In honor of Black History Month, I decided to review the blaxploitation classic Sugar Hill! Not to be confused with Wesley Snipes' Sugar Hill 1993!
Sugar Hill is the only feature film to be directed by Paul Maslansky. He usually produced films of a different variety, such as Raw Meat, Police Academy and Return of Oz. I wish he would direct a new film!
After some gangsters murder the perfect boyfriend who refuses to sell his club, Diana 'Sugar' Hill looks to get revenge by a voodoo queen named Mama Maitresse. Mama Miatresse conjures up the Baron Zamedi (the Lord of the Dead) along with his army of undead violent killers. Sugar asks Baron Zamedi to help her avenge the death of her boyfriend. He agrees and together they begin tracking down the gangsters. One by one, each man meets his end at the hands of the Lord of Dead in a violent and horrific way! As time goes on and more bodies pile up, a cop, Valentine, begins to suspect there may be something more to the murders. She is suspicious that Sugar has something to do with it.
This film touches on every trait that makes up the blaxploitation film: gangsters, racist slurs, hit men and white antagonists. Sugar Hill has great performances. It was made in the 70s after all! I loved the character Sugar and how she longed for revenge. She was strong yet elegant and often switched up her looks. Baron Zamedi was an awesome character as well. He would often include giggling into his dialogue. I also loved how they put black stuff under his eyes so that way we knew he was dead!
I absolutely love the scene when Sugar and Mama Maitresse are going through the woods to conjure Baron Zamedi. When the zombies rise from the grave, I was really impressed and eager to see more! Another great element was that the zombies in this film were the coolest I've ever seen in my life. Yes, life! The zombies had bulging silver eyes and sometimes grinned wildly. Before the zombies killed, they just stared at victims with their freaky bulging eyeballs. It was funny yet creepy!
Also, this film had plenty of death scenes that lacked gore but was unique. One guy even got a zombie massage before he met his death! Never heard of a zombie massage before, but it was definitely awesome!
Although, the gore is very light in this film, it doesn't define it. The zombie kills were awesome and very entertaining to watch. The film isn't perfect, but there's something about it I absolutely love and find magical, as cheesy as it sounds! Overall, I do recommend this film especially if you're a fan of 70s horror! Too bad it's not easy to find. I'd love to own a copy.
3 1/2 out 5 queen skulls!