Monday, 13 February 2012

I watch movies so you don't have to #11 - Sweet Sugar (1972)

Sweey Sugar (1972)
Directed by: Michel Levesque
Starring: Phyllis Davis, Ella Edwards and Timothy Brown

Another women-in-prison title ticked off my list and this was one of the better ones. Crazy doctors, shower scenes, voodoo, blood-thirsty kittens, explosions, a bit of hinted-at cannibalism...yup, Sweet Sugar contains something for everyone.

Director Levesque is obviously indebted to the films of Russ Meyers, and the influence can be seen everywhere...from leading lady Phyllis Davis (of Beyond The Valley of the Dolls fame) to the campy goofiness of the script. Although he seems to have given up on directing after Sweet Sugar Levesque continued making a living behind the scenes and later worked on several films with Russ Meyers, including classics like Supervixens and Benath the Valley of the Ultra-vixens.

So...a bit of a warning...this post contains some naked flesh....just so you know.

Let's go... I'm not sure where we are...but, meet, Sugar...a high-class prostitute somewhere in South America.

She’s in a hotel room with a client, a corrupt politician, who is very intent in teaching her a moral lesson.

"Can't you keep your hands to yourself, Sugar? There are more important things in life than sex."
"Name three."
"Dignity, a sense of personal worth."
"I know what I'm worth"
"Evidently, we’re not on the same wavelength"
"You're complicating something very simple"
"I want you and you want me, right?"

The man offers her a joint and then excuses himself. There was something he "forgot to do". Sugar kicks back for a minute.

But, it's a set-up! As soon as he has left the room, the police storms in.

"You're under arrest for possession of illegal drugs"

Poor Sugar is thrown into a cell.

There's a tough hard-talking black girl in the cell. I'm sure we’ll see more of her.

We can tell from the start these gals aren't gonna get along too well.

"If they make you an offer, take it!"
"I don't make deals"

The Governor wants to see Sugar.

"Sugar. Ain’t that sweet."

As usual in these kind of films, the Governor is real sleazy. He tells Sugar there's a way she can get out of a lengthy prison sentence. She can be placed at a plantation and cut cane for two years.

"It’s even possible your time can be reduced"
"Any way you want."

Sugar is no food for his dirty shenanigans and opts for the two years. She is literally thrown onto a truck with a bunch of other ladies, including tough-talking Simone (black girl from before).

They drive to the plantation. When they get there one of the other girls makes a run for it. She doesn't get far and is quite bluntly punched in the face.

Yup, these guards are not messing around.

Simone comes to the rescue.

"Hey. Why mess with that scrawny thing when you can have me?"

That manages to distract them and they can finally continue to the plantation.

At the plantation we're introduced to two of the main foremen, Rick and Max. They will be providing comical relief throughout the movie, with Max repeatedly trying to teach Rick various "secrets to success with women" for a small fee.

"I’d like to get my hands on any of them"
"Get a hold of yourself, fella"
"That’s my problem. I get a hold of myself too much."

There's a line-up and we're introduced to Burgos, the big cheese at the plantation.

He runs the place with an iron hand and recommends they don't talk back and don't get friendly with any of the men.

The girls get their work clothes and their main cane-cutting tool, a machete.

"From now on your machete is your best friend. Treat it like it"

Next day at the plantation, it's time to work. Sugar tries it on with one of the guards...

Back at the barracks after a hard day's work and our girls finally get to do a bit of bonding. Sugar and Simone still don't really get on.

Next day it's back to the gruelling platation work again. Dolores, one of the younger girls, tells the plantation doctor, Dr. John, that she is underaged and shouldn't be there. He promises to look into the situation for her.

Dr John also seems to have developed an eye for Sugar. He tells one of the forement to drop Sugar off at his house later.

He's in the bath when she arrives.

"As you can see I appreciate beauty. I like to surround myself with it. I also know the secret to undreamed of pleasures"

He tries to do a deal with Sugar, but she's not giving in. Dr John is not happy.

