BOOTLEG FILES 607: “Babes in Bagdad” (1951 romp directed by Edgar G. Ulmer).
LAST SEEN: It can be found on YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It is not entirely clear why.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Lord, I hope not!
One does not approach a film titled “Babes in Bagdad” expecting a provocative cerebral challenge. But, at the same time, one should not expect an unfocused mess of half-baked feminist politics and burlesque antics molded together by several great talents who hit respective career lows with this nonsense.
It’s funny how I know so much about Dracula and still can’t get enough of the character or the concept no matter where I turn. Intervision’s “The Trail of Dracula” is an hour long look in to the history of Dracula through the ages. There are tons of interviews and accounts from the creation of Bram Stoker’s novel, and the unauthorized adaptation called “Nosferatu,” right down to his pop culture influence in the modern age like “Vampire Hunter D” and “Castlevania.” While I would have loved a more thorough examination of the vampire legend and its various incarnations of cultures all around the world, “The Trail of Dracula” explores how Dracula eventually was crafted.
There are two reasons to watch “Howling II”: The sheer utter hotness of Sybil Danning, who walks around throughout the film in a tight leather leotard that makes her look like a Batman villain. And Two: The utterly inept performance by the one and only Reb Brown. It’s a long way to go from Dee Wallace to Reb Brown, but hot damn the creators of the sequel to “The Howling” are more than up for the challenge to remind us which of the pair is more convincing as a human being. “Howling II” is the official sequel to “The Howling”; it’s a goofy, wonky, and camp laden werewolf picture hell bent on celebrating the new wave movement by literally handing us European new wave super villains that happen to be a cult of werewolves.
When Dracula tells you there’s trouble afoot, you should probably listen. “Howling 2” is a sequel to the Joe Dante film because, I guess it has something resembling werewolves in it somewhere. There’s Sybil Danning boiling the screen with her sexiness, and a legion of werewolves, there’s Sybil Danning completely re-defining the term skin tight, and the theme song. I have to say, as a kid who grew up with horror movies that mostly ranged from the eighties, the theme song by Stephen W. Parsons is haunting, and has been burned in to my brain since I was in the single digits age range.