Vice Squad (1982)
Vice Squad is a 1982 action/crime thriller, starring Wings Hauser, Season Hubley, and Gary Swanson, directed by Gary Sherman. The original music score was composed by Joe Renzetti and Keith Rubenstein. Wings Hauser sang the vocal track on the film's opening and closing theme song "Neon Slime".
Why is Vice Squad the retro movie for November? Well, because I am not reviewing any of those average Thanksgiving herky jerky mish-mash of melodrama. I’d rather keep you in the year 1982.
Vice Squad opens on with the streets of LA; deathbed for the American dream, a reservoir of broken ambitions, the seedy tangible world of escapism and vice. There’s pimps, tricks, street walkers, stick up kids, hustlers, johns, dope pushers, dope takers, lost causes and could have been somebodies. This looks like a dark tale of street life.
Wings Hauser plays possibly the most quotable film pimp ever, second only to Morgan Freeman’s memorable performance as Fast Black in 1987’s Street Smart. Season Hubley co-stars as Princess; in one of her many roles as a hooker. The rest of the cast is serviceable. Notable performers include Fred “ReRun” Berry (What’s Happning), Beverly Todd (Lean On Me), Pepe Serna (Scarface, Buckaroo Bonzai) and Original MTV VJ Nina Blackwood.
Like I was saying, the movie is set on the streets of Los Angeles and follows the graveyard shift of the City Police’s Vice Squad unit. A hooker named Ginger is hiding out in a seedy motel, probably a Knights Inn, from the pimp she just ripped off. Unfortunately for Ginger (Blackwood) her pimp is the notorious Ramrod; a quick to violence pimp in cowboy boots and the shirt to match.
Another player and friend of Ginger is Princess; a freelance working girl played by Hubley. Princess finds herself thrown head first into a murder investigation involving the Vice Squad searching for a dangerous criminal and the same criminal sociopath out hunting for Princess.
Vice Squad is absolutely brilliant. It’s the right measure of comedy and crime thriller. Some of the humor is dated. Trigger warning for you wimps – there are situations in this film that might offend you. Be warned.
Total score: Wings Hauser rules as Ramrod. The humor is gold. Violence. Stunts. "Five hundred dollars don't get you no El Dorado". The Dialogue.
Three out of Four switchblades.
Take a trip down the strip. It's so easy when you think about it, tie it off, cook it up, smack it up and pop in the mainline, Jack. This ain't no CSI B.S. This is 1982. This is Vice Squad. So go find Coco and keep that loving finger on the rewind button.