Strange to think that a property that has become synonymous with werewolves, spawning eight movies in 35 years, was coy about their existence at the outset.But this was not the case when Brandner’s bestial creatures made the leap to the silver screen in 1981.As he had done on Piranha, Dante plays The Howling’s scares mostly straight, keeping the in-jokes and movie references for the margins.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as the film’s strangeness is concerned though.

Seeing how fractured Howling II’s editing is, director Philippe Mora—who made a name for himself with the Ozploitation classic Mad Dog Morgan and the American monster movie The Beast Within—appeared to have been working with a more limited budget than the roughly $1 million Dante was allocated four years earlier.

It is a life burdened by responsibility and fatal consequences.

Although rare, a Star Guardian may reject their fate as a protector.

In the beginning of all things, the First Star gave its light to create the universe.

New worlds were born—and with them, warriors imbued with the light of the First Star.

The bad news is it saddled Mora with a host of local actors with a limited grasp of the language, which does the borderline-incoherent screenplay few favors.

Partly the work of novelist Gary Brandner, Howling II’s script goes all in on making up its own werewolf mythology, including giving Stirba the ability to cast magic spells, which Danning does while wearing uncomfortable-looking leather-and-metal outfits (that is, when she isn’t covered in a thin layer of hair for the film’s awkward orgy scenes).

In both versions, Karyn/Karen has a husband who’s frustrated by her inability to be intimate, sending him into the arms of a local woman who turns out to be part of a pack of very territorial werewolves.

But only Sayles and Winkless were considerate enough to give her an identity outside of being someone’s wife (and a rape survivor to boot).

It takes some doing to convince Ben his sister is a werewolf, but after a few run-ins with some creatures of the night, he and Jenny join Stefan on a trip to “the dark country,” a.k.a.