Summer Schlock: Sweet Sugar (1972)
Review by Marc Patterson
“Happens to all of us girl. It’s part of your dues.”
“I don’t owe any.”
It’s hard to hang your hooch in the prison yard. It’s a constant battle fighting off perverted wardens, the other female inmates whose hormones are racing for the touch of a lover, be it man or woman, and just generally getting dirty for the man. Swinging that machete tits deep in the cane fields sucks, but doubled with a probing sex freak of a doctor, a guy who likes performing experiments on the inmates, well, that makes life damn near unbearable. Poor Sugar. She was set up for a nasty fall and left to rot in the fields by a corrupt government official. What in the hell she did to piss that guy off we’ll never know. All we know is that two years of hard labor sucks big mama titty. It’s going to be a hard road to hoe on the way out of this jungle hell hole.
Sweet Sugar offers up all the excess of a Roger Corman film with the scrumptious Phyllis Davis (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) as the busty best lady “Sugar”. Directed by Michel Levesque, the famed art director of many Russ Meyer flicks, Sweet Sugar looks like Filipino era Corman, zings with witty one-liners like Meyer and goes down like warm cherry pie.
Phyllis Davis is extraordinarily hot as Sugar. She’s sexed up, beaten, and ultimately leads her lady friends on the charge for freedom. Interestingly enough, on a side note, Davis would go on to work with Tom Selleck in producer Charles Swartz’s next WIP film Terminal Island, and eventually that connection would see her again sharing the screen with Selleck as Cleo Mitchell in Magnum P.I. God bless the 80s! Opposite Sugar is Simone (Ella Edwards), the quintessential black power mama who doesn’t give a damn about the man. Simone isn’t Pam Grier by a long shot, but hey… there’s only ONE Pam Grier. Coupled with her freedom fighting man this trio makes a hell of a force to reckon with.
Sweet Sugar isn’t without some silly moments. One particular scene involving a cat and an experiment gone bad with the doctor was far more hilarious than it was horrifying. Though if you’re an animal lover you might not find as much humor in it as I did. All I’m sayin’ was that there was a boatload of pussy on pussy action and a lot of WTF on the side. In fact, there’s a lot of WTF moments throughout the whole film, making this one of the more absurd WIP films I’ve seen, though entertaining nonetheless.
Simplified – When you toss everything this film has to offer in a blender you’ll walk away with one tasty, yet smutty smoothie. It’s got gore, sex, boobies, voodoo witchery, stabbings, maimings, and murder galore. No, Sweet Sugar ain’t no Roger Corman / Jack Hill flick. Nonetheless, it has a hell of a lot of charm and is packed to the gills with gorgeous retro-tastic ladies taking it to the man. It comes absolutely recommended if you can get your dirty mitts on a copy. Be forewarned – a VHS copy of this wet dream is running upwards of $50+. However, if you go through Amazon.com they’ve got it streaming digitally for chump change. You can even download it for $5. Easily worth the price.