5.8/10
1,348
30 user 53 critic

Sugar Hill (1974)

When her boyfriend is murdered by gangsters, Sugar Hill decides not to get mad, but BAD! She entreats voodoo queen Mama Maitresse to call on Baron Samedi, Lord of the Dead, for help with a ... See full summary »

Director:

Paul Maslansky

Writer:

Tim Kelly
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ALL

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Abby (1974)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A possession film about a marriage counselor who becomes possessed by a Demon of Sexuality, when her father in law, an Exorcist, freed it while in Africa. He returns home, along with his ... See full summary »

Director: William Girdler
Stars: Carol Speed, William Marshall, Terry Carter
Blacula (1972)
Fantasy | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An ancient African prince, turned into a vampire by Dracula himself, finds himself in modern Los Angeles.

Director: William Crain
Stars: William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The vampire Mamuwalde (Blacula) is stirred by African voodoo, and is forced to kill again.

Director: Bob Kelljan
Stars: William Marshall, Don Mitchell, Pam Grier
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A docile black law student is possessed by a 1940's mobster in mid 1970s New Orleans, Louisiana. The mobster seeks revenge upon the people who killed him and his sister.

Director: Arthur Marks
Stars: Glynn Turman, Louis Gossett Jr., Joan Pringle
Ganja & Hess (1973)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After being stabbed with an ancient, germ-infested knife, a doctor's assistant finds himself with an insatiable desire for blood.

Director: Bill Gunn
Stars: Duane Jones, Marlene Clark, Bill Gunn
Sugar Hill (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A drug dealer tries to get out of the life and start anew with his girlfriend, but the transition is tragically difficult.

Director: Leon Ichaso
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Michael Wright, Khandi Alexander
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An look at the history of black horror films and the role of African Americans in the film genre from the very beginning.

Director: Xavier Burgin
Stars: Meosha Bean, Ashlee Blackwell, Robin R. Means Coleman
'Sheba, Baby' (1975)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A Chicago private detective returns back home to Louisville, Kentucky, to help her father fight mobsters.

Director: William Girdler
Stars: Pam Grier, Austin Stoker, D'Urville Martin
Crime | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A funeral director tells four strange tales of horror with an African American focus to three drug dealers he traps in his place of business.

Director: Rusty Cundieff
Stars: Clarence Williams III, Corbin Bernsen, Joe Torry
Truck Turner (1974)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Blaxploitation film about a former professional football player who becomes a bounty hunter in Los Angeles.

Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Stars: Isaac Hayes, Yaphet Kotto, Alan Weeks
Friday Foster (1975)
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

At Los Angeles airport, magazine photographer Friday Foster witnesses an assassination attempt against billionaire Blake Tarr and is drawn into a murky political conspiracy.

Director: Arthur Marks
Stars: Pam Grier, Yaphet Kotto, Godfrey Cambridge
Bones (2001)
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

Over 20 years after his death by a gunshot, Jimmy Bones comes back as a ghost to wreak revenge on those who killed him and to clean up his neighborhood.

Director: Ernest R. Dickerson
Stars: Snoop Dogg, Pam Grier, Michael T. Weiss
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marki Bey ... Diana 'Sugar' Hill
Robert Quarry ... Morgan
Don Pedro Colley ... Baron Samedi
Betty Anne Rees ... Celeste
Richard Lawson ... Valentine
Zara Cully ... Mama Maitresse
Charles Robinson ... Fabulous (as Charles P. Robinson)
Larry Don Johnson ... Langston (as Larry D. Johnson)
Rick Hagood Rick Hagood ... Tank Watson
Ed Geldart Ed Geldart ... O'Brien
Albert J. Baker Albert J. Baker ... George
Raymond E. Simpson Raymond E. Simpson ... King (as Raymond E. Simpson III)
Truman C. Carroll Truman C. Carroll ... Baker (as Thomas C. Carroll)
'Big Walter' Price 'Big Walter' Price ... Preacher (as Big Walter Price)
Charles Krohn Charles Krohn ... Captain Merrill
Edit

