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.
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.