...aka: Howling II: It's Not Over Yet
...aka: Howling II: She-Wolf
...aka: Stirba - Werewolf Bitch
After the assumed death of Karen White at the end of the first film, her bland, big hunk of a brother Ben (Reb Brown) shows up at the funeral looking for answers and meets up with "cult investigator" and werewolf expert Stefan Crosscoe (Christopher Lee), who has his own business card and says, "There are great numbers of werewolves living among us!" The two team up with Jenny (Annie McEnroe), a TV news anchor, Pulitzer Prize hopeful and former co-worker of Karen's, and end up heading overseas to Transylvania to try to wipe out a cult of werewolves located there. International sex goddess Sybil Danning is sexy lycanthrope leader Stirba, who is approaching her 1000th birthday. Sybil (whose voice is often electronically altered) has one topless scene, is seen in a silly fur suit and fake fangs and likes to have threesome wolf sex with her dedicated male henchman Vlad (Judd Omen) and topless black "daughter" Mariana (Marsha A. Hunt). And then there's an unexpected revelation about Lee's character. I won't give it away, just to say Danish dish Danning and British legend Lee (who both deserve better material that this) do not make convincing siblings, but the casting director gets a gold (eh, titanium?) star for the idea.
To be fair, HOWLING II has an OK opening ten minutes or so, some great-looking sets, good location work (it was filmed on location in Czechoslovakia) and plenty of blood, gore and highly variable special effects (by the usually reliable Steve Johnson and cronies), but the writing is the worst and many of the performances are just plain terrible. While blonde muscle bound dullard Brown (who played Hercules in Italy and Captain America in some American made-for-TV movies) may be sufficient eye candy to some, McEnroe just fails to generate anything other than annoyance with her mushroom haircut and squeaky voice. Danning has one of those can't-miss-in-theory roles that somehow manages to completely miss the potential for campy entertainment value. Many consider this Lee's worst genre role, but he comes across fine as always. A highlight (for me, at least) was seeing Lee, dressed in sunglasses and a leather jacket, hanging out in a then-trendy club listening to the Euro punk band Babel (whose song is repeated at least four times). Speaking of repetitive...check out how many times Sybil's topless scene is repeated during the end credits. Ferdinand "Ferdy" Mayne (THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS) and Jimmy Nail both have smalls role as well.
Score: 3 out of 10