Storyline

When her boyfriend is murdered by gangsters, Sugar Hill decides not to get mad, but BAD! She entreats voodoo queen Mama Maitresse to call on Baron Samedi, Lord of the Dead, for help with a gruesome revenge. In exchange for Sugar's soul, the Dark Master raises up a zombie army to do her bidding. The bad guys who think they got away clean are about to find out that they're DEAD wrong. Written by Christopher Chase <cchase@onebox.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She's sweet as sugar... with a voodoo army of the undead! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Zombies of Sugar Hill See more »

Filming Locations:

Houston, Texas, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the film that brought to an end Robert Quarry's 4 year reign as a horror star at American International Pictures, which began with 1970's "Count Yorga Vampire." Both he and Vincent Price left the studio the same year. See more »

Goofs

When Sugar is doing her photo shoot, we hear the sound of an auto-winder, but her camera does not have an auto-winder. See more »

Quotes

Diana 'Sugar' Hill: [after feeding a villain to a pen of starving pigs] I hope they're into white trash.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Supernatural Voodoo Woman
Written by Dino Fekaris & Nick Zesses
Sung by The Originals
Available on Motown Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Crude and heavy handed but also powerful and effective
22 January 2006 | by lemon_magicSee all my reviews

"Sugar Hill" has a lot of what made "Foxy Brown" so compelling, but adds an interesting plot device for a novel twist. I've seen lots of black gangster films where black heroes (and anti-heroes) get over on The Man and The Establishment, but "Sugar Hill" is the only film I've seen where horror monsters (as opposed to gun-play and car chases) are the vehicle for social justice. Of course, there could be others. I don't get out much. (And no, I don't count "Zombie Nightmare", which is a vanity project, not a movie.)

The heroine of the story loses her man to the predations of the local Mob when the Mob moves in on their nightclub. In order to exact revenge, she manages to contact a local voodoo cult (because in this film's social milieu, all black people in the South maintain contact with their pagan cult roots, don'chaknow) and convince them to aid her cause. Hilarity ensues.

On the plus side: the makeup effects for the zombies were novel and extremely effective - I've never seen any other film use 'brass eyes and cobwebs' effects and bluish "bad skin" tints like this. Someone did a wonderful job coaching the extras on how to be convincing as cold, soulless, remorseless, shambling piles of ex-humanity. And they are framed and filmed and lighted in setups out of your worst nightmares. The setups for each of the revenge scenes are well done, and there is a lot of variety in the scenarios, as well as some macabre humor - the 'death by massage therapy' scene managed to be both funny and appalling at the same time, which is a great trick.

Also on the plus side: The actress playing Sugar is very striking and carries the movie effortlessly. She's convincingly merciless and cold as she delivers judgment on each of her foes, and obviously relishes her revenge. The actor playing Samedi seems familiar; I think he shilled for "7-Up" some years ago. He's got a wonderful, deep, rich patois that resonates in the viewers' solar plexus. His sadistic glee and delight in the suffering and terror he inspires in his prey is enough to make you seriously considering defecting to the ranks of the "voodoun."

On the minus side: Once Sugar gets the voodoo revenge ball rolling, it's just too damned easy for her - there is no struggle, or suspense at all. In "Foxy Brown", the heroine suffers rape and beatings and humiliation before she turns the tide on her enemies, and it makes the story more compelling because of it. Even in a Jim Brown "Slaughter" film, Jim had to sweat some to win the day. For that matter, Bruce Lee took some serious hits in his various fights for justice and revenge. But here, the Mob guys are dumb as toast and go down before the voodoo onslaught like mice under a field mower.That turns the film from a heroic struggle to an exercise in righteous sadism against a bunch of mannequins.

And traditionally in films and literature, if the protagonist messes with "Dark Forces" to exact their revenge, they have to pay a price themselves. But Samedi just goes out and tears Sugar's foes apart like an obedient supernatural Pit Bull and it doesn't cost her a thing, at least not overtly. The protagonist's desire for revenge and/or justice is much more convincing if the story shows them paying a real price to achieve it. So again, the film is less than it could be; instead of making Sugar Hill's story a tale of revenge no matter the cost, it becomes an plodding exercise in vicarious power fantasy and butt-kicking.

But still, it's a powerful experience, if only due to the fortunate accident of the makeup and the charisma of the two lead black actors. I'm glad I managed to catch it on Showtime, and if I ever see it on DVD for a reasonable price, I'll probably pick it up for my collection.


15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed