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|Index||42 reviews in total|
20 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Best use of a coat hanger in movie history, 31 December 2004
Author: fertilecelluloid from Mountains of Madness
Wings Hauser, playing brutal pimp Ramrod, uses a wire coat hanger to
beat the stuffing out of a hooker in a Hollywood Boulevard motel room.
This scene, destined to be remembered by every lucky viewer of this
solid, sleazy classic, perfectly captures the tone director Gary
Sherman brings to this fine piece of entertainment.
The violence is glossy and sadistic and shot in neon-toned hues by ace cinematographer John Alcott.
Hauser goes on a rampage in an effort to bust the chops of a street girl who was partially responsible for his brief arrest.
The tension is thick, the atmosphere gritty, the entertainment values high.
Nail-biting and stomach-churning...in other words: heaven.
18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
One of the grittiest, toughest, police stories ever made., 20 November 2002
Author: jasonc13 from United States
In theory, "Vice Squad" is nothing more than good guy versus bad guy.
However, it is done with such raw energy and flawless execution it remains
one of the most intelligent and dramatic police films of the past two
The story is about a hooker with a heart of gold named "Princess," who ends up on the run from her pimp named "Ramrod," (played brilliantly by the underrated Wings Hauser). After she agrees to bait him for the cops after he violently murders a fellow prostitute, he escapes police custedy and is hell-bent on one thing: finding Princess, torturing her, and killing her. It's that simple. A cop named "Walsh" (also played wonderfully by Gary Swanson) has the responsibility of finding either her or him, before Ramrod succeeds in his mission.
The film takes place in one night throughout the streets of Hollywood, and never lets up for a second. The plot is thick with suspense, the characters are three dimensionally layered, and the action is non stop. It's influence can be seen in many of todays films such as "Training Day," and even "Seven" just to name a few. However, its greatest testament may be from a better known movie tough guy named "Dirty Harry." At one point, when Walsh catches up with Ramrod he sticks his gun in his mouth and mutters "Make a move, and make my day!" Sound familiar? It should, because the famous line was uttered some five years later, even though the phrase was coined here, and in much better fashion I might add.
To sum it up, "Vice Squad" is a hard hitting, no nonsense, throw back to when quality films could be made on shoe-string budgets, and without millions in special effects. It walks the walk, and talks the talk without making excuses for its realistic subject matter. Unfortunately, the film is hard to find, so if you get the opportunity to see it, do not pass it up. For it will no doubt become one of your favorite "Vices," I garantee it.
13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Edge-of-your-seat suspense!, 20 February 2004
Author: Nick Savage (NSavage3@hotmail.com) from Washington, D.C.
I remember this movie very well as one of the most suspenseful movies of
80's. Definitely Wing's best performance. Very menacing as the pimp
"Ramrod". You really feel for his victims and want to see him get
Don't watch "Terror in the Isles" before you see this movie. The clips they show give the ending away.
Watch for a small part by Re-Run (What's Happening).
Where's the DVD?!?!
Nine out of ten stars.
10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Supremely Sleazy Classic B-Movie, 16 November 2000
Author: G-Man-25 from Iowa City, IA
Let me start out by saying you just GOTTA love any movie sporting a theme
song called "Neon Slime." One of the best B-Movies of the 80s. This is a
great guilty pleasure type of movie, well acted, solidly directed, and very
handsomely photographed for such trash, with occasional unintentionally
funny dialogue. There are plenty of cliches in the "life is Hell on the
streets of L.A." storyline, but director Gary Sherman keeps the pace fast,
tough and violent and gets colorful performances from even the minor
supporting characters. Wings Hauser makes the chief baddie, a sadistic,
psychotic pimp by the name of Ramrod a real piece of work. He's right up
there with other classic movie villains such as Scorpio in "Dirty Harry" and
Bruce Dern's Longhair in "The Cowboys." He's truly a scumbag you'll LOVE to
Note of trivia: Incidentally, Gary Swanson (as the lead cop hot on Ramrod's trail) beat Clint Eastwood to the punch by nearly two years when he uttered the line "Go ahead...make my day" to the pimp on an initial capture in one scene.
