For the last day of 30 Days of Terror, I didn’t have to think too long to know which film I wanted to tell you about. Sugar Hill (1974) is one of those amazing B-Movies produced by American International Pictures; it also falls into the Blaxploitation category, which is a term that annoys me, but that discussion is for another day. I wasn’t even four when this movie came out, and it has the same feel as Blacula, also by AIP and also Blaxploitation.
Marki Bey is gorgeous and perfect for the role of Miss Sugar Hill. Her jumpsuits are to die for, literally, and I love her hair change to afro when she’s out getting revenge for the death of her boyfriend, Langston, then back to smooth waves when she’s not. Mama Maitresse (Zara Cully, George Jefferson’s mom) is the voodoo queen in this film and summons Baron Samedi (Don Pedro Colley); this guy is a delight to watch.
The zombies are what I think they should be, not the brain-hungry things. They remind me of classic zombies from the 1930s and 1940s with the addition of glassy eyes. Of course, they come with the standard risen from the dead aspects including dirty clothes and cobwebs and twigs in their hair. They are truly something to behold and more believable than the modern ones as they serve a purpose. In addition to zombies, other voodoo techniques are portrayed. My favorite is the chicken foot.
If you’ve never seen Sugar Hill, hunt it down. I give it 4.5 out of 5 Stars.