Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1986) (part 2 of 9)

Cut to the funeral of Karen White, the news reporter heroine of the first movie. You may recall that at the end of the film, she ended up being shot dead as she turned into a werewolf live on the air. It’s an open casket funeral, but apparently Dee Wallace Stone was out of the producer’s price range by this point (to say nothing of having better things to do, one would hope), so Karen’s body is played by a totally different actress. She’s not a dead ringer, but its close enough for a crappy sequel, I guess.

The minister delivers his eulogy, while the camera pans across the gallery. During this, they focus on Karen’s brother Ben (Reb Brown) and her colleague Jenny (Annie McEnroe, no relation to the tennis great), who we’ll get to know in a minute.

Observing from the back is Stefan (Christopher Lee), looking mournful yet sinister. I have to say, there are few things that would be more disconcerting to me than glancing back during a funeral and seeing this guy. Well, maybe if the guy in the coffin suddenly got up and started doing the zombie dance from “Thriller”, that might be more disturbing. But let’s just call it a draw and move on.

There’s a POV shot from inside the coffin as it’s carried away, and while a side view shows that the lid seems to be on, a top view shows us it clearly isn’t. Ah, sweet nourishing incoherence. As soon as the coffin has been interred, there’s a shot of Karen inside as her eyes snap open.

Afterwards, Jenny is assigned to cover the story of what we saw in the first film, but that’s not important at all, because we’ll never hear of this assignment again. The reason for this is that as soon as she’s assigned to the story, she notices Ben conversing with the as-of-yet unnamed Stefan. Or rather, Stefan is doing his best to come off as a creepy old guy whose meds are beginning to wear off, while Ben reacts as stiffly as one would expect from a character played by Reb Brown. The fact that this represents some of Reb’s best acting* says a lot. None of it good.

[*Personally, I feel he was more in touch with his character’s inner essence in Yor, Hunter from the Future, but that’s just me.]

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Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1986)

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