11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Don't "Screw" Ramrod!, 27 April 2003
Author: Bob Babulas
Wings Hauser's portrayal of a no-nonsense pimp is one of the great villain performances in movie history. I agree with the positive comments by the others folks reviewing this classic B-Movie. I am fortunate to own a laser disc of this film, but hope it will someday be released on DVD. As an additional note of praise for this movie, it portrays the "work" of prostitutes in a sympathetic manner detailing the activities of Season Hubley in a single night servicing the "needs" of her clients. This movie contains perverse humor, terror, suspense, and a riveting conclusion. Highly recommended on all counts.
8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A Great Exploitation Flick...., 8 September 2000
Author: shrike22 (firstname.lastname@example.org) from New Jersey, USA
I enjoyed this film. Wings Hauser is so good and has such
presence. When you watch him, as Ram Rod, you hate him. This film is taut
and gritty. It captured street life, perfectly. I like the fact that the
film doesn't linger on morality. It had quite a nihilistic feel to it.
There's one particular scene, in which Season Hubley is at a bar talking
'shop' with her fellow hookers. It was a scene of pure honesty. Some women
do what they've got to do to make a living and there's nothing wrong with
Wings Hauser plays a crazed pimp, Ram Rod, who loves to punish his hookers by torturing them to death. Gary Swanson, plays a determined vice cop out to stop this psycho. When Hubley's best friend is killed by Hauser, she is blackmailed, by Swanson, to go undercover to bring this psycho pimp down.
This film had such a relentless pace and it puts you on the edge of your seat. This is the type of film that graced the screens at 'The Deuce', during it's hey-day. It's a forgotten gem, an exploitation classic.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Walking the scene., 5 April 2008
Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.
Gary Sherman's "Vice Squad" is all show, but powerfully biting and sordid exploitation of the seedy strip of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard when the sun finally goes down. For such luridly unpleasant context, the film manages to amuses with rousing suspense, sharply-witted (if foul) script and its authentically raw atmosphere. Even the performances figure prominently. Wing Hauser deservedly dominates the limelight as the frighteningly, aggressive pimp Ramrod. His turn is that of pure spontaneous and nightmarish intensity. Truly hard to forget. Gary Swanson's courageously humane performance as Detective Walsh, the leader of the 'Vice squad' is downright solid, and there's a confidently brassy and strong-willed go-it-alone portrayal by Season Hubley as the prostitute Princess that Ramrod is after for setting him up. The support cast racks up recognizable bit players (Pepa Serna, Beverly Todd, Maurice Emanuel, Nina Blackwood, Michael Ensign, Cheryl Smith, Fred Berry and the list goes on) of rich characterisations. Sherman's sensationally gripping direction doesn't let up or beat around the bush, as he cranks up the energy and brutality. Still there's a slickly professional manner about it, and cinematographer John Alcott shots it with great ticker, and stylish verve. The screeching rock title track "Neon Slime" sung by Hauser sets the tone, and the saucy score has a feverish pitch that enhances the downbeat atmosphere and daring intensity.
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A superbly gritty and exciting early 80's trash exploitation action favorite, 12 January 2007
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After one of her fellow hookers gets horribly murdered nice, but tough
prostitute Season Hubley decides to help hard-bitten Los Angeles
detective Gary Swanson and his crack team of streetwise cops -- antsy
Hispanic Pepe Serna among them -- apprehend the killer. He's a slimy,
sadistic, wire-hanger wielding pimp named Ramrod. Wings Hauser plays
the eminently abhorrent, savage and sickeningly cocky Ramrod, giving a
tour-de-force performance that deservedly caused his B-movie career to
really take off throughout the 80's and up until the mid 90's. Whether
he's threatening to set a bag lady on fire with a cigarette lighter or
attempting to sample Hubley's lovely wares ("You're such a wild thing,"
he lasciviously coos while unbuttoning her shirt), Hauser's stunningly
repellent characterization remains a hellishly enthralling marvel from
start to finish.
