Written by / 2/25/2016 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

WINGS HAUSER & SEASON HUBLEY IN VICE SQUAD

"You can run behind their truck, but you never, ever, ever run behind mine, you got that, Stubbs?"
You've heard it before. "That person really made the movie." Or "really steals it." Well in the case of VICE SQUAD, Wings Hauser as a nightmarish, unbreakable, unstoppable, ultra-violent pimp with a raised truck and whose name, RAMROD, could have been an excellent alternative title as the desperate, edgy lunatic who truly owns the movie, outright, including the fact he sings the opening credit song, NEON SLIME, which could be yet another potentially awesome alternative...

Swanson & Serna
But the buried lead lies in a pretty decent character-actor who, although you see those Michael Moriarty chops showing just a bit too clearly, Gary Swanson as good/honest vice cop, Walsh, doing an excellent job in a role that could have been entirely thankless had he lacked the genuine soul to – in a completely laidback yet equally intense fashion – try saving ingénue Season Hubley, playing a character who goes by "Princess," a single mom by day, hooker by night... In other words, she's got something extremely important to protect, live for, and possibly lose in a young blonde daughter.

Classic Poster
Hubley nails the role quite naturally given her excellent turn in Paul Schrader's 1979 underrated classic HARDCORE where, as a porn actress, model and hooker, instead of sex she discusses religion with Calvanist George C Scott. While here she works the streets with a way of sniffing out cops, peripherally yearning to keep her injured, holed-up hooker friend from the clutches of an indestructible Ramrod, who eventually, for better or worse, goes from a crime movie villain into his own brand of talkative Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface... you get the picture.

Wings Hauser
Eventually it's Hubley's game altogether as she's the one girl Ramrod wants to find and kill, while his goal, after much too easily escaping from who could have been the original versions of the second tier duo in MIAMI VICE, Michael Talbott and John Diehl (the latter was the Ramrod in ANGEL, a lower budget version of VICE) in the form of actors Pepe Serna and Joseph Di Girolamo, so inept they can't even take the lethal perp to the station as he escapes without any problem but a rolled car, literally taking to the streets and, as an even more vicious monster stealthily roaming the neon glare, is looking to find who "set him up" for the death of... going back to basics... the hooker friend of Hubley; the latter who remains hunted till the very... last... drop of this glorious 1980's exploitation that has everything the 70's had to offer the drive-in genre (when there were less drive-ins and more VCR's), yet with stiff guitar riffs, a glossy ascetic relying too much on montage scenes showing the gritty nightlife, as if existing as a Music Video afterthought instead of what we should consider hell-on-earth i.e home, like the great/bad old days – eventually replacing the Crime Neo Noir template into a Body Count Horror.

Vixen & Villain
And so, most important of all, our VICE SQUAD heavy should not have been created to ultimately die, which is beyond "predictable," of course, but rather, he could have remained alive & kicking for an abundance of follow-up RAMROD motion pictures, going after various hookers while avoiding "crooked" cops; imagine REVENGE OF RAMROD; RAMROD RETURNS; ESCAPE OF RAMROD; SON OF RAMROD; RAMROD OF ARABIA; RAMROD RISES FROM THE GRAVE.. alright, you get the point already!

Rating: ****
Trivia: On one theater marquee there's a double feature including a movie Season Hubley not only appeared in, as a short-lived sexy girl in a dilapidated Manhattan's Chock Full o' Nuts, kissing her ex-husband, Kurt Russell under the direction of John Carpenter: that being ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK • And if you look at the photo at the very top of this review, you will see Ramrod doing something (that we learn is) pretty awful to a "Sugar Pimp" played by WHAT'S HAPPENING icon Fred Berry... And when yours truly said to Wings Hauser at an autograph show, in person, "It was great when you basically castrated Re Run," without a moment to ponder this, Wings, with a wry grin, said coolly, "And it felt great too!"  
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