Vice Squad (Gary Sherman, 1982)

posted in: Jocelyn, Review | 0
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A hooker gets forced into teaming up with vice detectives to catch an out of control pimp who’s killed his last prostitute.
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Vice Squad is one of those movies that I can pop in pretty much any time and enjoy. It centers on misogynistic pimp-extraordinaire, RAMROD (a name that necessitates all-caps if ever I’ve heard one) played to the hilt by none other than the man himself, Mr. Wings Hauser.  He doesn’t tolerate bitches holding out on him and if they do, he lets his pimp-stick do the talking.

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The movie is a classic action/crime/drama set-up; you could skip a rock into the 80s and run into 13 different sitcoms and films with a similar premise; the city is a fucking toilet – one of the bigger shit-stains pushes a frustrated cop over the edge, said cop uses his authority to blackmail some poor tool into working undercover to bust the bad guy with one of typically two end results.
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Not the most original plot, but it’s well-executed and so perfectly omg-it’s-the-80s-and-crime-and-whoring-and-drugs-are-rampant-and-when-will-Ronald-Reagan-flush-the-criminal-element-from-the-streets-it’s-not-safe-OUR-CHILDREN-ARE-DYING!!!  There’s little that I find more entertaining than the sleazy city streets. Oh! You know what the best part is? Wings Hauser sings the fucking theme song, “Neon Slime”. Uh huh.  Go ahead and chew on that for a second and think about the potential lyrical content. Also, when I say sings, I mean angrily growls his fucking heart out.

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Are you wrapping your brains around this? Wings is a fucking bad ass, mean as piss, cowboy-pimp whose pimp-mobile is a jacked-up custom Ford Bronco with RAMROD in giant, flaming letters across the spare. Whores litter the streets with frightening regularity; police holding cells are overflowing with junkies, thieves, pimps, psychos, undesirables and the displaced. The film flickers before us, all that is for sale in the seedy underbelly of the city flashing like a neon sign, luring us with promises of temporary pleasure laced with the rolling-dice gamble of inevitable pain. Vice-Squad-3-WM
In walks Princess (Season Hubley;  Escape From New York, Hardcore), a struggling whore who has to send her daughter away on a bus so she can take to the streets to make enough bank for their mutual relocation. Princess receives a call from Ginger (MTV’s Nina Blackwood) who’s terrified that RAMROD is going to kill her because she held back $500. Cut to several scenes later when frustrated vice-cop Tom Walsh (Gary Swanson; Double Threat , Witchfire) is peeling back the bloody morgue sheet and angrily shoving Princess’s face into her dead friend. Having busted her holding Ginger’s smack, he now has the leverage to force her cooperation in apprehending RAMROD.
 
And so it begins. 

Princess, now terrified and angry goes about her duty with the requisite cautious determination, successfully busting RAMROD. Only unfortunately she tips her hand a little too soon and when RAMROD realizes he’s been set up and is going away for some serious time…well. Let’s just say that he’s not going down without one hell of a fight. And yep, you guessed it; he escapes the buttery fingers of the police and is hell bent on revenge! The movie follows one night in the lives of our seamy little crew as cops are desperate to find and save Princess from RAMROD’s vaginal-trauma-wire-hanger-wrath!Vice-Squad-5-WM
You can’t really go wrong with a movie like this. You get introduced to a variety of quirky characters that keep you interested, it plucks along at a nice pace and with Wings captivating you as the scuzzy, piece of shit panderer with little on his mind beyond hate and revenge, you’re destined to be glued to your telly for the 97 minutes that flies by like 60.

With capable direction thanks to Gary Sherman (Death Line aka Raw Meat, Dead & Buried, Poltergeist III) this gritty flick truly delivers if you’re into the excesses of drugs and crime approaching the height of the 80s violence and sleaze boom.Vice-Squad-11-WM
90210 Dork-meister-sidenote: The film’s two main stars; Wings Hauser and Season Hubley both went on to guest star in Beverly Hills 90210. (Wings having a recurring role as Jonesy; the rogue ex-FBI agent who helps Dylan get his millions back)
Don’t forget to enjoy “Neon Slime” below. You. are. welcome. 
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating: 
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Jocelyn lives on 35 acres of woodland in an undisclosed Appalachian location. When not boozing it up or fighting the power she's tending her organic garden or collecting punk/soundtrack albums. Her best friends walk on 4 legs. She does not own a cell phone.

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