Season Hubley (HARDCORE) stars as Princess, a loving single mom turned Hollywood hooker who can provide any depraved pleasure for the right price. But when a volatile cop (Gary Swanson) uses her to trap a sadistic killer, ... more »Princess becomes the prey of a psychotic pimp known as Ramrod (a mind-blowing, take-noprisoners performance by Wings Hauser). Tonight, the neon jungle of Los Angeles will explode in an orgy of vengeance and violence. And the only outlaws more desperate than the hustlers, whores and freaks that rule the streets are the VICE SQUAD. "You may think you?ve heard of every sickness and perversion movies like to titter about," wrote Rex Reed in The New York Daily News, "but there are quite a few in VICE SQUAD you?ve never dreamed possible!" Pepe Serna (SCARFACE) and original MTV VJ Nina Blackwood co-star in this vicious ?80s action smash from the creator of the ?schoolgirl hooker? hit ANGEL and the director of DEAD & BURIED.« less
Jason C. (JJC) from NEWARK, NJ Reviewed on 12/28/2007...
One of my favorite cop flicks, is "Vice Squad"...an independent film that gained some solid buzz back in the early 80's for its no holds barred approach of the slimy street life in Los Angeles.
In the same vein of urban violent exploitation films like "Taxi Driver," "Vigilante," "Ms. 45," "Assault on Precint 13" and just about everything Charles Bronsan did in the 70s and 80s, "Vice Squad" is mostly noted for Wings Hauser's brilliant portrayal of a psycho pimp named Ramrod, whom after killing one of his hookers, is set up by a freelance hooker named Princess (Season Hubley) under the grasp of the LAPD. However, Ramrod escapes custody and goes on a relentless all night search for Princess.
The movie takes place in one night, which is pretty cool. It's a simple cop drama, but I admire the grittiness and the nastiness of the film...it tells it like it really was back then.
Check it out...
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"Just another happy go lucky day on the vice squad."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 03/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"According to the film Vice Squad (1982), the streets of Hollywood seem to be the place to be if you're a hustler, hooker, pimp, fiend, junkie, pusher, freak, weirdo, drag queen, deviant, reprobate, toe sucker, or just a degenerate miscreant in general...co-written and directed by Gary Sherman (Death Line, Dead & Buried, Poltergeist III), the film features Season Hubley (Escape from New York), Gary Swanson (The Bone Collector), and Wings Hauser (Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time, Tales from the Hood). Also appearing is former MTV video disc jockey Nina Blackwood, Beverly Todd (They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!), Lydia Lei (Doctor Detroit), Fred `Rerun' Berry ("What's Happening!!"), and Hispanic character actor Pepe Serna (Red Dawn, Silverado), whom your may remember as Al Pacino's henchman who lost a few inches off the top via a chainsaw in the 1983 Brian De Palma film Scarface.
Season Hubley plays a single mother with a young daughter, relatively new to town, who makes ends meet as a prostitute named `Princess'. As she's preparing to send her daughter away for the weekend so that she can hit the streets to ply her trade, she gets a frantic phone call from another streetwalker named `Ginger' (Blackwood), who's since gone into hiding after a vicious beating she received from her psychotic cowboy pimp named Ramrod (Hauser). Princess, who's what's known as an `outlaw' (she works for herself), tries to give Ginger some advice, but it's pretty much a waste of time as Ginger's kind of stupid, possibly due to the fact Ramrod cracked her in the skull a few too many times (Ramrod eventually catches up to Ginger and whips her Mommie Dearest style with a `pimp stick', which is basically a bent out of shape clothes hanger). A vice detective named Walsh (Swanson) makes the scene and vows to get Ramrod after seeing his overly sadistic handiwork. To this end he enlists the aid of Princess (actually, he blackmails her) to lure Ramrod into a trap, which is successful, but a wily Ramrod manages to escape custody and is back on the streets...with a vengeance. As you can imagine, old Ramrod is pretty P.O.ed about being set up (one might say he's seething cauldron of hostility, with serious anger management issues), so after equipping himself with a few, choice weapons (including a switchblade that looks more like a machete), he begins scouring the streets for Princess, who's unaware of his subsequent escape (and the beating she's surely in for once Captain Insano catches up to her). Walsh and his colleagues are now desperately searching for either Princess or Ramrod before the nastiness goes down, sticking mainly with the latter as his trail of carnage is much easier to follow (Princess continues to work, taking on various clients including a rich weirdo and a sleazy conventioneer, among others). The situation eventually comes to a head as the vindictive Ramrod catches up to Princess, and Walsh and his crew catch up to Ramrod, who isn't about to go down without a fight.
Vice Squad is a mean, grimy, sleazy, nasty and misogynistic film, seeped with a strong sense of realism driven by the composite characterizations and various location shots. On the surface the main characters seem pretty standard (a hooker with a heart of gold, a sadistic pimp, an overworked veteran vice cop who's seen too much), but the lead actors manage to infuse enough in terms of personal touches to keep things interesting. I originally saw this film a number of years ago on cable, and since then whenever I hear the name Wings Hauser, my mind immediately goes to the character he played here, mainly because his presence so fills the screen. The one scene that really sticks with me is during the sting operation. The cops bust in on his pad, attempt to subdue him, but he manages to grab Princess and use her as a shield with one arm, while beating her over the head with a barstool with the other arm. Hauser didn't appear to be holding anything back, and I will admit sometimes it did seem a little comical, but more often than not it provided for some pretty tense stuff. Swanson, on the other hand, felt reserved most of the time, which would seem in tune with the character as if I were a vice detective cruising Hollywood's mean streets, I probably wouldn't want to get to close to the ever present slime and moral decay for fear it might glom on...I thought Season Hubley also did very well as a woman who does what she feels she must for her and her daughter to survive, basically disconnecting herself from the harsh, nasty, seedy reality of her job if only to keep from taking her own life out of misery. Keep an eye out for the late, great Fred `Rerun' Berry, as a hustler named `Super Pimp', in a short, but memorable scene in which Ramrod is shaking him down for information, right before he uses his giant switchblade to do something very unpleasant...let's just say Rerun won't be dancing for awhile. As far as Ms. Blackwood, I didn't even recognize her in her role, given her character's used and seriously abused appearance. This is a very violent film, but the really brutal bits aren't shown as the scenes ends prior to the nastiness, usually picking up again during the aftermath, supplying the viewer enough visuals to draw their own mental images. I thought director Gary Swanson did a wonderful job as the pacing rarely slowed down. I especially liked the latter half of the film, as the story breaks off into three, separate threads, one following Princess, the second Ramrod, and the third Walsh and the police. We're constantly switching between these three elements until they finally converge near the end, providing for a highly climatic and satisfying finish.
