Sugar Hill

1974

Action / Crime / Horror

21
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 47%
IMDb Rating 5.7 10 1261

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Richard Lawson as Valentine
Charles Robinson as Fabulous
Zara Cully as Mama Maitresse
720p.BLU
750.41 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 31 min
P/S 1 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by GL84 9 / 10

Quite impressive Blaxploitation zombie effort

Following a nightclub opening, the murder of her boyfriend sends a woman deep into the realms of a local voodoo master and soon sends a squad of zombies to do her bidding, forcing a police officer to stop her before she completes her vengeance-filled mission.

This here was a rather enjoyable entry with a lot to like about it. One of the best features of it is that it manages a fantastic mixture of zombies and voodoo here, as both are mixed together to provide a lot of fun. Although it's not entirely PC for today's standards, the attributes which are shown here to attract that manage to make for quite a solid showing here with the racial slurs and different setups to cater to that audience all giving this one a lot to like. What also helps that is that the film has the voodoo ceremony occurs early in the film which is a really fun approach to the film with there being some really fun confrontations throughout. That there's a lot of gang-members here who are involved with this are killed off at a rather nice clip here, and it does it at great intervals which gives it a feeling of never being dull or boring at all. The confrontations themselves are incredibly fun, with the one in the cornfields being really creepy as there's the unknown factor of what's happening, there's a wonderful atmosphere to it and a fantastic payoff. There's more fun from the other zombie attacks, including the one in the train-yard and a later one in a bar while the other great one is the only one without the use of the zombies, where one is forced to take his life through the use of voodoo as it winds toward the inevitable where it becomes really tense and quite chilling. The zombies are really great-looking as well, with the dirt-covered rags that are effective in giving them a long-dead, decaying look, and with they're memorable eyes and dead stare, they're quite impressive-looking. There's also the full-on fun of their resurrection sequence, which here is one of the better examples of this type of scenes around. The image of the heaving ground giving way to a series of scenes with the heads coming out of the ground is simply spectacular. Combined with all the good over the incredibly suspenseful and creepy location where it all takes place, these here are what work for the film. There wasn't a whole lot wrong with this one. The main one here is that the film has a really different view of zombies than most other films. This one has them as a gang of mindless assassins sent out to do whatever their master commands them to do, and that is such a major change from what's normally accepted in a zombie movie. That alone might be enough for some of the die-hard fans to cry foul, but then the fact that they manage to resort to using tools and weapons like any normal villain, albeit indestructible one, really loses the distinctive touch of the zombie genre. The other issue here is that there's a really useless subplot in here about buying up the club which takes up some time is also wrong, which is where the middle section loses some ground compared to the other segments. Overall, though, it's not as bad as it could've been.

Rated PG: Violence and Language

Reviewed by gavin6942 6 / 10

A Fun AIP Flick

When her boyfriend is brutally murdered, after refusing to be shaken down by the local gangsters running their protection racket, Sugar Hill (Marki Bey), decides to call upon the help of aged voodoo queen Mama Maitresse; Sugar entreats her to call upon Baron Zamedi, the Lord of the Dead, for help in gaining a gruesome revenge.

Whether or not this is a blaxploitation horror film, I have no idea. There is definitely a theme of the black heroine (a poor man's Pam Grier) taking on white crooks. And the police detective has a pretty impressive fro going on. But the line between blaxploitation and a film that just happens to have black stars is a blurry one in the 1970s...

What I do know is that this is a fun picture from Sam Arkoff and AIP. Not particularly scary and never taking itself too seriously, we get about half a dozen people attacked (one at a time) by a zombie horde. And these are real zombies -- the voodoo kind -- not those flesh-eating zombies that have taken over the horror world today.

Not the best film, not the worst, but definitely one that probably gets overlooked too often and is worth a peek for those who are into the voodoo zombies and already saw the bigger name films like "White Zombie" or "Serpent and the Rainbow". I get the impression that this film was an influence on Adam Green's "Hatchet" series, though that may just be my imagination.

Interestingly, despite being made after George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead", this film finds its roots more in the racially-inspired zombies of the 1940s and 1950s. Namely "King of the Zombies" (1941), "I Walked With a Zombie" (1943) and "Zombies of Mora Tau" (1957).

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 7 / 10

Silly seventies exploitation fun.

Sugar Hill stars the delectable Marki Bey as Diana 'Sugar' Hill, foxy girlfriend of Langston, owner of the successful Club Haiti. When Langston is kicked to death by a gang of thugs for refusing to sell his business to greedy gangster Morgan (Robert Quarry), Sugar enlists the help of wizened voodoo priestess Mama Maitresse (Zara Cully) to avenge her man, summoning voodoo Lord of the Dead Baron Samedi (Don Pedro Colley) and an army of silver-eyed zombies to terrorise and kill those responsible.

Directed by Paul Maslansky, producer of the Police Academy series, blaxploitation/zombie film Sugar Hill ain't exactly a 'classic' of either genre, lacking the grittiness to be found in many a blaxploitation movie and missing the outrageous gore of many a zombie flick. That said, the film is still plenty fun: the lovely Bey provides the eye candy, looking fab while wearing some truly funky outfits and switching her hairstyle back and forth from straightened to afro with ease; Colley is great hamming it up as Samedi, rolling his eyes and grinning malevolently in a variety of guises; there's a welcome cat fight between Sugar and trashy mob girl Celeste (Betty Anne Rees); the seventies fashions are hilarious (check out the scalloped lapels on Langston's sparkly jacket!); and who can't help but be entertained by the gloriously un-PC slurring from both sides? The dated racial insults fly thick and fast, making it unsurprising to find that a R2 release of this film has yet to happen.

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for the disembodied chicken leg attackā€”you don't see that every day (unless you happen to watch this film every day, that is, which is unlikely).

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