Aug 062019
 

Vice Squad is a very unique and somewhat underappreciated crime-thriller with some truly uncomfortable scenes but solid acting from Season Hubley and, especially, Wings Hauser who delivers a chillingly masochistic performance.

 

 

Vice Squad
— Collector’s Edition —
(1982)

Genre(s): Drama, Crime, Thriller
Shout Factory | R – 97 min. – $29.99 | August 13, 2019

Date Published: 08/06/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Gary A. Sherman
Writer(s): Sandy Howard and Kenneth Peters and Robert Vincent O’Neil (written by)
Cast: Season Hubley, Gary Swanson, Wings Hauser


DISC INFO:
Features: Commentaries, Featurettes, Trailer, TV Spots, Radio Spots, Still Gallery
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1


Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 48.38 GB
Total Bitrate: 43.43 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 3.25/5


Plot Synopsis: Princess (SEASON HUBLEY) is a single mom by day, a Hollywood prostitute by night. A volatile cop, Tom Walsh (GARY SWANSON) uses her to trap a sadistic pimp named Ramrod (WINGS HAUSER), who murdered one of her friends. But when Ramrod escapes police custody, Princess is in grave danger. No matter which way she turns, Ramrod is coming for her. Walsh and the entire police force are out looking to catch him. Tonight, the city of Los Angeles will explode with furious vengeance and violence.

Quick Hit Review: The beginning of Vice Squad starts off with an utterly cheesy song entitled “Neon Slime” sung by actor Wings Hauser, which to me portended to be maybe some sort of over-the-top sexsploitation flick. I was wrong, Instead Vice Squad actually was a half decent crime-thriller featuring some great cinematography by John Alcott (Barry Lyndon), showcasing the grimier side of 1980s Los Angeles, which is a good change-up from the crime-ridden streets of New York City.

Under Gary A. Sherman’s direction, the movie features three respectable performances. Both Season Hubley and Gary Swanson acquit themselves nicely with Hubley doing a fantastic job in what had to be an emotional experience. She gets some great scenes and although she does spend a fair portion of the movie entertaining some “Johns” with out-there fetishes, when it comes to her scenes with the antagonist, she really shines amazing well.

However, the star of the show is Wings Hauser, not only does he have a kick ass name, but his portrayal of Ramrod was utterly at times terrifying. The character is out and out evil personified as when he brutally beats up a woman using a coat hanger; another scene finds him carjacking a vehicle, but not before shoving its owner over the side of a subway entrance, killing the poor bastard. Won’t go so far to say he’s the scariest villains of the 1980s, but he does deserve some due.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 5.0/5


This release comes with a matted slip cover and the interior cover is reversible revealing the film’s original theatrical artwork.

Audio Commentary – Director Gary Sherman and Producer Brian Frankish. This is a new track recorded for Shout Factory with the pair giving their thoughts on the movie many years later and giving bits of trivia from back in the day. Not great, but it is like a couple of old friends getting together over a drink or something.

Audio Commentary – Director Gary Sherman in an older track with David Gregory serving as a moderator keeping the flow going. You do get a little receptiveness but still some different information on the production.

Interviews:

  • Tracking the Beast (58:05) – Actor Gary Swanson
  • Of Poltergeist and Neon Lights (1:12:22) – Director Gary Sherman
  • Hollywood Magic (1:02:29) – Producer Brian Frankish
  • The Roots of Reality (44:06) – Actress Beverly Todd
  • Catching a Killer (58:19) – Actor Pepe Serna
  • Princess Driver (24:13) – Actor Michael Ensign

Shockingly lengthy interviews, each one is fun to watch, providing their background in the film industry before delving into the movie itself and their memories working on the film. All told, it’s over FIVE HOURS of interview footage. Amazing.

Hollywood Streetwalking: A Look at the Locations (11:36) – Nice featurette looking at the filming locations then and now.

Rounding things out, the release includes the Theatrical Trailer (0:57), Radio Spots (0:59), TV Spots (3:36), Poster and Lobby Card Gallery (3:07) and finally Publicity Gallery (5:31).

 


VIDEO – 4.0/5


Shout Factory releases Vice Squad where it’s presented with a 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer which is based off of a new 4K scan of the original film elements. There were no major issues with artifacting, aliasing and the like and the picture itself appears to be clean with only some minor dust marks and specs. The image itself is sharp and nicely defined where the natural film grain has been retained.

AUDIO – 3.5/5


The disc comes with a standard but effective enough DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track which does output clean dialogue and some minor depth for the few thriller-based sequences; no apparent pops or hisses are present either. Nothing spectacular for sure, but for a movie of this age (going on 37 years), it’s not at all bad.

 


OVERALL – 3.5/5


Vice Squad is a very unique and somewhat underappreciated crime-thriller with some truly uncomfortable scenes but solid acting from Season Hubley and, especially, Wings Hauser who delivers a chillingly masochistic performance. But on the downside, the opening and ending song doesn’t quite set the right tone being on the cheesy side.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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