Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 26th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1972
Director: Michel Levesque
Writers: Don Spencer, R.Z. Samuel
Cast: Phyllis Davis, Ellaraino, Timothy Brown, Pamela Collins, Cliff Osmond, Angus Duncan, Jacqueline Giroux, Darl Severns, Albert Cole, James Houghton, James Whitworth
BluRay released: May 26th, 2017
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $32.98
Sweet Sugar was directed by Michel Levesque (Werewolves on Wheels). He also worked as an art director on these Russ Meyer films Supervixens, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens and Up!. Key collaborators on Sweet Sugar include, screenwriter Don Spencer (The Student Nurses, The Big Doll House), cinematographer Gabriel Torres (The Revengers) and producer Charles S. Swartz (Working Girls, Group Marriage).
Content wise, this film has all the ingredients that one would expect and want from a WIP film. The film is filled with perverse characters who take every opportunity to exploit the women working on the chain gang at the sugar cane plantation. With none of these characters is more diabolical then a doctor who runs the sugar cane plantation. And when any of the women spurn the doctor’s advances, he then takes it out on all of the women by performing experiments on them.
The narrative is well constructed and pacing is never an issue as the film does a superb job when it comes to delivering moments of depravity. Other strengths of this film include, is sexually laced dialog and its ample amount of nudity. With one of the more arousing moments being a lesbian skinny dipping scene. And another way where humor plays a role in this film, is a running gag involving a prison guard who throughout the film serves up bad advice to another guard, about seducing women. With his most absurd advice involving sticking one’s thumb up a woman’s ass.
Not to be overlooked is this film excellent cast, who is headlined by Phyllis Davis (Terminal Island) in the role of Sugar, a headstrong woman who refuses to let any man break her will. Other standout performances include, Cliff Osmond (Invasion of the Bee Girls) in the role of Burgos, the head prison guard and Angus Duncan (Simon, King of the Witches) in the role of Dr. John.
Sweet Sugar comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer for this release was newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm interpositive. This new transfer from Vinegar Syndrome is vastly superior to all previous home video releases for this film.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. There are no issues with background noise or distortion, dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. The more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented and range wise this audio mix sound robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include, a slip cover, reversible cover art, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 15 seconds) and an interview with screenwriter Don Spencer (13 minutes 1 second).
Topics discussed in the interview with Don Spencer include, Stephanie Rothman, Charles S. Swartz, The Student Nurse and how this film lead to him writing the screenplay for Sweet Sugar, UCLA film school, how he worked as a story analyst at National General Pictures, The Big Doll House, Sweet Sugar’s dialog, key moments and his contributions to the WIP film genre / exploitation cinema in the 1970’s.
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall Sweet Sugar gets an exceptional release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.
NOTE: This Blu-Ray / DVD combo release is a limited-edition release of 1,500 copies.