Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sugar Hill

 HEY!  How is everyone?  I hope you are all full of the holiday spirit, or just spirits if that's your thing.  Today I'm doing another film club for the Final Girl web site,
So without further ado, after the jump, we will do us some Sugar Hill and find it mighty sweet!               

Is it just me, or does the "A" in the logo look like Linus with his blanket?

So.... Sugar Hill.  I've heard of it, but I admit not seeing it.  So this was either going to be a treat or a nightmare.  I got my film goodies and settled in and was calmed by the American International.  A righteous tramp stamp of trash if there ever was one.                           

Would have been weirder with Markie Post.
We begin with what looks like an authentic voodoo thang going down, but the tune is more Satana, well if Satana had the balls to name a song "Supernatural Voodoo Woman."  Way to classify!  Anyway everyone is getting down, and starting to come up talking in tongues and shaking booty supernatural wise.
Because when you think of fun, you think of Haiti.
 Everyone then stops, there is polite golf clap and we get the reveal that this is really just a performance at "Club Haiti."  As the solid voodoo dancers walk away we first see our very foxy Sugar Hill at the bar.
All bars have only 3 bottles. 

There's only room in my life for my lady and my moustache
The club owner, her boy friend, and lando imitator comes in long enough so we know who he is before he gets killed.  Oh was that a spoiler?

The Seventies, when gangsters and fashion casualties collided.

 Maybe for about ten seconds before a bunch of toughs named  Langston, tank, O'Brien, George, and of course Fabulous come in to work out the proper usage of "boy" and "man."  Seems like their boss "Mr. Morgan" wants to make a "Fair deal" to buy the club.  Our soon to be corpse tells them to "Shove it."
Smoking is cool
 They leave, he tells sugar he can take care of things and then in the parking lot the same four (now wearing panty hose) gang up on him.  They really hate his glittery suit and kick the hell out of it till a car stops and the boss comes over.  Oddly he isn't wearing panty hose on his head.  The boss says he's garbage and leave him there, and they go, very passive agressive that.  Luckily Frank Zappa was taking out the trash and finds the body.  Sugar comes grabs his ass and cries out, "Don't leave me!."
These shoes are made for walking, and apparently causing blindness
Meanwhile the villains are enjoying a post beating high.  One fellow is cleaning his white disco shoes of blood as Morgan gives out his Mission statement:  "What Morgan wants, Morgan  takes."  He then takes the time bust the balls of the one black man on the team promising to make him an "honest negroe" yet.  Nothing like a light touch with race relations.
Lamont always wanted to be a cop
We go back to Sugar and she's apparently going over the club's books when she meets an old flame Valentine who happens to be a very badly dressed cop.  Hint people:  Your suit should never match the carpet.  There's a cute little back story how it was the dead man who named her SUGAR hill cause she's so sweet.  But she's not into cute back stories, she's into making them PAY.
When do a flip always check for zombies first...

It's the cleaning lady's century off...
So suddenly we are at some mansion and there are tarzan bird calls in the background.  Make of that what you will.  Sugar drives up to the most unused gate in all creation.  Going inside she calls out momma for about five minutes in creepy mansion land before finding big black momma yoda, aka Mama Maitresse.  I'm sure five hundred years ago when she was just a child children would make fun of her and call her matress.
ohhh weeeee witchy woman....

Masses have never been the same since they stopped being in latin...
Momma knows what she wants, but gives her some gruff for being a non believer in the past.  After some begging Momma lights the candles and starts the chants and things are definitely  starting to go all down the rabbit hole.
For some reason this bad boy spooked me when it came out of the water.. maybe syfy can do a zombie gator film?
We won't go into the whole ceremony but there is an interesting bit of exchange.

MOTHER:   Where does the sun set?
SUGAR:  In the West.
MOTHER:  Where does the sun rise?
SUGAR:  From Guinea.
MOTHER:  Where does power come from?
SUGAR:  From the Living among the Dead.
MOTHER:  Who can use that power?
SUGAR:  The Dead Among the Living.
Voodoo yoda am I yes

Glad to meet you hope you guessed my name...
After much ceremony Baron Samedi comes and he's a happy camper.  Looks like the zombie version of the "Don't Worry, be happy guy."  She offers her soul but the baron rejects her, he says he's not interested in souls as he's surrounded by his dead wives.  Oh, it's going to be like that.
Don't worry, be dead!

being a zombie isn't all bad, we have a health plan

love means never having to say you're dead
The baron shows his power by bringing up a bunch of black zombies with pin ball eyes. It's pretty spooky actually. Baron gives them to her telling her, "Use them for evil, it is all the know or want."

Is no smoking ironic giving what the Baron is?

Suddenly cut to the harbor.  One of Morgan's men is in charge of the docks.  He forces workers to buy their jobs and when one doesn't he beats him to the ground yelling, "You'll buy your job boy!."  Watching might be the Baron dressed like a dock worker.  You can bet he doesn't like it, no sir.
Beware of the white pantsuit of doom!

Sugar confronts him with a "Hey WHitey!" Then adds the ever helpful "HONK!" all while dressed in a white pantsuit that would not have looked out of place in the Osmond Variety TV Show. She then sics her zombies on the Honk who loses his head with the help of a machete.

Sugar 1.

Funny, he seems shorter than I remember

This means something

Look at me, look at your man, now look back to me...
The cops figure out that it wasn't a suicide decapitation and Valentine finds a clue in a rusty shackle.  The lab boy (cheap film they can afford but one) discovers mold and dead skin on the victim's neck. Not just dead skin, but dead dead skin. A clue.

