupid and make it as gosh darn stupid as they can, yet play it completely straight. ‘Merica!
They actually hired the incomparable Christopher Lee to be in this shit, a fact that I am sure keeps him tossing and turning in his grave. RIP. For all my dead homies.
I am going to write this piece as I watch the film again, hopefully I can write deftly enough to make it something more than a stream of thought – but I make no guarantees, a I will also be drinking heavily.
Let’s begin with the trailer; available on the DVD, but you can watch it here. The trailer doesn’t actually seem that silly, though if I were to see it for the first time, I would think, “Hey, this is a werewolf movie right? Where are the werewolves?” You may also think to yourself, “That is a pretty good song”, and you would be right! It is certainly one of the better made-for-horror-movie-from-the-80’s-with-title-of-movie-in-the-name tracks I have ever heard. Unfortunately, you will hear that song about 12 times as you watch the film.
from Shout! Factory
Now on with the show!
We begin with Christopher Lee reading dramatically from a book. I have never heard anyone say the word “fornications” with such gusto. He really put his back into it. Cue the 80’s soundtrack!
No one could blame you if you watched the beginning of this film and thought it was going to be more akin to the fantastic movie that preceded it. A well filmed funeral, Christopher Lee acting like the perfect creeper; it seems so normal. Then we get our first taste of the Howling II theme song, and Lee wearing some truly spectacular shades with his brown leather jacket– and all hope for normality gets trampled to death on the dance floor.
Now is a good time to discuss the werewolf makeup. It is about as bad as it can get, and completely inconsistent. Sometimes we are treated with naked bodies covered in long, sparse hairs. Sometimes a nose will crinkle a bit. However, never do we actually see a full on werewolf in this movie. The closest we get is a couple of quick close ups of rubber masks that have nothing to do with the characters in the scene they are shown, a set of furry arms penetrating the camera from nowhere. I am pretty sure I could make a better looking werewolf if I shaved my body, dumped the hair in glue, and poured it on my chihuahua/terrier mix.
Lee does his utmost to make the worst, most stereotypical lines sound as dramatic as they can be. These werewolves aren’t normal, and they basically follow vampire rules. They are too strong for silver bullets, and can only be killed by piercing the heart with…bum bum bum…titanium! Also, they are located in Transylvania, because why not. Lee is basically Van Helsing for the furries. Oh, and they can be killed by holy water…what?
I would speak on the two main actors, other than Lee and Danning, but I would have nothing to say. Their acting is the worst, and their existence is useless. Instead, let’s focus on the dwarf that runs around like a ninja wearing a shirt covered in bags, or the suave were-man that likes to howl lightly at woman that pass by and can’t keep his hairy crotch to himself. Maybe some of the many weird folks that hang out at Stirba’s place, getting all orgy with it.
The movie is full of unintentional laughter moments, because everything is simply silly. The person the couple hires to show them around looks more like a werewolf than the guys with make-up on. They are staying in room 666 in a hotel that has 3 floors. Werewolf sex is about as erotic as a date to the Olive Garden with your cousin (unless of course that does it for you). Stirba has a weird bat on her magic pole thing that comes to life and impregnates some dude with more weird bats.
The rest I am going to let you discover for yourself, and as bad as it is, I highly recommend seeing it. You won’t regret it. Heh, that’s a lie – you probably will. I need to remember that not everyone is like me. Now, I will leave you with the end credits of the film, in which you can see the moment Stirba rips off her clothes 17 times – I shit you not. Watch it, it's hilarious.
In the pale, pale light. The pale, pale light of the moon glow…….
Stay tuned. I am going to do a piece on Ash vs. Evil Dead, and it looks like Sleepaway Camp ran away with the votes this time, so I will be starting that marathon very soon. Kisses.
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