Director Gary ("Raw Meat," "Dead and Buried") Sherman keeps a firm reign on the scuzzy narrative throughout, maintaining a constant snappy pace and staging the action scenes with grungy flair to spare (the potent and vicious ending in particular packs a strong punch). Sherman effectively develops a tangibly sordid, gritty and unglamorous nighttime big city environment populated by sharp-tongued prostitutes, ferociously possessive pimps, and kinky johns of every conceivable stripe. This grimy feature serves as a key transitional work whereby the harshly realistic grindhouse movies of the 70's gave way to more violent and over-the-top 80's exploitation trash. Just pay attention to the very beginning and conclusion to discern what I'm talking about. The opening credits sequence with the hookers hitting the streets and the flashing police cars plays like a generic 70's TV cop show while the preposterous climactic confrontation between Hauser and Swanson wouldn't be out of place in an 80's big budget blockbuster action romp. More revealing still is the very mannish and muscular Hubley, who's insistence on keeping her independence is the principal reason macho control freak Hauser wants her dead. What we have here is a serious power play with a hyper-masculine brute lording it over women to such a severe degree that he'll kill any lady who dares to step out of line. Wings Hauser's Ramrod symbolizes a true villain of the dog-eat-dog, every-man-for-himself greedy, ruthless and selfish 80's while Hubley represents a compromised version of feminism where the only way to make it in a male-dominated world is by being very aggressive and unfeminine.
Hubley exudes a commendably sassy and appealingly ragged charm as our fiercely self-reliant heroine (she previously portrayed a hooker in Paul Schrader's seamy "Hardcore" and went on to portray another streetwalker in the dreadful "Prettykill"). Swanson offers strong support while both original pioneering MTV VJ Nina Blackwood and 70's drive-in movie goddess Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith pop up briefly as ladies of the evening. Roger Corman film favorite Jonathan Haze has a funny bit as a freak trick who wants to urinate on Hubley. Moreover, Hauser also blows his lungs out singing the terrifically hard-thrashing Simon Stokes-penned theme song "Neon Slime" in a hoarsely raw'n'throaty holler. Anchor Bay works up their usual magic with a first-rate DVD, offering a sumptuous widescreen presentation along with an in-your-face trailer, two fantastic radio spots, a still and poster gallery, and an eye-openingly candid commentary from director Gary Sherman.
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
The 'A' List of 'B' Movies!, 13 May 2003
Author: dgordon-1 from Toronto, Canada
I didn't see this movie until 1984 when it was an added feature to "Angel" at the Parkway Drive-In here in Toronto. After reading all of the comments of this movie, it's nice to see that other people appreciate fine 'B' movies as myself. I have this movie on VHS, but like the other reviewers have stated, it would be nice to see this movie released on DVD someday. It has a riveting storyline, and great performances by all the actors involved. It even features ex-MTV VJ Nina Blackwood as a desperate hooker trying to get away from the clutches of a psycho pimp named Ramrod, played by Wings Hauser. This movie has a gritty atmosphere to it which makes the story believable. Season Hubley plays Princess, a streetwise hooker with call girl attributes. She works with the police to try and rid the streets of Ramrod. This movie has been largely forgotten by most people, but for me it will always be a prized addition to my video library!
6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Last of the breed, 23 June 1999
Author: matthew wilder (email@example.com) from los angeles
Gary Sherman's sensational programmer about a psycho pimp (the always invaluable Wings Hauser) and a surreally determined hooker (Season Hubley) was the last gasp of what B movies used to be. Two oddities: yes, that's Nina Blackwood, MTV VJ, getting raped with a coat hanger. And yes, it was shot by John Alcott, better known for his work with a better-known director named Stanley Kubrick.
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