Movie Review: VICE SQUAD (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

VICE SQUAD was directed by Gary A. Sherman from a screenplay he co-wrote with Sandy Howard, Kenneth Peters and Robert Vincent O’Neil and stars Season Hubley, Gary Swanson, Wings Hauser, Pepe Serna, Beverly Todd, Joseph DiGiroloma, Michael Ensign and Nina Blackwood.

Season Hubley stars as Princess, a single mom by day, a Hollywood prostitute by night. A volatile cop, Tom Walsh uses her to trap a sadistic pimp named Ramrod, 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. On the street, the real trick is staying alive!

The story for this 1982 exploitation psycho thriller centers around Princess (Season Hubley), a prostitute who cautiously decides to work with Detective Tom Walsh (Gary Swaonson) after one of her friends is viciously murdered by Ramrod (Wings Hauser), an extremely dangerous pimp who gets off by hurting women. Even though Princess is a prostitute and Tom is a cop, there’s a special relationship between the two that grows as the movie plays out and we see how close these two actually are. Princess is a tough girl and street savy but she’s even afraid of Ramrod because he’s nothing more than a cold-blooded predator who seeks out the weakest prey. This is how the sicko gets his kicks!

What happens is, you might as well say Tom throws Princess out to the big bad wolf because when she ends up getting too close to Ramrod it doesn’t take long for her to realize that she’s playing a dangerous game with the killer pimp. The thing is, as soon as Tom and his team think they have him, the elusive Ramrod is able to escape. This is when Vice Squad turns into a dirty game of cat and mouse as Tom chases Ramrod all over the big city in hopes he can stop him before Ramrod gets his hands back on Princess so he can finish the job. In the end, Ramrod catches Princess but Tom shows up just in the nick of time to finally stop the killer pimp from murdering his next victim.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. The front features the all-new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your choice of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. The disc features some matching artwork. Vice Squad has been given a new 4K scan of the film elements. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release and were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Vice Squad ended up being another first time watch for me even though it’s a movie that I’ve heard about over the years – plus how could anyone forget a name like Ramrod! Holy cow this character was merciless and brutal. It’s easy to see why this one has earned cult classic status over the years. I thought the story for this exploitation-style psycho thriller was really interesting and the three leads delivered some strong performances, especially Season Hubley whose character went through pure hell with all the mental and physical torture she endures. I have to add that Wings Hauser also brought his A-game because this ruthless pimp is one scary dude. This is a monster who doesn’t show any kind of remorse for the bad things he does to people. He does show emotion because he gets off when he commits these atrocities. Vice Squad really is this unique slice of exploitation cinema that’s character driven to the max and unapologetically vicious from beginning to end. Vice Squad will be available on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on August 13th. Scream Factory delivered the goods with this one!

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 97 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Scream Factory went all out with the extras for this release because there’s well over 5 hours of fantastic bonus content. The extras include some new audio commentary, six new indepth interviews with some of the cast and crew, a new locations featurette, some vintage audio commentary, theatrical trailer, TV spots, radio spots and two image galleries.

  • NEW Audio Commentary with director Gary Sherman and producer Brian Frankish
  • NEW Tracking the Beast – an interview with actor Gary Swanson (58:05)
  • NEW Of Poltergeist and Neon Lights – an interview with director Gary Sherman (1:12:22)
  • NEW Hollywood Magic – an interview with producer Brian Frankish (1:02:09)
  • NEW The Roots of Reality – an interview with actress Beverly Todd (44:06)
  • NEW Catching A Killer – an interview with actor Pepe Serna (58:19)
  • NEW Princess Driver – an interview with actor Michael Ensign (24:13)
  • NEW Hollywood Streetwalking – a look at the locations (11:36)
  • Audio Commentary with director Gary Sherman
  • Theatrical Trailer (00:57)
  • Radio Spots (00:59)
  • TV Spots (03:36)
  • Poster and Lobby Cards (03:07)
  • Publicity Stills (05:31)
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