Film Review: Howling II: … Your Sister Is A Werewolf (1985)

Also known as: Howling 2 (worldwide informal title), Howling II: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch (original title)
Release Date: August 28th, 1985 (France)
Directed by: Philippe Mora
Written by: Robert Sarno, Gary Brandner
Based on: The Howling II by Gary Brandner
Music by: Stephen W. Parsons
Cast: Christopher Lee, Annie McEnroe, Reb Brown, Marsha Hunt, Sybil Danning

Hemdale Film Corporation, Granite Productions, 87 Minutes

Review:

“For it is written: the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with her blood. And I saw her sent upon a hairy beast and she held forth a golden chalice full of the filthiness of fornications. And upon her forehead was written: “Behold I am the great mother of harlots and all abominations of the Earth.”” – Stefan Crosscoe

The Howling is a much better movie than its sequel… or any of its sequels. Strangely, I watch this one more. Maybe it’s because of Christopher Lee. Maybe it’s because of just how friggin’ 80s cheesy it is. Maybe it’s the sweet tunes of Stephen Parsons and his band Babel. Maybe it’s because I’ve always loved B-movie queen Sybil Danning. Maybe it’s because I am always amused by C-movie action star Reb Brown. I don’t know, this film is just a perfect storm of shit and awesome.

Now I can’t honestly sell this as a good movie. Anyone I could point towards this will most assuredly hate it. It just hits a certain chord for me. I don’t even know what the hell that chord is and I probably don’t want to know. This is an atrocious movie but it is an awesomely atrocious movie. I mean, it’s dreadful… really dreadful. But I still feel the need to put it in the DVD player every couple of years.

Hell, this movie is so bad that the first thing that horror icon Christopher Lee did when he was cast in Gremlins 2, was apologize to Joe Dante for being in it. Dante directed the far superior original, for those who didn’t know. Lee was not in the original, unfortunately, but one of his iconic horror colleagues, John Carradine, was.

Howling II is a disjointed mess featuring furry werewolf sex scenes, abysmal acting, ridiculous situations, goofy action sequences, a midget that is a master of throwing knives and Christopher Lee wearing very 80s sunglasses in an attempt to fit in at a punk rock bar. Maybe I’m wrong in trashing this film, maybe there is a lot to like.

I just don’t want to be responsible for someone else having a bad time. Therefore, I cannot officially vouch for the absurd delight that this film is. The closing credits alone have to be seen to be believed, as it is one of the most ludicrously edited sequences I have ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of motion pictures.

Howling II is probably no one’s cup of tea except my own. It is the movie equivalent of someone saying, “Hey come over, we’re having tomahawk ribeyes and oysters!” And then you reply with, “I’m just going to stay home and eat these Pizza Rolls, thanks.” Sometimes, you just want those damn Pizza Rolls and some solitude.

Rating: 4/10

Film Review: Space Mutiny (1988)

Also known as: Mutiny In Space, Southern Son (South Africa)
Release Date: August, 1988 (US theatrical release)
Directed by: David Winters, Neal Sundstrom
Written by: Maria Dante, Ian Yule
Music by: Tim James, Mark Mancina, Steve McClintock
Cast: Reb Brown, Cisse Cameron, Cameron Mitchell, James Ryan, John Phillip Law, Graham Clark, Billy Second, Rufus Swart

Action International Pictures, 93 Minutes

spacemutinyReview:

There is shit… and then there is Space Mutiny.

I kind of love Reb Brown, even though he is synonymous for starring in awful movies. Granted, I kind of love awful movies. I must be a sick and twisted person. But there is just something about films that are so flawed that they go beyond being just bad and into the realm of filmmaking insanity.

Space Mutiny is one of those pictures, where it is baffling to try and understand how it got made or why. Did the people working on this see this as quality work? I’m not saying that 100 percent effort wasn’t given but one would have to assume that the people behind this picture are completely devoid of talent and possibly delusional.

The costumes were horrendous. This film came out in 1988 yet the characters were dressed like something out of a 1950s sci-fi B-movie. Ed Wood may have provided his cast with better costumes three decades prior to this picture.

There are only two sets in this film. One is a warehouse and the other is an office building.

The warehouse stands in for just about every action sequence, whether it is the multiple snail-paced security cart chases or the endlessly running around catwalks and railing. It also stands in for the spaceship’s nightclub, which provided the film with a terribly strange sequence.

The office building is used for corridors on the ship, as well as the bridge – a bridge where they use large telephones with cords and bulky keyboards glued to the drywall.

Then you have the space battles. Luckily there are few of those. And to be honest, you might think the effects are somewhat passable for a South African sci-fi film with no budget. The problem, is that those sequences were taken from the original Battlestar Galactica. It is completely disorienting, as I was watching the film and immediately, I knew it was Battlestar Galactica.

Did I mention that there are the dancing space witches that sexually slither around plasma globes like sexy drunk girls Halloween shopping at Spencer Gifts?

Space Mutiny also has atrocious acting but that should probably go without saying.

The film is so awful, that the director claims he left the production before filming began and left those duties in the hands of his assistant. He also claims that he was unable to get an Alan Smithee credit, which is the film industry’s recognized pseudonym used by directors that disown their own work – usually because something happened to destroy their vision for the project.

If you like analyzing the worst films in history, this should probably be on the list of things you need to see. If you hate bad movies and want to avoid them at all costs, wipe this thing’s existence from your memory banks.

Space Mutiny is beyond bad. However, you can watch it in the eighth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, where it ended up being one of the best episodes of Mike Nelson’s run.

Rating: 3.5/10