If becoming an undercover cop is as easy as it is portrayed in Rick Sloane’s Vicebusters aka Vice Academy (1989) then I want in, and pronto. This is the tale of a group of girls, and one sole guy, who are in a high school-esque wing of a Police Training Academy trying to pass and graduate from their course to become fully-fledged vice busting protectors of society. Think Clueless meets Diagnosis Murder and you’re starting to get an idea of what we’re dealing with; valley girls with HUGE hair, the skimpiest outfits and the highest heels. Is it any wonder half of them can’t climb the wall in the obstacle course (that’s right, part of their training involves a very simple obstacle course…)?
The story centres around the main girls in the class; Didi (scream queen veteran and B-movie delight Linnea Quigley), Shawnee (Karen Russell) and Holly Wells (former porn star Ginger Lynn Allen). Didi and Shawnee suffer from a little case of airheadedness whilst Holly’s father happens to be the Police Chief. Holly, in her quest to become ‘she-who-might-get-punched-in-the-face-for-being-teachers-pet’, has just made her tenth arrest thanks to a tip off from Daddy (annoying bitch or just sensible go-getter?). Didi and Shawnee haven’t done a thing.
A chance encounter with an underage prostitute (a fifteen year old called Cherry Pop, need I say anymore?), coupled with the fact that all students need to have made ten arrests in order to graduate, gives Didi and Shawnee (and that sole guy in class) the chance to get back up to scratch. Using all the knowledge they learnt in their ‘How to dress up like a Prossie’ class, the girls set out to uncover a porn empire secretly hiring underage girls as a lucrative side project. A trashy comedy suddenly gets a sleazy softcore injection? I’m not going to argue with that, although don’t expect it to walk the line well because it really doesn’t. Remember, it’s nothing more than a slice of silly fun. Albeit one that spawned a series of six films in total.
Full of really stupid scenes, my favourite being the lesson in how to disarm someone pointing a gun at you (pull your top down, expose your boobs and take the gun off the person aiming it at you whilst they stare at your tits…) and even more stupid finer points (the villain Queen Bee sports a beehive hairdo, the producer of a porno holds up direction cards during filming saying ‘Moan Louder! and ‘Degrade Her More!’), Vicebusters is nothing more than a good bit of silly fun. I repeat, a GOOD bit of silly fun. Perfect for girly sleepovers and for guys looking to perv on some 80s totty, the film is the perfect bit of 80s trash that is both really dumb and easy to follow but entertaining enough that one will chuckle a little along with it.
Poorly written? Yes. Badly shot? Yes (check out an extremely busy highway visible in the background of one shot). Awful acting? Check, but hey, who doesn’t like to watch a bit of rubbish every now and then?