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"Vice Academy" (1989) -


     Photo courtesy of Rick Sloane

by Bone Jawnson

When I entered the world of Rick Sloane, I was unsure of what I was in for. I was coming off a month of watching the Basket Case trilogy by Frank Henenlotter and saw a series that ranged from a modest $35,000 budget to upwards of $1,000,000 by the third installment. I initially thought, "Ok, as a filmmaker progresses, their budget must increase accordingly." I then found Rick Sloane. Rick's films boasted low- to no-budget filmmaking almost to a fault. Watching his movies made me ponder, "How in the hell is he getting away with this?" This month of movie viewing has made me realize that, if you want to achieve your goals, you have to get as many ducks in a row and just dive in and do it.  

"Vice Academy" is the first in a series of movies created by Rick Sloane that aired on the USA television network between 1989 and 1998. Essentially, they seem to be a racy take on the Police Academy movie series that was released during the same timeframe. When researching this movie, I discovered that, although "Vice Academy" was panned by critics, it was a hit with late-night viewers of USA's Up All Night block of programming. This movie was funny, suggestive, a bit sexy, and over the top. The viewer follows a group of police academy-style cadets as they work towards graduation, graduate, then bust up a pornography ring. A big draw to this movie is that it features former adult film star Ginger Lynn Allen as one of the main vice cadets. This appears to be her first film outside of the adult industry. Five sequels were produced, which I'll be viewing either later this year or early next year. 

What I've come to appreciate and admire about Rick Sloane's films is their interconnected references to all his other works. It's almost as if his films, although featuring separate storylines, are subtly connected in the same Sloane-iverse. If you look carefully, you'll find references and Easter eggs to Rick's works peppered throughout his catalog, almost like a game. Knowing this will motivate you to watch Rick's films over and over again so you can hunt for all the clues and check off your bingo card. Now that I mention it, Rick Sloane-inverse Bingo would be a fun, campy party game. 

My takeaway from viewing "Vice Academy" as the last film in my month of Rick is this: Rick is fearless and does not let anything get in his way of making his films come to life. Knowing that he produced six "Vice Academy" movies means knowing that he conquered a staggering feat. The fact that this all aired on a major television network is even more impressive. My suggestion is to watch his films again through the lens of someone accomplishing a major feat while controlling many, and in some cases, all, aspects of his production. 

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