The next day the doctor is conducting some medical experiments and he needs subjects. Sugar is chosen and strapped down to a medical table.

"Try to relax...just relax now"

Pretty easy for him to say. He gives her an injection.

"What you’ve just been injected with is used in fertility rituals."

Whatever it is, it certainly is working. Sugar starts to moan loudly, writhing around on the table. She gets so excited that the doctor's meter thing explodes.

Sugar breaks free and runs out. The doctor shouts after her:

"Didn't you find it thrilling! Didn’t you!!!"

Later on, our over-sexed doctor is having a word with young Dolores. He starts enquiring about her strict upbringing.

"Did you have any boyfriends?"

"So noone ever touched you like this"

Back at the barracks, Dolores is not in a good state and it's clear what has happened. Sugar is not going to let this go. She is getting rather protective of young Dolores.

The working week is finally over and our ladies get to relax a little. They're having a nice time around the camp fire and the male plantation workers are even allowed to join them. Simone develops a bit a thing for one of the bigger guys, Mojo.

Sugar on the other hand, seduces one of the guards, Carlos, and drags him to the doctor's house. Is she brave, naughty or just stupid?

They get undressed...

...try out the doctor's fancy bathtub...

...and his bed...but then...he comes back!

And he's not happy about it.

Next day, it's time for Sugar to receive her punishment. But not only that...the other girls are being punished for her actions as well and have to go straight to work without any food. Yup, it's that all chestnut. Punish everyone for the actions of a few.

Sugar is being tied up.

Burgos forces Carlos to whip her, but he refuses. Burgos does it himself.

Carlos stops him and agrees to do it, but when turns around and turns the whip on Burgos. Go Carlos!

It becomes very clear that you don't mess with Burgos. He pulls his gun and Carlos is history.

Sugar is screaming like crazy and the doctor is watching in the distance, looking pleased with the result. Burgos puts a stop to the screaming.

Later that night, Sugar has had enough and she attempts an escape. She walks through the dark jungle and even bumps in to a big wild cat...but she handles it well...apparently if you talk sexy to a wild animal they leave you alone.

The guards soon realise that Sugar is gone and they go looking for her. She does very well hiding, but unfortunately she steps into the hoop of an animal trap and is pulled up into a tree.


And...well....screaming like that, the guards have no problems locating her.

They cut her down and takes her back to the camp...

...where the loon-bag doctor is doing some more experiments.

"Due to continuing insubordination, I am forced to use all of you as my first subjects for this experiment"

He takes a cute little cat and injects it with something.

"The indians claim this drug reduces creatures to their primitive state, when they were wild. We're gonna see if that's true"

The drug seems to working on the cat and it goes completely mental. Pleased with the result the doctor calls for more cats, who have all been injected with same drug.

The guards grab the cats...

And throw them into the girls' enclosure.

Cats everywhere...and these kitties are pissed off!

Oh dear...back in the barracks, the girls decides to do something about all this. Sugar has a plan. She gets Dolores to seduce order to get her hands on his gun.

Rick is a sucker for that kinda thing, so it works a treat...she gets the gun!

And if you thought this was weird, it's about to get whole lot weirder. At the plantation Sugar pretends to faint...and Mojo carries her away to be treated.

Turns out Mojo is some sort of voodoo priest and he starts performing a ritual. He sprinkles some white powder on the ground. Apparently, the cross Sugar is wearing used to belong to some other inmate that disappeared and he wants to get in touch with their spirits.

And it works! They find some skeletons, buried in the ground.

"You know what we got here? The perfect ballbuster to use on Dr John"

They go up to the doctor and demand better conditions, more pay or they'll tell the labour inspector.

But will it work? It seems a little too easy.

Anyway, it's the weekend again and time for the gang to unwind by the campfire. Mojo and Sugar are playing friendly games...

...Simone isn't having any of it and she and Sugar starts to fight!

Mojo tries to stop them, but they just keep at it...while some funky Spanish guitar music plays along.

Mojo and Simone goes for a walk...but are soon interrupted by a cow's head dangling from a tree. Yup, that’s right!

