Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Howling for Babel

I'll get to why I'm leading with this today in a minute. First, let me just give praise to schlampeOFdeath for not only posting the club mix of this track by the band Babel but also for having a bunch of great videos on his channel. Subscribe like I did HERE.


Or perhaps more appropriately, WTF did I just Watch because two nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep, so I fired up Shudder and thought, "You know, I've still never seen any of the The Howling sequels. Why not watch the one they added recently, Howling II. This is how I came to find Howling II apparently has two subtitles: Your Sister is a Werewolf and/or Stirba - Werewolf Bitch.

My god is this movie nuts. First, and I'm sorry, but I'm just not a Christopher Lee fan after, let's say, 1960. All goodwill was dashed when I watched Hammer's Scars of Dracula a few years ago. You can throw as many of his roles at me as you want in an attempt to evoke the proper respect - I'm not saying he does a bad job, I'm just saying he does nothing for me. Well, nothing except let me know I will probably not like the movie I'm about to watch if he is in it. 

Howling II puts Lee front and center first thing, having him read biblical hokum against a cosmic backdrop. It's a ridiculous scene that segues into a ridiculous flick. Even the werewolves are weak, as apparently, when production began, the filmmakers realized they had been sent the wrong costumes and were then told to make do. Thus, all the close-up shots of Werewolf teeth instead of actual werewolves, and why any long shots of full werewolves either stick to Bark at the Moon style fur coverings or look like monkey suits. Because they actually were monkey suits.

To quote the Dreadnoks, "Har!"

Don't even get me started about the Wolf orgy.

There's a moment directly after that opening scene where the music plays over an ancient stone statue, and for a moment, it seems like this could have gone the other way; the thing I love most about the original Howling is how it feels more like a Cronenberg Body Horror flick than it does a paint by numbers Horror film (nothing against those). The entire opening of that film defies what you think it's going to be, then uses those broken expectations in the second and third acts to do something really unique. Here, something about the shot of that statue juxtaposed with the New Wave club that follows it made me think I was in for a treat, but alas, this movie is just nuts, not good. Still, there's definitely a place for that, and I happened to line it up perfectly with my mood on this particular occasion, so everybody wins.

Well, except Stirba. What a bitch.


Naked Raygun - Over the Overlords
Godflesh - Purge
Genghis Tron - Board Up the House
Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon
Jóhann Jóhannsson - Mandy OST
High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
Mad Love - White With Foam
Ghost - Impera


Nine of Swords: Cruelty - So as a Nine we read accomplishment or completion, as Swords Pure Intellect. How does that relate? One sec...
• VII The Chariot - Origin of Ideas - A deep well. Also, a possibly pertinent read is "Thinking things through."
• Six of Cups - Pleasure - As a Six we read for Tiphareth, the Yellow House, a place of Balance & Hope, especially when applied to Cups, the Emotional Suit.

In a quick take - Pure means uncut. To experience Pure intellect can mean getting stuck in your own head - it's not 'cut' with reality. The Chariot is there to guide, to remind me to think things through, literally applying the circumstances of the world to your thoughts, so as not to get trapped in them. That will lead to balance.

Now, a considerably longer take:

There's a note in my Grimoire for the Nine of Swords that mentions "Bad Dreams," and since I've been thinking/writing about and having lots of dreams of late, that must play in somewhere. I'm particularly interested in this dream I had at some point last week (I think). Flying solo (K returns today, thankfully) I've been sleeping upstairs in my office/nerd dungeon. The couch folds out and I can lay with my head on a pillow about three feet from a tv, so my nightly viewing has shifted to up there, as has my sleeping. In this way, I fall asleep to a flick every night. One day last week, I fell asleep watching Gary Sherman's Dead and Buried. Something about this flick infiltrated my brain and I dreamt we were in a dark, sparsely populated seaside town. Spent a lot of time in some bar there - I can still see the fucking thing when I think about it now; I mean, it is vivid in my mind. As are some of the denizens, snippets of conversations, a steer-the-claw prize machine. It's a mashup of the textures I remember from restaurants in my early childhood (late 70s/early 80s) and the movie, and I want to inhabit it. I've tried falling asleep to D&B again in an attempt to re-trigger the dream, but of course, no dice. There's obviously a mania to how I'm currently revering this dream, and I think that has something to do with Nine of Swords showing up in today's Pull, although I'm not entirely certain what this all means. 


Tommy said...

Howling II makes me laugh so hard, particularly when it spends the end credits replaying Sybil Danning tearing her shirt off over and over again. Bad movie? Yes. Entertaining movie? Also yes. And as far as Howling sequels go, it's all downhill from here.

Shawn C. Baker said...

Those end credits are just ridiculous. It's a terrible movie but a fun watch, for sure. I've never ventured into any other of the sequels, and this doesn't really make me want to in any way other than "oh, let's get f*&ked up and watch something that will make me laugh!"