A barking dog that never bites...
It’s on a cheesy 80’s soundtrack and alongside pop culture induced villains that Howling 2 picks up after the events of The Howling. What starts simply enough quickly gets strange as the subplots stack up. Add to this emphasis on a werewolf cult, gangsters, and a hint of late Hammer Studio Gothic aesthetic, and you get a weird contemporary hybrid tale addressing both lycanthropy and witchcraft.
For a film that should, by its nature, show werewolf action and transformations, it sure shies on it. They may be some of the hardest creature to render using practical effects, but this is a franchise that relies on it. There is overindulgence in the cult subplot and time is wasted there. It is uninteresting, nonthreatening and keeps us away from the good stuff: the effects and the gore, namely.
Some content is highly subversive. There are many scenes of nudity and sexuality involving extreme fetishism. Howling 2 wants to take us behind the wolf’s eyes; in its bed, its community and its way of life. The issue is that those aren't the lonely troubled lycans we expect. When all is said and done, we can't help but conclude we're dealing with more of a vampire clan than classic shapeshifters.