Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Back in Blaxploitation: Sugar Hill

Welcome one and all to Day 1 of Back in Blaxploitation. CAN YOU DIG IT??!!! Sorry channeling The Warriors for a second and I'm good. What do you get when the mob takes out your boyfriend for refusing to pay protection? Why turn to the Dark Arts of course! Yes nothing speaks of revenge raising large collections of the dead. This is Sugar Hill a.k.a. Zombi, Black Voodoo and The Zombies of Sugar Hill.

Mmm, is that olive oil you are using for your hair?

American International Pictures brings us the story of Diana (Marki Bey of The Landlord, Class of '74, Hangup and Starksy and Hutch) after the loss of her boyfriend at the hands mobster Morgan (Robert Quarry of Agent for H.A.R.M., Count Yorga, Vampire, WUSA, The Return of Count Yorga, Dr. Phibes Rises Again, Deathmaster, The Midnight Man and Madhouse) whose money has bought protection from the cops and lawyers. Racked with guilt and loss, Diana speaks to an aged Voodoo priestess Mama Maitresse (Zara Cully of The Liberation of L.B. Jones, WUSA, Brother John, A Dream for Christmas, All in the Family and The Jeffersons) to put Sugar in charge of zombies, she refuses.

Getting more and more enraged, Sugar seeks out a voodoo lord of the dead, Baron Samedi (Don Pedro Colley of Beneath the Planet of the Apes, THX 1138, Herbie Rides Again, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Blue Iguana, Journey of Honor and Quest of the Delta Knights) and only the cost of her immortal soul and she will have full control of a zombie horde. She starts wiping out Morgan's men and no one on the street has a clue who is slaughtering them left and right.

Yes, I am white and evil.  How do you do?

The zombies however are the traditional standing in they are subservient thralls versus the George A. Romero flesh eating ghouls but they must have become damn ninjas as they sneak around in the darkness these beings were bodies preserved of slaves brought to the United States from Guinea.

Will Sugar get her revenge? Being soulless will she feel some sort of joy? Will Baron Samedi work birthday parties??

A few points of interest on the film now. The eyes of zombie horde is a great effect cutting the eyes out in the frames and shining light through it making it this other worldly effect and very similar to the Lectroids in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. The Voodoo Museum and Research History building was shockingly enough the Heights Branch of the Houston Public Library. Thought for certain, Texas would be an authority on Voodoo practitioners.

American International Pictures lost both Robert Quarry and Vincent Price in 1974 as they wanted to pursue other work and felt the lackluster of the previous works.

Excuse me, I was looking for the John Carpenter set.