It’s been awhile since we’ve had a new pick for “The Daily Grindhouse” but that should end today. I’ve picked a good one and it is one out of sight, stone-cold groove of a pick. The latest daily grindhouse pick is the sweet blaxpoitation crime/horror mash-up, Sugar Hill.
This blaxpoitation flick was directed by one Paul Maslansky (yeah never heard of him either but that’s the life of a grindhouse filmmaker) and starred Marki Bey (in what would be her one and only feature-length role). Sugar Hill was part of the rush to take advantage of the success of another classic blaxpoitation flick, Blacula. This one wasn’t a straight out horror, but one mashed-up with a mafia story and how the voodoo-revenge side of the film took the spot of horror.
Overall, the film is quite good despite some very awful acting (even for a grindhouse film). Marki Bey (in the title role) actually is the highlight of Sugar Hill as she channels the sexy and badass vibe which made Pam Grier an instant favorite when she did Coffey. But people who read the synopsis on this flick shouldn’t expect zombies in the way we’ve come to know them. These undead are old-school voodoo zombies. They’re not flesh-eaters, but slaves of the voodoo priestess who summon them from their resting place to act as mindless muscle. These zombie end up becoming Sugar Hill’s unstoppable hit-men as she wreaks vengeance on the mafia who took her man away from her in the beginning of the film.
Sugar Hill is one example of why grindhouse cinema will always live on and find new converts. It is one fun time to be had not by just those who made it but for those who will see and continue to see it.