Mojo can tell it's a message from Dr John, but wants to ask the Gods....they’ll tell him how to be strong.

The next day all the men get put in shackles, but Mojo is missing!

The guards go looking for him in the girls' barracks...and they're not playing games anymore.

"Here they come. Keep it cool"

"This ain't no peepshow, Burgos"

It seems like Mojo isn't there, so the guards all leave. But, ha! he's hiding amongst all the naked girls in the shower.


He spends the night in Simone's bunk, but it's soon time for him to leave. He tells her she can't come with him...he has to go alone.

Mojo heads out in the woods to perform another of his crazy-ass rituals. He draws a star in the ground.

"Ambala! Give me patience!"

Hmmm. Yes.

He's interupted by a foreman and they fight.

Mojo is strong, but in the end the foreman is stronger.

Mojo eventually finds himself tied up in the doctor's house.

Doctor John sets Mojo on fire.

"I'll do more than burn you, Mojo...I will capture your soul"

Poor Mojo. He keeps screaming for his God.

"Consume him with his own evil!...destroy his ugliness!"

But, it's all in vain. Mojo dies.

The next day in the canteen, the girls are eating when Burgos comes in.

"The crew at this table have been troublemakers ever since they got here and now they try to take control of the plantation...but if they look around they'll see that nothing has changed...and nothing will change"

"As for the prisoner they tried to help escape last night...he's been captured and killed. In fact all of you have been devouring his flesh"

Aarrgh! They've been eating Mojo!

Simone is PISSED OFF! She takes her machete and chops off Burgo's fingers.

Sugar tries to take advantage of the situation.

"Listen to me. We can take this place! Let’s go!"

But it doesn't work. The guards are armed and it's back to the barracks.

This is all a bit weird. They're not really locked up. It's more like they just get sent back to their bed room.

That night, Sugar wakes everyone up. She has a plan. She tells Dolores and another girl to start a fire, while she goes to seduce hapless guard Rick. He has access to a car and all.

While she works her magic with Rick, the other girls grab petrol and some guns.

Meanwhile, at the doctor's house, Simone is being punished for the finger-chopping incident.

She's tied up in a cage above a burning fire.

Sugar storms in, knocks the doctor out and saves Simone.

They take the doctor hostage.

Meanwhile, the fire is starting to take hold of the plantation.

Sugar tries to wake the doctor to get keys for more guns, but he's gone a bit loopy. Maybe she hit him too hard?

"You’re escaping? I don't blame you. The most despicable things go on at this plantation"

Hmmm. A little too late, doc.

Burgos arrives and tries to intervene...

...but Sugar puts a sword right through him.

They run off. It's pretty chaotic outside. The fire is raging and there are guards everywhere.

They find themselves in the garage surrounded by armed guards.

"Hold your fire. We're coming out with Dr John."

"Don’t shoot or I'll kill Dr John"

The doctor disagrees.

"Kill them! Shoot them!"

There’s a big shoot-out with bodies dropping left, right and centre...but our girls manage to get moving anyway!

Simone is driving Dr John and he just won't shut up.

"You're gonna die, but Dr John will never die. Dr John is immortal!"

That's it. Simone has had enough.

"Oh shit, motherfucker!"

She shoots him and there's big explosion...enabling the truck with our girls to get away.


Rick and Max have been driving the truck and they are both convinced that Sugar will reward them for their help. Rick in particular is getting quite excited. But, when they stop the truck, Sugar is long gone. Only Dolores is left.

"Who does she think she is?"
"Sugar, I guess"


Hmmm...Sweet Sugar sure is crazy-weird at times, but generally it's well-paced with its tongue placed firmly in cheek. It never gets too horrible or's sleazy without being too disturbing...and is just a whole lot of fun. They sure don't make them like this anymore. I'm not quite sure if the plotline involving Mojo's voodoo skills is that useful, but it adds another touch of quirkiness. Same goes for Rick and gets a bit too silly at times, but it's pretty harmless. Who cares about these things anyway? They escaped! Happy ending!

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