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Hollywood Vice Squad (1986)

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.


Penelope Spheeris


Kenneth Peters (as James J. Docherty)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronny Cox ... Captain Jensen
Frank Gorshin ... Walsh
Leon Isaac Kennedy ... Hawkins
Trish Van Devere ... Pauline Stanton (as Trish Van DeVere)
Carrie Fisher ... Betty Melton
Evan C. Kim ... Chang (as Evan Kim)
Joey Travolta ... Stevens
H.B. Haggerty ... Tank
Cec Verrell ... Judy
Julius Harris ... Jesse
Marvin Kaplan ... Man with doll
Beau Starr ... Farber
Robert Miano ... Luchessi
Ben Frank ... Daley
Tom Everett ... Miller


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 ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The most unusual police force in the world


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Evan C Kim who plays Chang, says to his partner in the bus chase scene that he will be doing something like Bruce Lee. Kim played Loo, a character inspired by Lee, in the Kentucky Fried Movie in a segment that is a direct riff on Lees Enter the Dragon. See more »


Betty Melton: Why did you move in on my bust like that?
Chavez: You were as nervous as a whore in church.
Betty Melton: You asshole. That was my bust. I could have handled it.
Chavez: That's Mr. Asshole to you.
Betty Melton: Listen, Rambo. I can do anything that you can do.
Chavez: Oh, yeah. I bet you can't grow a beard.
Man with doll: Bet you can't pee standing up.
Betty Melton: Bet you and Mike could teach me.
See more »


References Rocky IV (1985) See more »


Performed and Composed by Chris Spedding
Published by Reliable Melodies, Inc. (BMI)
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User Reviews

Good fun for trash lovers.
24 June 2015 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

With this film, co-producer Sandy Howard is obviously mining some of the same material utilized for his earlier production "Vice Squad". It purports to fictionalize some of the true life exploits of the men and women who work for the title department. It's episodic, and tells a few stories.

Pauline Stanton (Trish Van Devere) comes to California to search for her runaway daughter Lori (Robin Wright, in her film debut), and is educated by the dedicated Captain Jensen (Ronny Cox) on the sleazy nature of the Hollywood underworld. Betty Melton (Carrie Fisher) is an eager young rookie detective determined to prove herself to grunting-pig colleagues, and gets wind of a porno operation that exploits underage actors. Hawkins (Leon Isaac Kennedy) and his partner Judy (super sexy Cec Verrell) attempt to take down prostitution kingpin Walsh (Frank Gorshin), eventually assisted by Chang (Evan C. Kim) and Stevens (Joey Travolta). And Tank (H.B. Haggerty) and Daley (Ben Frank) try to look out for small time bookie Jesse (Julius Harris) who's being hassled by mobster Luchessi (Robert Miano).

Ably directed by Penelope Spheeris, the movie is hurt at times by detours into silly comedy that don't really add anything. Besides, the movie isn't quite melodramatic, ugly or trashy enough to need any sort of relief. It's still reasonably sleazy, and tells its stories in entertaining fashion. Some viewers might feel that it's a tad overlong, but it managed to hold this viewers' attention for over an hour and 41 minutes. The look for the movie is just right, and the soundtrack features some cool tunes.

The very good cast is the glue that holds it together, with Fisher a standout as the ambitious, hard-driving young woman who is willing to deviate from the "book" in order to get her man. The fine ensemble of character actors also includes Marvin Kaplan, Beau Starr, Tom Everett, Eloy Casados, and Phil Rubenstein.

As was said, this actually might not be hardcore enough for some tastes, but it's a pleasingly diverting exploitation picture just the same.

Seven out of 10.

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Release Date:

3 July 1986 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Hollywood Vice Squad See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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