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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I wish I'd get a nickel for every horror movie I watch starting with an occult voodoo ritual during the opening credits! If that were the case, I'd be rich myself instead of spending all that precious money on purchasing obscure movies! Although, in all honesty, I have to admit that the voodoo mumbo-jumbo at the start of "Sugar Hill" is merely just a staged act, set up in a groovy establishment called Club Haiti owned by a black businessman and located in the middle of a mafia-infested city with a white guy at the top of the crime ladder. As you can derive already from this two-line synopsis intro, "Sugar Hill" is a Blaxsploitation horror effort, like the contemporary blockbusters "Blackenstein" and "Blacula", only with voodoo spells and zombies this time. The owner of Club Haiti gets killed for not giving in to the mafia's blackmail, but his left behind wife Sugar, nicknamed like this because she is – and I quote – looks as sweet as sugar tastes, plots a virulent revenge. She seeks help with a voodoo priestess and together they head out to a swamp to resurrect an army of black zombies to fight the mafia.
The summoning of Voodoo God Baron Samedi is quite a preposterous but hysterically entertaining sequence as the guy (Don Pedro Colley) turns out to be a prototypic pimp from the hood who literally screams out to all his dead servants to awake and emerge from their burial grounds. Awesome! This scene alone was enough reason to make "Sugar Hill" my brand new favorite Blaxsploitation movie of all time! Subsequently all the obnoxious white villains get what they deserved: imaginative and violent deaths inflicted by black zombies – illegally buried victims of slavery – with swollen eyeballs and covered in dirt and cobwebs. Like Baron Samedi marvelously states, they should be put to evil use because it's all they ever knew. "Sugar Hill" is a fast-paced and ultimately swinging 70's flick; guaranteed entertainment for all experienced freaks of obscure cult horror. Lead actress Marki Bey doesn't play in the same league as her fellow exploitation heroines Pam Grier or Tamara Dobson, but she's certainly a genuine foxy lady with sexual charisma to boot and far above average acting capacities. She also has a couple of cool witty one-liners to make when she gets rid of yet another opponent, like when she feeds one of the mobsters to a bunch of filthy pigs and murmurs the phrase "Talk about white trash ". The Caucasian baddies are pretty terrific too – especially Robert Quarry – and it's a joy to listen to their chauvinistic and misogynist dialogs. The make-up effects on the zombies are deliciously outrageous and the coolness-factor of the actors is simply immeasurable. The aforementioned Don Pedro Colley depicts a voodoo guru, but he plays pool like a real badass MF. The only things missing in order to make "Sugar Hill" a true masterpiece are a groovier soundtrack (the music is a bit of a letdown) and a bit of sleaze. Otherwise, the coolest Blaxploitation flick out there to discover!
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