Anchor Bay Entertainment provides a good-looking anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) print on this DVD release. There is a noticeable graininess in some scenes, but it didn't draw away from the images on the film. Other than that, the print is very clear and sharp. The Dolby Digital mono audio comes through well, although some of the dialog was kind of muffled at times, making me wish there were English subtitles provided, but there aren't. None of Anchor Bay Entertainment's past releases feature subtitles, which always seemed odd to me given their general commitment to quality overall. As far as extras included, there's an audio commentary track with director Gary Swanson, a theatrical trailer for the film, two radio spots, a poster and still gallery, and a five page insert booklet with liner notes provided by Richard Harland Smith, a staff writer for Video Watchdog Magazine.
By the way, Hauser himself sang the theme song titled `Neon Slime', played at the beginning and end of the film. Also, I learned cops get pretty upset when you steal their paper clips. "
OUTSTANDING B FEATURE
Tim Janson | Michigan | 02/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow...I have not thought about this movie in over 20 years. I recall seeing it first at a drive in when if first came out and later on TV. This is really an outstanding movie that really doesn't star any major names. Wings Hauser playing psychotic pimp and for the older MTV crowd, Nina Blackwood, one of the original VJ's plays a hooker named Ginger. After murdering a hooker, the LA police are after Ramrod. They use another hooker named Princess played by Season Hubley as bait to bring him down. The plan goes awry when he escapes from the police and then begins to relentlessly track down Princess intent on killing her as well.
The scene is the gritty, seedy streets of nighttime Hollywood filled with prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, and every sort of degenerate and the film does a marvelous job of capturing this potent atmosphere. Wings Hauser is absolutely mesmerizing and terrifying as Ramrod. Almost like Jason from Friday the 13th except with a personality. He's pure malice and sadistic to the core and he really makes the film. In many ways Vice Squad was a bit ahead of its time as far as a gritty street thriller and is definitely worth a look."
On the street, the real trick is staying alive
Peter D | Queens, NY! | 02/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Oh, Vice Squad. A starring vehicle for our favorite girl in Chock Full O' Nuts, Season Hubley. What can i say? I haven't seen this in a while, so that was the biggest treat. Watching the trailer brought back memories of seeing the commercial over and over on tv. This film was the tail end of '70's exploitation holdouts, and delivers in so many ways as far as tactless brutality you just don't see anymore. Wings Hauser is of course fantastic as "Ramrod" (the killer pimp), and Gary Swanson has plenty of great lines as the cop possesed w/ bringing him down. The name says it all, so i won't waste time w/ a plot synopsis. What i will cover is what surely others will, and that's Anchor Bay's treatment. The movie looks and sounds fine, and thats probably all we really need. I'm content to have a dvd copy. (Do we need a HD transfer of this?) But Anchor Bay is spreading out and paying much more attention to it's other areas, and the days of 3 - disc Suspirias' may be gone. There is grainy film in several scenes, and the extras do not exist.(Trailer only) AB has gave us so much, so i can be forgiving, and Blue Underground has been spectacular, so...."
WOW! Finally on DVD!
Mr Doug Gordon | Toronto, ON Canada | 01/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back a few years ago, this movie was really hard-to-find on VHS. Anchor Bay, as always, has done a stellar job on the presentation of this movie. Everything from utilizing the original movie poster artwork for the DVD cover, to the picture quality- it's all perfect. If you like trashy, gritty, and violent movies, this movie will deliver big time. I remember it was released in 1982, but kept being brought back as an added feature at the drive-ins here in Toronto, right up until 1984. If you are a fan of early '80s movies, and with a lot of violence, but a great plotline that will keep you captivated, "Vice Squad" will not disappoint!"
Obscure Gem From the Eighties
David Baldwin | Philadelphia,PA USA | 05/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the eighties there were two indelible portrayals of psychotic pimps, Morgan Freeman as Fast Black in "Street Smart" and Wings Hauser as Ramrod in "Vice Squad". Unfortunate for Freeman, "Street Smart" was a rather forgettable venture but Hauser was luckier. Hauser's contribution is reason alone to see "Vice Squad" but the picture is so much more. The film works on two levels. Firstly, it's a cinema verite document of the vice scene in Hollywood. Secondly, it's a dark comedy about the proclivities of the johns that frequent the strip. A personal fave of mine is Season Hubley in Frederick's of Hollywood bridal wear to fulfill a rich john's fantasy. The film is also beautifully photographed in all it's neon decadence. I note this because some would dismiss "Vice Squad" as "B" movie fodder. The cinematographer here is John Alcott who won an Oscar lensing Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon". "Vice Squad" may not be for all tastes but I thought it was great."