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Film / Howling II: Stirba: Werewolf Bitch

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Howling II: Stirba - Werewolf Bitch, also known as Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, is a sequel to The Howling, released in 1985.

Following directly from the events of the previous film, Karen's brother Ben White (Reb Brown) is approached by werewolf hunter Stefan Crosscoe (Christopher Lee) who reveals to him the truth about his sister having become a werewolf. He convinces Ben and his girlfriend Jenny Templeton to help him in his quest to destroy Stirba (Sybil Danning), the queen of all werewolves.


This film provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: The huge amounts of Our Werewolves Are Different, mainly replacing the vampires in vampire lore with werewolves, were probably added to reference Christopher Lee's many performances as Dracula.
  • The Artifact: There's some strong evidence that the movie was originally going to be a vampire movie due to all the traditional vampire-killing methods being applied to werewolves, their leader being a woman who stays alive by sucking the youth out of people, it taking place in Transylvania and so on.
  • Back for the Dead: Karen turns out to have actually survived the events of the first movie's climax, due to being shot with silver bullets instead of titanium ones — and is promptly killed off for good at the end of this movie's first act.
  • Badass Preacher: Father Florin, who goes nuts on a gang of werewolves with a titanium axe alongside badasses like Christopher Lee and Reb Brown.
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  • Big Bad: Stirba.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: In the Russian bootleg translation, the translator mixed up milleniums and millions, and thus made poor Stirba ten million years old - far older than humanity itself. (Or wolves for that matter.)
  • Broad Strokes: how the events of the first film are treated. Karen's death apparently wasn't actually broadcast across half of California, because not even her own brother is aware that the footage exists (for that matter, the fact that she even has a brother is dubious at best). The werewolves also operate by pretty different rules, look completely different, and The Masquerade that they maintain is far more widespread than the first movie ever implied.
  • Came Back Wrong: Stefan indicates that because Karen was killed with the wrong type of ammunition, all that shooting her accomplished was killing off the human part of her personality, and that what's left is little more than a vicious monster.
  • Colon Cancer: In the Werewolf Bitch version of the title.
  • Denser and Wackier: This film was a lot cornier in comparison to the original film this sequel is supposed to directly follow.
  • Due to the Dead: At the start of the film, Karen receives a Christian burial; her body is laid to rest in a mausoleum at the church's graveyard.
  • Eye Scream: Stirba has a spell that causes its victims' eyeballs to explode in a fountain of blood. Fortunately, the heroes are able to neutralize the spell with their holy earplugs (yes, you read that correctly)... until Stefan's dwarf friend trips over and loses his earplugs.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: They don't even make Karen's on-air transformation remotely look like the scene from the first movie. Possibly lampshaded when Ben calls the footage he is shown fake and claims the Karen in the video looks nothing like his sister.
  • Fully Automatic Clip Show: The closing credits repeats a shot of Sybil Danning (as Stirba the Werewolf Bitch) ripping off her top and baring her breasts seventeen times, interspersed with random reaction shots from the rest of the film.
  • Genre Throwback: to the lavish Gothic Horror films produced by Hammer in the 1950s-70s, complete with a spooky castle, an Überwald setting, gratuitous nudity, and Hammer veterans Christopher Lee and Marsha Hunt. This is in stark contrast to the first film, which deliberately tried to modernize werewolf lore in an urban American setting with lots of focus on technology like television and tape recorders that didn't exist when the old tropes were being formed.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Stirba is effectively this for the whole film series, given that she is the progenitor of the werewolf curse.
    • However, Howlings IV - VIII do not take place in the first three films' (or at least the first two's) continuity.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Stefan, Christopher Lee's character, holds basically the same role Van Helsing does in most interpretations of Dracula (with Stirba in place of the Count).
  • Informed Attribute: Aside from a largely superfluous scene where Stirba partly transforms in order to have a threesome with two other werewolves, her being a werewolf is almost completely irrelevant to the plot. She mostly acts more like some kind of sorceress — or given the script's origins as a vampire movie, a queen vampire.
  • Life Drinker: Stirba's rejuvenating technique requires a young victim, from whom Stirba magically steals her youth.
  • Monster Progenitor: Stirba for the werewolves.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Virtually every moment that Sybil Danning spends on-screen in the film. Especially the end credits, which repeat the scene where Stirba rips off her top sixteen times.
  • Mutual Kill: Stefan and Stirba burn together in the end.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Stirba is an Evil Sorcereress in addition to a werewolf. Plus, she exhibits an odd amount of vampire traits such as drinking young women's life energy.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The film features Transylvanian werewolves who exhibit more vampiric traits (aversion to holy water and only a stake through the heart can kill them) and are weak to titanium instead of silver.
  • Punny Title: The subtitle Stirba - Werewolf Bitch. A female canine is, of course, termed a bitch, or it can just be taken that she's an awful person.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A murderous dwarf with a knife? Sounds suspiciously like Don't Look Now.
    • During the credits, the graffiti says BATCAVE.
  • Silver Bullet: Subverts this trope and reveals that silver bullets don't always kill werewolves, they just incapacitate them for a while. The real metal of choice when dealing with werewolves is titanium. Silver bullets work just fine against young werewolves (as shown in the first film in the series), but ancients like Stirba are immune to silver, which is where the titanium comes into play. It doesn't really impact the plot, though. It just means they have to use a different type of metal.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Two examples— Stirba, properly pronounced "Still-buh." It was derived from the German word "sterben" [still-ben] which means "die." Stefan and Stirba's followers say it properly (which makes sense since Christopher Lee was fluent in German). Everyone else in the movie improperly says it as "Stir-buh" (even the voice-over in the European trailer says it as "Stir-buh").
    • Most online spellings (including above) spell Stefan's surname as "Crosscoe." However, that is a real name, but it is only spelt with one 's'— "Croscoe."
  • Sorcerous Overlord: Stirba operates like this in Transylvania. She rules over a cult of werewolves from her castle, while possessing explicit magical powers. Yes, a werewolf witch-queen.
  • Time Abyss: Unlike other werewolves, Stirba can restore her youth. She is very nearly ten thousand years old. In the Russian dub, she predates humanity.
  • Title Drop: For the second version of the title.
    Stefan: This type of bullet, Mr. White, means your sister is a werewolf.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The Holy Grail gets casually mentioned when Stefan lists the heroes' werewolf-killing weapons before the final assault and nobody as much as bats an eye or asks where he got it.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: Subverted. Garlic is presented as a repellent against werewolves. This is one of the many reasons why people have speculated that the script was originally supposed to be a vampire movie before they just switched monsters.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Stirba is so old that she somehow became immune to silver. Luckily for the heroes, it appears that werewolves, including Stirba, also can be harmed by titanium weapons. For some odd reason Karen is also immune to silver, despite only having been a werewolf for a couple of weeks at most.

Alternative Title(s): Howling II Your Sister Is A Werewolf