A mother goes to Hollywood to find her runaway daughter. The Vice Squad discovers that a dangerous gangster has turned the girl into one of his junkie teen prostitutes. The Squad also investigates illegal betting and a BDSM pornographer.
Three different teams of Hollywood Vice Squad officers work on three separate cases involving illegal betting run by the Mob, a sleazy BDSM porn director and a ruthless old gangster who runs a teenage prostitution ring. Officers Chang and Stevens work the streets busting hookers. Chang's favorite m.o. is turning into an exaggerated caricature of a stereotypical Asian tourist to gain the girls' trust and then bust them. Things take a serious turn when one of the girls turns out to be a dangerous man in drag who puts a knife to Chang's throat and forces him to take a ride with him, forcing Stevens to engage in hot pursuit. Officer Betty Melton is a rookie who wants to prove herself but her superiors, officers Chavez and Miller, won't let her. When she accidentally witnesses a sleazy backyard BDSM porn shoot involving what seems to be an underage actor, Betty turns to Captain Jensen in hopes of finally getting a case to investigate by herself, but Jensen orders Chavez and Miller to grow ...
Performed and Composed by Chris Spedding
Published by Reliable Melodies, Inc. (BMI)
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a confusing mix of comedy and drama
Hollywood Vice Squad mixes comedy and drama, and has three different story lines, so it changes directions quite often; too quickly in fact for the movie to be really enjoyable. The three story lines involve police efforts to break up prostitution, pornography, and bookmaking; the story involving efforts to break up a pornography ring is probably the best, with Carrie Fisher as a novice yet dedicated officer leading the investigation (Fisher seems like the only member of the cast who doesn't act like she would rather be on the set of some other film). The film switches between the three stories regularly, which makes the action hard to follow, but worse is the fact that it switches from a dramatic to comedy scene just as quickly; it makes the comedy seem less funny and the drama seem less serious. Some of the comedy scenes, while funny, appear to have been put in just to kill time and pad the film.
Hollywood Vice Squad is not totally hopeless; as mentioned, there are some really funny scenes, and the music and fashion will make you nostalgic for the mid 1980s. Overall, though, it looks more like a film that was made in a rush, and not very well. All three story lines have happy endings as well, which makes the movie pretty unrealistic compared to the realities of Hollywood. Not the worst film I ever saw, but no Citizen Kane, either.
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