Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Now this one here… well, this was special on all kinds of levels of special.  Say you are sitting down to watch your nice slice of 70's exploitation, and you have a little checklist of what to you are looking for.  Obviously you want beautiful, preferably over-developed women.  'Sweet Sugar' has that in spades.  Maybe you want some Blaxsploitation, without actually having to watch a Black movie.  Not a lot of those out there, but Sweet Sugar would be one of the few that has you covered there as well.  How about a Woman in Prison film and all that comes with that?  Meaning showers, lesbian action, vicious guards and a sadistic warden.  Check on all of those.  But wouldn't it be nice if we had some of that insane Nazi, evil scientist type of exploitation action?  Would you believe that the evil warden in this movie is ALSO a crazed evil scientist?  One with a specialty in the field of Ethno Pharmocology?  Does that sound like something that even exists?  And finally, just to make this magical compendium of terribleness and boobs just about perfect… a theme song.  But not just any old kind of theme song, but a jazzy, voodoo, folk song with out of key harmonies that is truly like no other song I've ever heard.  It was absolutely terrible.  As in terribly awesome.  And 'Sweet Sugar' was terribly awesome.  They don't make 'em like this any more people, which is kind of a good thing to be honest with you.

The synopsis tells us that Sugar (Phyllis Davis) is a prostitute set up by somebody, but believe me, Sugar Bowman is no prostitute.  She'll let you know as much.  She's just a woman who was given certain blessings by God that she uses to her advantage.  Sure enough however, for reasons which will never be made clear to us, a man who Sugar was about give some pleasure to inexplicably gave her a joint then left the hotel room so she could get busted by the authorities.  What was so inexplicable was that my man didn't knock that off first, THEN exit to set her up.  That's insane what that nut did. 
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Anyway, whatever Central American country this is has crazy laws, so Sugar and a bunch of her sisters are avoiding jail time by working for two years on the Sugar Cane farm of the completely whacked out Dr. John (Angus Duncan).  It makes no sense, but whatever, we are open to the possibilities because eventually we know that Phyllis Davis will have to take a shower, and whatever nonsense they have to feed us to get us to this fabulous event, we're accepting it.

There are some issues for Sugar, obviously.  For instance, she's not a favorite of queen bitch Simone (the stunning Ella Edwards), and she's fallen out of favor with Dr. John because she won't give him any.  The hunky guard she was digging on got some treats, but that man paid a hefty price for that gift. 

Worse still, there's evil in this place, as told to us by voodoo enhanced super stud Mojo (Timothy Brown) who does his voodoo priest thing in between teasing and sexing poor, hostile Simone.   Eventually Sugar and her pals know they need to skate out of this joint as quickly as possible.  Maybe it's the buried bodies in the field, or the wacky experiments featuring instant orgasm drugs and feral cats (?), or the guards who have gone totally mad, but these chicks need to leave as soon as possible.  Then get caught.  Then escape.  Then get caught.  This… like the entire movie… was a trip.

When it comes to 70's exploitation movies, it would seem to me that we in the United States often fell behind what our brothers in other countries used to pull off, such as Italy, Japan and Spain, and 'Sweet Sugar' kind of falls short in many… say… filmmaking categories of those exploitation films from other countries.  But we had something those cats from other countries just didn't have.  Laura Gemser was beautiful, Lina Romay was amazing, Miki Sugimoto was something to see… But Dyanne Thorne, Pam Grier and Phyllis Davis… these young ladies could keep a brother warm at night.   And while there might be better exploitation movies than 'Sweet Sugar'… not a lot wackier though… but there weren't a lot actresses more fun to look at than Phyllis Davis. 

Now if we were to ignore Phyllis for a minute, which is going to mighty difficult, and try to examine 'Sweet Sugar' as a movie, it is a mess.  But it is a beautiful mess.  It has comedy, action, voodoo, intrigue, torture, rape, and action on top of action.  We get to see feral cats on the attack, we get to see Sugar sweet talk to a cougar, and we got to hear some awesome dialog.  Now circle around from the mess of an incoherent narrative and the wildly inconsistent pacing and get back to what's really important in this movie, that being Phyllis and perhaps to a lesser degree Ella, but one should not sell her presence in this film short.  Phyllis sashayed and sauntered and teased and purred… this as a person who knew there was a camera nearby, and she played to it.  Ella on the other hand just used her perfect facial bone structure to curse at Phyllis, but she looked super adorable doing it.  And lest not forget the other lovely ladies filling out the festivities.

Sure, it doesn't look like a heckuva lot of planning went into making this movie, outside of making sure ladies got topless, but this complete nonsense was crazy enough to almost guarantee some entertainment. 
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