Vice Squad (1982 film)

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Vice Squad
Vice Squad (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gary Sherman
Written by Sandy Howard
Gary Sherman
Robert Vincent O'Neil
Kenneth Peter
Produced byBrian Frankish
Robert Rehme
Starring Season Hubley
Gary Swanson
Wings Hauser
Cinematography John Alcott
Edited byRoy Watts
Music by Joe Renzetti
Keith Rubinstein
Distributed by Embassy Pictures
Release date
  • January 22, 1982 (1982-01-22)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$5.5 million [1]
Box office$13,253,583 (US) [2]

Vice Squad is a 1982 American action crime thriller film directed by Gary Sherman and starring Wings Hauser, Season Hubley, and Gary Swanson. The original music score was composed by Joe Renzetti and Keith Rubinstein. Wings Hauser sang the vocal track for the film's opening and closing theme song, "Neon Slime". [3]



A down-on-her-luck Los Angeles businesswoman-turned-prostitute, known only by her street name Princess, walks the Sunset Boulevard to support herself and her young daughter Lisa. As she prepares Lisa for a trip to see her grandmother in San Diego, Princess receives a distressed telephone call from her friend and coworker, Ginger Grady, who is hiding in a motel from her abusive pimp Ramrod, a misogynistic psychopath. Shortly thereafter, Ramrod tracks Ginger down and coaxes her to open the door under the guise of an apology. As soon as she does, however, he violently ties her to the bed and beats and rapes her with a pimp stick.

Across town, the work routine of undercover LAPD vice squad sergeant Tom Walsh and trainee officer Edwards is disrupted by a call to the hospital. Tom, who already knows Ramrod at least by reputation, watches Ginger die from her injuries before he can convince her to identify her attacker. Tom promises to avenge her death by bringing Ramrod to justice. He brings Princess down to the hospital morgue to discuss her pending cocaine possession and warns that, even though she does not use drugs, an unsympathetic judge will incarcerate her and remove custody of Lisa. He offers her a pardon in exchange for her help catching a violent criminal. Princess initially refuses out of fear upon hearing who the criminal is, but Tom changes her mind by showing her Ginger's corpse.

Princess wears a wire while attracting Ramrod's attention in a nightclub. He invites her back to his apartment, and is promptly arrested by Tom's squad once he reveals incriminating information. Ramrod is surprised but unrepentant when he learns he has killed Ginger, and furiously resists arrest once he realizes the setup. The scuffle ends when Tom pushes a gun against his head, at which point Ramrod vows to kill Princess.

On the drive to the station, Ramrod manages to disable officers Mendez and Kolowski and cause an accident. He has his handcuffs removed, borrows a car from acquaintance Roscoe, and purchases a gun from gay leather club owner Fast Eddie who also identifies Joe Dorsey as Princess' former pimp.

The squad hits the streets looking to find Ramrod and Princess before the two of them cross paths. Williams and her patrol partner interrogate Roscoe until they learn which car Ramrod is currently driving. Meanwhile, Princess meets some of her colleagues at a sleazy dive bar where they discuss their customers' kinks. Princess is then propositioned by a patron but remains aloof during sex, and the disgruntled client forcibly takes his money back.

After brutally interrogating and castrating Dorsey, Ramrod heads to Princess' motel. Before he arrives, however, she is picked up by a wealthy client's chauffeur on recommendation of her friend Coco. The vice squad follow Ramrod's trail but the motel manager, who had been beaten by Ramrod moments earlier, is uncooperative when Tom interrogates her. Ramrod kidnaps Coco and tortures her until she reveals the chauffer took Princess to Beverly Hills.

Inside the Beverly Hills house, Princess is instructed to dress as a bride and descend to the parlor, where the elderly client lays motionless in a casket. She accidentally botches the encounter by screaming when he unexpectedly jumps awake. Police officers find the injured Coco beside a trash heap and unknowingly drive past Ramrod who has just stolen a newspaper delivery truck after murdering its driver, and is pursuing Princess' taxi. Her friends attempt to warn her, but Ramrod then chases after them, hitting one of the women in the process. He pulls Princess into his truck and takes her to an abandoned warehouse.

The police arrive as he begins to torture her, and Ramrod jumps out the window, shooting multiple officers and stealing a car. Tom relentlessly pursues him across town, finally cornering him in an alleyway and shooting him dead. Just after daybreak, Tom emerges from the warehouse with a gunshot wound in his arm. While being lifted into an ambulance, Princess tells him that he will "never be able to change the streets", and he walks away as the sun rises over the city.


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  1. "VICE SQUAD (1982)". Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  2. Vice Squad at Box Office Mojo
  3. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:Vice Squad,, Retrieved October 14, 2015