The Zombies of Sugar Hill / Voodoo Girl
Elliot Schick, Samuel Z.Arkoff (executive) for AIP
directed by Paul Maslansky
starring Marki Bey, Robert Quarry, Don Pedro Colley, Betty Anne Rees, Richard Lawson, Zara Cully, Charles Robinson, Larry D.Johnson, Rick Hagood, Ed Geldart, Albert J.Baker, Raymond E.Simpson, Truman C.Carroll, Big Walter Price, Charles Krohn, J.Randell Bell, Peter Harrell, Judy Hanson, Gary Chason, Roy L.Downey, Garrett Scales, John Ccarborough
written by Tim Kelly, music by Dino Fekaris, Nick Zesses, song Supernatural Voodoo Woman by The Originals, special effects by Roy L.Downey
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When black clubowner Langston (Larry D.Johnson) refuses to sell his
place to white gangster morgan (Robert Quarry), who runs the protection
racket in town, Morgan's men beat Langston to death. The police can't (or
refuses to) find the culprits, but Langston's girlfriend Sugar hill (Marki
Bey) knows who they were and vows to exact revenge. But since a single
girl won't hold up against a gang of gangsters on her own, she recruits
the help of Voovoo god Baron Samedi (Don Pedro Colley), who has his army
of living dead kill Morgan's men one after the other. Eventually, cop
Valentine (Richard Lawson) - incidently Sugar's ex with whom she's still
on good terms - figures all the current deaths within Morgan's gang just
have to have something to do with Voodoo, and somehow he also has a right
hunch about Sugar's involvement, but when he gets too close to the truth,
she puts a spell on him that makes him break a leg, then she, Baron Samedi
and the undead go after Morgan - and ultimately drive him out into the
swamp where he drowns. And as a present, Sugar hands Morgan's racist
girlfriend (Betty Ann Rees) over to the Baron ...
historic point of view, it's interesting to see that one of the few films
in which zombies (of the classic Voodoo variety) are the good guys sees an
Afro-American woman fight her white opponents - interesting inasmuch as
Voodoo was initially created among black slaves in America as their own
religion to counter the white oppressors' beliefs.
Of course, Sugar
Hill isn't a movie that gives much of a heed about these historic
conexts, it's a blaxploitation flick of the horror variety with the very
cute Marki Bey portrayed as the next Pam Grier - which sounds fun enough
in its own right to begin with. Of course, the film also has its
downsides, like the almost complete lack of actual suspense and the
relative lack of story or character development - but then again it's
slickly filmed, features quite a number of inventive (if not terribly
explicit) murder scenes ... and Marki Bey in a series of very sexy outfits
is really darn cute.
It's probably best to not expect too much from this
film - but then you'll be greatly entertained.