## Saturday, October 12, 2013

### The Howling: Episode II

One movie? That's all I get? So, when I embarked on this year's Franchise Follies, I knew what I was getting into. I watch a lot of horror movies, and I can very much taper my expectations. Friday the 13th delivered pretty much 8 films of steady idiotic amusement before the unwatchable Jason Goes to Hell; Nightmare on Elm St. gave me 5 before Rosanne and Tom Arnold showed up; Hellraiser gave me 3; shit, I'll give you any Halloween movie that doesn't feature a rapper. But The Howling apparently had just one good load in the chamber, because there's no coming back from The Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf, which, let's not forget, is a title that someone thought of, typed, submitted, and that someone else met with, "Yes. That will be the name of a real movie."

In the franchises mentioned above, there was at least some kind of anchor, a desperately needed continuity of personage or plot that threaded together several films spanning many years and different directors. By film two, The Howling has only this: there are werewolves, and they love to fuck. And hey, that's actually in keeping with the bigger narrative, because lycanthropy is puberty, the fear and revulsion of physical transformation - something explored well in Ginger Snaps and, shit, I guess even Teen Wolf. But this is lazy exploitation at best, content on seeing some writhing bodies and tit-shots in lieu of any context. Joe Dante's film had an erotic subplot, certainly meant to titillate, but sexuality was just one avenue sussing out the primal metaphor.

I swear to god, it felt like this movie was a co-production between Joe D'Amato and Kenneth Anger. It was so badly-paced, shittily-written, hilariously acted, and confused in its depiction of the erotic, that it became art. Comical, atrocious art. I mean, look at this goddamn shit:

The "story": Annoying reporter-lady from the last movie has been retconned a brother, whom nerds and obscurantists will delight is the screaming meat biscuit from MST3K's Space Mutiny. He really does spend every moment on screen wailing like he has a Camelbak bottle-brush in his throat:

Meat McGehee encounters a boyish colleague of his sister and Christopher Lee, because the check cleared. Lee explains the situation: this movie doesn't know the difference between vampires and werewolves, so you can kill the latter with stakes, and he wants them go to Transylvania (where all werewolves are from, you know) and kill Sybil Danning, the she-bitch queen of everyone.

So, in between 6,390 intercalary scenes of shitty puppets transforming into man-apes with bat-ears, we see a 45-minute hairy orgy involving all the werewolves and Sybil Danning (shown above) while our plodding, inept trio lumbers toward a final confrontation. The pace is almost dreamlike due to bad editing and pointless filler, so I don't remember everything that happened, except that Sybil Danning flashed her tits and writhed for the majority of the second half. I think they finally killed her and conquered evil, or something.

Oh, and the special effects look like keloids on a monkey's ass:

So, it's bad, but therein lies a backhanded compliment. It's distressing when films are merely bad, but The Howling II does nothing half-assed - it sits down on top of you, wails at an ear-shattering volume and absolutely cock-slaps you with its mind-raping insanity until it transcends bad and becomes a thing of sheer delight. I had the the good fortune of seeing H2 in a group, and that made a big difference; terrible, inane madness is much easier to parse when a crowd can laugh and cheer the parade of tits covered in dog fur and spirit gum.

The Gaffer's Rating: between 1.5 and $\infty$ out of 4 Snausages.