Wow, fantastic movie Vice Squad is!. I really don't have any bad things to say about this stylish, brutal, eighties drama-thriller with Wings Hauser in his best role ever. I heard he's an ass for real, and after seeing this movie I'm sure he took all the bullshit inside and projected it on Ramrod. There's nothing good about his character. Ramrod enjoys hurting people, physical and psychological - even his "friends". He get's turned on by hard violence and has so many connections that he's out from jail after a couple of hours. A dangerous man. On the opposite side is Tom Walsh, LA cop and played by a very good Gary Swanson. He's honest and feels human. In the middle is Princess, who's strong - but get's in lot of trouble in this movie. She's only in it to save her economy.
Think Cruising, but in LA.You get to see everything on the streets, all the lowlife and highlife, the violence and the sexual "perversions". It has a since of humour to when Princess visits some of her clients, among them a brilliant Jonathan Haze (who played Seymour Krelboin in Roger Cormans The Little Shop of Horrors) and a weird old guy with a wedding-funeral-fetisch! The locations are similar to Savage Streets, but this movie is in it's own league of quality. The cinematography is by the wonderful John Alcott, a veteran Kubrick-collaborator and who's also behind the camera on Terror Train and The Beastmaster! So it's be sure it looks great.
By todays standards it's not a graphic movie, but it's very violent and the atmosphere (especially around Ramrod) just makes it worse. Weird enough it's extremly little nudity in the movie! Sure, people are nude, but there's no full frontals or even breasts (I don't remember anything like that), but maybe I missed something. But of course, that's not important. It's a tight script that set during one night and most of the time it's Ramrod trying to get Princess.
The concept and execution is brilliant and I can't recommend it enough. The director, by the way, is Gary Sherman who did two other minor masterpieces: Raw Meat and Dead & Buried. Here he wanted to go away from horror, but ended up making the most horrifying movie of his career!