Hollywood Vice Squad (1986) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Every time you are tempted to moan about the exaggerated "realism" (read "gratuitous violence") of the new wave of Tarantino-inspired gorefests, you should see a movie like this to remind you how much better the Tarantines are than what we had 20 years ago.
This is a cops and robbers movie where the cops refer to the bad guys as "those darned guys", and the bad guys are almost as refined! The bad guys do use the famous Carlin "words forbidden to television", but they don't use the normal terms you'd hear from uneducated hoodlums. The head white pimp refers to his rival as "that motherfucking black fellow". Yeah, right.

This makes Starsky and Hutch seem like a Peckinpah movie, and makes Huggy Bear seem as dark and threatening as Charles Manson.



Robin Wright appeared in a bra and panties.

In addition, the entire movie is filled with Catskills schtick, which is grotesquely inappropriate in a movie about a a mother's search for a young girl from Ohio who is trapped in the Hollywood underbelly of heroin and prostitutes. Those darned prostitutes, as the cops would say! It's like the kind of hookers and pimps that Toody and Muldoon might encounter on the TV series version of Car 54. ("Oooh, oooh").

The cavalier humor is mixed right in with the high drama

"Oh, officer O'Leary is dead? Well, more donuts for all"

"I'm sorry, Mrs Taft, I have to tell you the bad news that your daughter is a prostitute. But the good news is, she's a really good one. Man, can that girl swallow the salami!"

OK, maybe not that cavalier, but pretty close.

I'm glad I saw this, because if you had told me yesterday that movies were this gutless fifteen years ago, I would have sworn you were wrong, and now I've learned my lesson. Tarantino's masturbatory fantasies may be bullshit, but they are certainly closer to reality than this pablum.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • no widescreen version

  • no features except a trailer

You do have to love a cast that includes Joey Travolta, Robin Wright, The Riddler, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Princess Leia, and most of the guys who did voices for the gang on Topcat.

In addition to the sanitized language, it also contained no nudity at all. Remember it's a movie about a kid who descends into the Hollywood world of pornography, prostitution, and heroin. Quite surprisingly, she did this without removing her clothes or using any naughty words.

Oh, that darned smack!

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin: no stars. And he's right this time.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.7. which is pretty generous.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D or less.

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