The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

SUGAR HILL (1974) ***

After the nefarious white mobster Morgan (Robert Quarry from Count Yorga, Vampire) murders the boyfriend of Sugar Hill (Marki Bey) in cold blood, she sets out for revenge.  Sugar conjures up the spirit of voodoo priest Baron Samedi (Don Pedro Colley) who helps her in her quest for vengeance.  Samedi raises an army of zombies who kill Morgan’s men with machetes, voodoo dolls, and killer snakes before tossing Morgan in a pit of quicksand.

 

Sugar Hill is a competent, well acted and fun little chiller that successfully combines a zombie movie with a blaxploitation action flick.  Director Paul Maslansky (who later went on to produce the Police Academy series) handles the zombie sequences especially well and the scene where they rise from their graves is eerily effective.  The look of the zombies is unique as they all have cool shiny silvery eyeballs that reflect light and are covered head to toe with cobwebs.

 

Quarry makes for a reliable villain and Marki Bey is excellent as the sexy Sugar Hill.  I particularly liked her catfight with Quarry’s hateful mistress.  Colley really steals the show though as Baron Samedi.  He sinks his teeth into the role and whenever he’s on screen spouting his voodoo jive talk, Sugar Hill rocks.

 

What prevents the film from being a classic is the fact that the producers went for a PG rating instead of an R.  Most of the murders happens off screen and the flick is low on gore and is completely devoid of sex.  Had Maslansky really ratcheted up the exploitation goodies, we might have had another Blacula on our hands.  As it is, Sugar Hill is still quite memorable thanks to the fine performances and the cool zombies.  There’s also a great theme song called, “Supernatural Voodoo Woman” that adds to the fun.

 

Bey gets the best line of the movie when she gets her zombies to feed a mobster to a sty full of hungry pigs and says, “I hope they like white trash!”

 

AKA:  The Zombies of Sugar Hill.  AKA:  Voodoo Girl.

Tags: blaxploitation, horror, s, zombie
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