Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf is an American werewolf film loosely based on the Howling series of novels written by Gary Brandner. Released in 1985, this film has almost no connection to Brandner's Howling II novel other than the name. The Howling II is the first of six sequels to the 1980 werewolf classic, The Howling. Although some of the details are incongruous, the Howling II continues the story presented in the previous film and addresses the Howling's climax and the apparent death of Karen White. The Howling II introduces many new elements into the mythos of the werewolf, including a background richly steeped in sorcery and occultism.
The primary antagonist of this film, Stirba (Sybil Danning), is a ten-thousand year-old werewolf and the mother of all werewolves on the planet Earth. Werewolves directly linked to Stirba's brood are stronger than the traditional werewolf, and as such, additional measures are required in order to destroy them. Silver is ineffective against these sort of werewolves. Only weapons made of titanium can end these creatures once and for all. The protagonist in the Howling II is a werewolf hunter named Stefan Crosscoe (Christopher Lee). Assisting him is reporter Jennifer Templeton (Annie McEnroe) and Ben White (Reb Brown), brother of Karen White from the first film.
|Christopher Lee||Stefan Crosscoe|
|Reb Brown||Ben White|
|Annie McEnroe||Jenny Templeton|
|Steven Bronowski||Moon Devil|
|Ladislav Krecmer||Father Florin|
|Ed Kleynen||Fred Francis|
Funeral services are held for Karen White who was killed on live television in the midst of transforming into a werewolf. In attendance at her funeral are her brother Ben and fellow reporter Jenny Templeton. Also at the funeral is an elderly man named Stefan Crosscoe. When the service concludes, Crosscoe speaks to Ben and Jenny, indicating that Karen White is not yet at peace. He indicates to Ben White in no uncertain terms, "Your sister is a werewolf".
Inviting them back to his estate, Crosscoe illuminates Ben and Jenny as to the history of werewolves, and what is required to stop them. Ben is incredulous at first, but Jenny, having been witness to the Karen White shooting believes everything Crosscoe says. Stefan tells them that these werewolves are descended from an ancient sorceress named Stirba. The only way to destroy them is with weapons made of silver.
Stefan goes to the funeral home to drive a titanium stake into the chest of Karen White’s corpse. Ben drives after him intent on stopping Stefan, but when Jenny and he arrive they are attacked by werewolves. Stefan does what must be done, and they manage to stop a werewolf outside the funeral home. Before killing him, Stefan asks him where Stirba is located. The dying creature responds, "...the dark country". Crosscoe tells Ben and Jenny that he must travel to Transylvania if he is to stop Stirba. Ben and Jenny agree to accompany him.
In Transylvania, a coven of werewolves hold an occult ritual involving blood and a captured young woman. An ancient crone, Stirba, steps up to the altar and placed her face close to the bound woman's lips. Energy begins to flow from the woman's mouth into Stirba, revitalizing her, and transforming her into a young woman. Stirba then takes her two favorite werewolf followers and brings them into her private chambers for an evening of savage decadence.
Stefan, Ben and Jenny arrive in Transylvania and check into a hotel room – room 666. The two grow closer together and a romance begins to blossom between them despite the horror that they are soon expected to face.
Stefan makes contacts throughout the city and meets with several local men – all of whom have lost loved ones to Stirba's cult. They are committed to aiding Stefan and eradicating Stirba's brood once and for all.
Stefan meets back up with Ben and Jenny. He assigns his men to look after them and tells the two to go to the Festival of the New Full Moon. He warns them though that Stirba's people will be watching. Ben and Jenny go the festival, but Ben grows anxious. He wants to go after Stirba and doesn't want to wait for Stefan. He leaves Jenny alone with the bodyguard and takes off with a Romanian dwarf named Vasile.
Ben and Vasile make their way to Stirba's castle. Vasile gives Ben special wax to put in his ears that will protect him against Stirba's hypnotic spells. The dwarf succeeds in killing the guard at the front gate, but as soon as he does so, Stirba is alerted to their presence. Ben and Vasile try to run away, but Vasile loses his ear plugs and falls prey to Stirba's sorcery. Using the howl of her voice, she creates a wave of pain so intense that Vasile's eyes pop out of their head.
Ben returns to the village to find Jenny, but Jenny is having problems of her own. Her handler turns out to be one of Stirba's werewolves. He attacks her and renders her unconscious. He is prepared to ravage her, but another werewolf arrives and takes Jenny back to Stirba's castle.
Unable to find Jenny, Ben meets back up with Stefan. Stefan arms Ben and his remaining men with titanium weapons and they begin marching through the forests to Stirba's castle. A horde of werewolves jump out to attack them, and the men fight them off with blades and bullets – all forged of titanium. They succeed in fending off the werewolves with only one casualty.
Stefan tells Ben that he must make the rest of the journey on his own. Ben is still committed to finding Jenny however. Stefan enters Stirba's lair and the two size each other up. Stirba reveals that Stefan and she are siblings and former lovers. She begins casting a spell aimed at destroying Stefan, but as he draws in close, he stabs her through the stomach with his titanium dagger. Both Stirba and Stefan suddenly go up in flames and are destroyed.
Ben rescues Jenny and the two return to the United States as quick as possible.
Notes & Trivia
- Also known as Howling II: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch, Howling II: Bark at the Moon and Howling II: It's Not Over Yet.
- The official trailers for the film advertised the film under the title Howling II: It's Not Over Yet.
- Filmed on location in Hradcany, Prague, Czech Republic.
- This film was banned in Finland.
- Although The Howling II was released in 1985, the events from the film take place immediately following the events from the first Howling movie in 1981.
- The character of Karen White makes a brief appearance in this film, this time played by Hana Ludvikova. In the previous film, actress Dee Wallace Stone played the role Karen White.
- Actor Christopher Lee stated that the reason he agreed to star in this film is because he had never acted in a werewolf film before.
- The closing credits for the Howling II feature clips from the movie. One scene in particular, in which Stirba is seen tearing off her bodice exposing her breasts, is repeated throughout the credits. The scene is intermittently framed by reaction shots from various characters, making it a humorous sequence to end the film with.
- Sybil Danning (Stirba) was also featured in a false movie preview called Werewolf Women of the SS. This was one of several such faux previews seen in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez' double-feature, Grindhouse.
The soundtrack for the Howling II was primarily provided by a pop band called Babel. Babel makes two appearances in the film itself performing a song called "Howling". They also appear during the closing credits, also playing the title track song. In the context of the story itself, it appears as if Babel are not only performers, but werewolves themselves. They do not display any behavior characteristic of a werewolf, but they are first seen performing at a werewolf club, and later at Stirba's castle in Transylvania.