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The Watching Hour Preview: Sugar Hill

The Watching Hour is a weekly film series at the Starz Film Center, highlighting new and old cult, genre, or otherwise bizarro movies. Quite simply, The Watching Hour is usually the best thing to do in Denver on a Friday or Saturday night. From Giallo to schlock, Blaxploitation to Aussiesploitation, zombies to martial arts to who-knows-what, and everywhere in between. This is good ol’ rock and roll cinema spectacle. Not to be missed. (See the schedule, buy tickets, get directions, etc. here.)

The trailer for Sugar Hill – playing this Friday and Saturday at the Watching Hour – is so good, I'm going to show it to you before the writeup:

Hey, I like blaxploitation! Hey, I like zombies! Hey, I like... Live and Let Die! Using an advanced mathematical algorithm I have deduced that I will like Sugar Hill three times as much as any of those things. My logic is flawless. So's my maths.

What I like the most about Sugar Hill is that on the spectrum from Blaxploitation to zombie, it's closer to Blaxploitation. It's not a Blaxploitation/zombie movie, but rather a Blaxploitation movie with zombies.*

It's like a Pam Grier madlib:

“(powerful black woman with big afro)'s life was great until (some form of 'The Man') (verbed) her (family member or lover). Now she must uncover a conspiracy that goes all the way up to (powerful public figure). Now, with nothing but her wits and her (weapon or posse) to protect her, she must take down the system from the inside.”

I saw Black Dynamite this weekend, and while it had three or so really funny scenes, it mostly just got me revved up for some honest to god real Blaxploitation. Sugar Hill fits the bill! And those zombies look awesome!

Random Fact: Director Paul Maslansky was totally some kind of mash-up prophet. His other notable directing credit is for Race With the Devil, the mad-as-shit Peter Fonda 'Cult of Satan'/Road Movie.

*I was gonna make charts and Venn Diagrams to prove this point, but I'm tired. Be glad you got the madlib.

-Ben

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