Meanwhile, Morgan is stuffing his face full of oysters when he learns the news.  He's so cool he's not bothered that his minion is missing a head, nor can he guess who could have done it.  Instead, he makes nicey with his live in, lived in, girl friend Celeste.  Telling her that it's almost worth it to be nice to her.  Touching.
I'd rather give you a frontal lobotomy with this bottle in front of me!
Back to the Morgan Cave, he has Sugar over for coffee. He wants her to sell the club to him, and she's very sweet and pretends not to know quite what to do. Once nice exchange of dialog:

Morgan: "I always honor my obligations to the living and the dead."
Sugar: "So do I."

Morgan is a bit smitten with Sugar which makes Celeste very upset. Later she goes to Sugar's club and tells HER to get out and not be uppity. CAT FIGHT!

Audience 1.
Dark Lord of the Living Dead, Or NY cabbie, which is worse?
Next day, another Morgan thug is shaking down a farmer when a mysterious yellow cab comes telling the thug that Morgan needs him pronto. Gee that cabbie looks familiar, could it be SAMEDI? Our favorite cabbie takes thug to the country. There thug gets fed to the pigs.
Sugar 2.

I know that I sort of look like Harry Dean Stanton, but I swear I'm not a zombie!
SUGAR:  "I hope the pigs like WHITE TRASH!"

Sugar is then at a photo shoot and meets Valentine.  They tease each other a little, but really Valentine is feeling out Sugar as a suspect and warning her about Morgan.  Sugar is like, "oh I can handle Morgan."

By the way, what line do I have to be in for "Beautiful Girl Friend Who Is Also A Model, AND Mistress Of The Dark?"
Again, the White Pants Suit of Death

Going to be a hot time in the old pool hall tonight....

When the Devil is THIS glad to see you, you are boned

Later, Sugar puts on the pants suit of doom and goes to thug number three. She uses her female wiles to seduce him.  He's no looker but thinks she was checking him out earlier in the Morgan Lair so he buys it. So they go to her place to have a tryst.  Instead, he finds a voodoo doll and the baron.  Sugar uses voodoo to make the thug stab himself.  Sometimes a knife is just a knife.
She still grumbles about Morgan and his stupid Cat Woman Fetish

The Love that dares not say its name...

Morgan was sorry he joined the Organ of the Month Club
Sugar 4.  Sugar gets an extra point for sending the heart to Morgan.  For his part, Morgan is finally getting a clue that someone really doesn't like him.
This fellow is just too boring for a funny caption
Meanwhile, Valentine goes to a voodoo authority.  Said authority looks like he gets about as close to anything authentically voodoo as a vampire to a tan.  Still, where are you going to go?  There was no interenet in the seventies.  So our expert, who's also oddly british, and Valentine start going over the evidence.
I want to take you to zombie bar!

Would you like another...zombie?
Morgan is starting his own investigation and is having surviving thugs shake the trees and beat the bushes.  So a thug goes into a bar.  This isn't a joke its the movie.  He abuses a piano player looking for information and the baron pours him, of course, a zombie.  Well, he's given the zombie and voodoo doll treatment and Sugar is now up to 5.
Mr. Green Jeans he ain't...
Valentine and the doctor are still filtering the evidence and the doc let's it out that there is still a voodoo queen out there that is said to raise the dead.  The location of the Queen seems to be the address that Sugar gave Valentine so he rolls on out there.  Sugar is just as sweet a punch and the Baron is just ol' Sam the caretaker.  Valentine doesn't get his questions answered, but on the other hand the Baron didn't gut him.
zombie chicken feet, remember this film predates "Poultrygeist" by decades

...and let's thank the boys in the band!

Meanwhile, Morgan is still trying to buy out Sugar. Which makes him the dumbest criminal ever. Sugar reads the contract and doesn't like it, but asks for a little "extra" on top where the tax man can find it. Ten thousand extra. Since Morgan is interested in her pants, hopefully not to wear, he agrees. Later he gives the money to a cowboy flunky thug who delivers it to Sugar. First though he gets attacked by a chicken foot and zombies. He tries to buy his freedom with money, but Sugar says what the Baron will do he'll do for free. BARON: "It's on da house." They bury him alive with snakes.

Sugar 6.
He sure does get around..

the next day sugar demands her money since the money guy never reached her. Morgan finally puts two and two together but is still too horny to care. After making it clear what his intentions are Sugar then goes to LaWhores and sets up to take care of the last flunky. Let's just say he didn't get a happy ending.
Sugar 7.
Yeah I can't believe this shirt was on sale too.

Valentine is in the world's least convincing police office trying to convince his superiors that there is a voodoo angel. They don't buy it. Maybe cause he doesn't a drop more evidence than he did before, or maybe it's that shirt he's wearing. The boss says check it anyway but before he can Sugar forces the Baron to stop Valentine without killing him. This leads Valentine to fall off some stairs in slo mo.
Sugar 7.5
Sugar is waiting just for you...

That can't be right...

First Drive By Zombie

The Baron Put a Smile On My Face

I'm soaking in WHAT?!

To hell with the oscars, I got what I want!

So then we are at the end. Sugar calls Morgan and tells him to go to hell and she won't talk with him or sell the club, and oh don't come to my spooky ass old mansion. So Morgan and Celeste drive over forthwith.  Morgan leaves her in the car because she's about as useful as a fish bicycle and stalks Sugar's mansion.  There's some tense moments of cat and mouse as he goes from one deserted room to the next, or are they deserted?  Then Zombies attack the car and get Celeste.  Morgan is now completely lost his cool and finds all his dead thugs now smiling zombies working for Sugar and The Baron.  As Morgan runs around like the fabled chicken sans head he falls head long into a pool of quick sand.  Sugar has had her revenge.

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