In 1974, two of film's greatest movements blaxploitation and zombies combined to form Sugar Hill, one of the most unjustly forgotten movies in cinematic history. It's the story of a woman (Marki Bey as Diana "Sugar" Hill) who turns to voodoo to get revenge on the powerful mobsters who murdered her boyfriend. With an army of chrome-eyed, cobweb-festooned zombies commanded by voodoo god Baron Samedi (Don Pedro Colley), Bey dons a series of funky jumpsuits and takes out the mobsters in inventively horrible ways. The incredibly loud clothing, unique creature design and stylish camerawork result in one of the most visually stunning entries in zombie-filmdom.
Okay, the plot is paper-thin, the acting is generally mediocre with occasional flashes of scenery-chewing insanity, and it's non-PC to the point of being embarrassing to modern sensibilities. But you don't go to a blaxploitation-zombie film looking for deep plot, deft characterization or a message; you go for jive-talking, corpse-raising and ass-kicking, and Sugar Hill delivers all of that in abundance.
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It shows at 10 p.m. tonight and tomorrow at Starz FilmCenter, in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus. Tickets are $9.75 general admission, $7 students and seniors and $6 for DFS members; for more info, visit www.denverfilm.org or call 303-595-3456.
Fri., Feb. 26, 10 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 27, 10 p.m., 2010