I got the pleasure of seeing Sugar Hill again this past Friday, a often overlooked voodoo zombie Blaxploitation horror movie from A.I.P. in 1974 starring Marki Bey, Robert Quarry (Count Yorga himself) and Don Pedro Colley turning in a real sinister performance as Baron Samedi. It was directed by Paul Maslansky, who never directed again and went on to produce the Police Academy movies.
The story involves a white gangster and his crew killing a man who wouldn't sell his club to them. His girlfriend has a 100 year old voodoo queen do a spell to bring forth Baron Zamedi, the Lord of the Dead. Sugar and the Baron, with his silver eyeballed zombies of dead slaves, take revenge on the gangsters one by one.
Marki Bey didn't have much of a career, which is a shame since she was spectacular in this role. She did some episodes of Starsky and Hutch, and her last credit was in 1979 on Trapper John M.D. Like Dwight Frye from yesterday's blog, it's sad her career never took off since you can see so much potential.
Robert Quarry, who was A.I.P.'s go to guy in the 1970's, was good as the sleazy head gangster.
Don Pedro Colley's performance as Baron Zamedi is voodoo-licous. I wish he could of reprised his role in other films, the good Baron could have been up there with Dracula and Freddy in horror fame.
The film is dated by it's dialog (Sugar keeps calling white people 'honk') and some of the supporting acting is pretty bad (white dock manager, I'm looking at you), but otherwise it's a good film that never got it's due. If given a chance I recommend you see it.
Until Next Time, Stay Insane!