This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
Of the various long-running horror franchises born in the 1980s, rarely has one become so thoroughly and completely derailed by its first sequel as The Howling sequence. Of the eight woofle-packed movies in the series, only the first sequel has any connection to the original. Even the later Hellraiser films, most of which are infamous for being completely unrelated spec scripts bought up and with the Cenobites parachuted in, at least have a common character tying them together in the form of Pinhead; after Howling II, it’s best to see the Howling series as a line of lycanthrope-themed self-contained stories, most of which are rather poor direct-to-video fare using the Howling name for a bit of reflected kudos.
Howling II was a legendary disaster which put paid to any future attempts to continue the original story, the original movie has a good enough reputation that no number of trashy sequels has tarnished its name enough to make it no longer worth making another entry in the series. For this article, I’m going to be looking at both.