Sugar Hill (1974 film)
Theatrical release poster.
|Directed by||Paul Maslansky|
|Produced by||Elliot Schick|
|Written by||Tim Kelly|
Don Pedro Colley
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|Release date(s)||February 7, 1974
September 30, 1976 (USA)
|Running time||91 minutes|
Sugar Hill is a 1974 horror blaxploitation zombie film released by AIP. It stars Marki Bey as the title character who uses voodoo to get revenge on the people responsible for her boyfriend's death. Before this film , American International Pictures had previously combined the horror and blaxploitation genres with Blacula (1972) and its sequel; Scream Blacula Scream (1973).
The story centers on a voodoo queen using zombies to take revenge on a group of white gangsters: helping her out is the voodoo lord of the dead, Baron Samedi. The zombies in this film more closely resemble the creatures of voodoo legend - i.e., the walking dead who do the bidding of a human master - than the flesh-eating "living dead" ghouls popularized by George A. Romero. According to the film, the zombies are the preserved bodies of slaves brought to the United States from Guinea.
- Marki Bey–Diana 'Sugar' Hill
- Zara Cully–Mama Maitresse
- Robert Quarry–Morgan
- Don Pedro Colley–Baron Samedi
- Charles F. Robinson–Fabulous
- Richard Lawson–Valentine
The film was shot on location in Houston, Texas. Among the locations in Houston used was the Heights branch of the Houston Public Library (a historical landmark), used in the film as a "Voodoo Institute". Sugar Hill was the last film Robert Quarry did for AIP, after a run that included the Count Yorga movies. Also appearing in the film is Zara Cully, who played Mama Jefferson on the TV show The Jeffersons. Charles Robinson (credited as Charles F. Robinson), known for his role as Mac Robinson on NBC's Night Court, portrayed the character of Fabulous. Hank Edds created the makeup effects for the zombies in the film.
Release and Pop culture
The film was released theatrically in the United States by American International Pictures in 1976. The film was cut to 83 minutes for television and retitled The Zombies of Sugar Hill. The film was released on VHS by Orion Home Video in 1996. It was recently released on DVD as part of MGM's Limited Edition series. It has also appeared on MGM HD and is currently available via Netflix streaming. Rapper MF Doom samples several audio clips from the film under his alias King Geedorah on the album Take Me to Your Leader.
- Samuel Z Arkoff & Richard Turbo, Flying Through Hollywood By the Seat of My Pants, Birch Lane Press, 1992 p 202
- Kay, Glenn (2008). Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide. Chicago Review Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-55652-770-8.
- Torriano, Berry (2007). Historical dictionary of African American cinema. Scarecrow Press. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-8108-5545-8.
- "Company Credits for Sugar Hill". imdb.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- Maltin, Leonard (2008). Leonard Maltin's 2009 Movie Guide. Penguin. p. 1338. ISBN 978-0-452-28978-9.
- "Sugar Hill (VHS tape, 1996) [WorldCat.org]". Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Sugar Hill". netflix.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.