Vice Academy was a series of comedy films directed by Rick Sloane (of Hobgoblins infamy). The films revolved around a group of scantily clad female vice cops and their wacky adventures in capturing criminals...who also happen to be scantily clad.
Though low-budget and critically maligned the films were a ratings hit for the USA Network where they routinely aired late night Fridays and Saturdays on the network's "Up All Night" programming block (as back then original programming on cable was rare and USA in particular was the "used car" network, mostly subsisting on reruns and other scavenged stuff). The series' status as a late night staple (and its focus on sexy criminals) mistakenly earned it a reputation as being soft-core porn when in reality the films have little to no sex and nudity (even in their uncensored form).
The franchise's most prominent protagonists were portrayed by Ginger Lynn Allen, '80s scream queen Linnea Quigley, Elizabeth Kaitan, and Raelyn Saalman.
The series consists of six films:
- Vice Academy (1989) - Three cadets (and their rival) struggle to complete their assignments in order to graduate from the vice academy. One of their assignments include infiltrating a porno production company suspected of using underage girls. Introduces Quigley as Didi and Allen as Holly.
- Vice Academy 2 (1990) - Rivals Didi and Holly return as full vice cops who team up to stop a criminal from poisoning the city's water supply with Spanish fly.
- Vice Academy 3 (1991) - Holly returns and is teamed up with Didi's younger sister Candy (Kaitan) as they take on escaped convict Malathion who plots to get revenge on the vice squad during an Earth Day celebration.
- Vice Academy 4 (1995) - Candy and her new partner Samantha (Rocki Garner) face-off, yet again, with Malathion whose antics threaten the wedding of the commissioner and his long suffering girlfriend, Miss Devonshire.
- Vice Academy 5 (1996) - Candy returns and is partnered up with Holly's younger sister Traci (Saalman). This time the girls are assigned with stopping a virtual reality hooker accidentally brought to life by the commissioner's son, Irwin.
- Vice Academy 6 (1998) Candy must clear her name after Traci frames her for a bank robbery committed by three bungling strippers.
- Absentee Actor: Jay Richardson appears in all the films as the commissioner except the first one. Part 3 is the only film not to star Jayne Hamil as Miss Devonshire who was replaced by another actress.
- Artifact Title: Only the first film takes place at the vice academy. The girls are full fledged cops in all the sequels.
- Beehive Hairdo: The first film's villain, Queen Bee, sported one. Miss Devonshire sports a smaller one.
- Born Unlucky: Miss Devonshire. She wins the lottery...but her winnings get stolen twice! On top of that, she's constantly getting taken hostage.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The second film opens with Ginger Lynn Allen addressing the audience and acknowledging fan complaints that she didn't get enough screen time in the first film.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Dwayne and Shawnee, Didi's partners and best friends in the first film, are never shown or mentioned again.
- Continuity Nod: In part 6, a hooker scolds Irwin for attempting to offer her $5 for her services. A reference to part 5 where Irwin designed Heidi Ho to only accept $5 for sex.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Unlike the sequels, the first film tried to inject some serious themes into its plot when the girls find an abused under-aged girl who is the victim of white slavery.
- Homage: The films parodied entire plots from more successful films:
- Part 1 drew inspiration from Police Academy and the TV show Charlie's Angels
- Part 2's robotic vice cop BimboCop was clearly inspired by RoboCop
- Part 3 and 4's villainess Malathion, who gets her green hair from a toxic chemical, references the Joker from Tim Burton's Batman (1989), complete with Malathion saying "wait until they get a load of me".
- Part 5 references Weird Science with a sexy computer program who comes to life and helps her geeky creator get women.
- Part 6 takes plot elements from the Harrison Ford film The Fugitive
- Jewish American Princess: Tiffany Berkowitz, the cranky bride from part four.
- Mr. Fanservice: Each film featured at least one shirtless hunk but Steve Mateo was the most prominent beefcake with roles in three of the films (albeit as a different character each time).
- Nerds Are Virgins: Irwin is depicted as a horny but inexperienced loser who loves video games and Star Trek conventions.
- Same Character, but Different:
- Tiffany Berkowitz is depicted as a shrill bride-to-be who intends to never work after getting married in part 4. In part 5, she's suddenly a savvy marriage counselor.
- Hank Grisham is a SWAT expert in part 5 but suddenly becomes a detective in part 6.
- Shout-Out: In part five, the creature puppets from Sloane's 1988 film Hobgoblins can be seen in Irwin's bedroom. Posters for Hobgoblins and The Visitants can be seen on his wall.
- Rick Sloane named Traci after Traci Lords.
- Spiritual Successor: Rick Sloane also made Bikini Academy in 1996 featuring many of the same cast members from the Vice series including Raelyn Saalman and Michael Kayem. A rehash of Vice Academy with two best friends joining a lifeguard academy in order to meet men while also clashing with a mean rival. Marketed as Babe Watch - A Forbidden Parody in an attempt to cash in on the success of Baywatch
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Nice girl Didi is replaced by her doe-eyed sister Candy while mean girl Holly is replaced by her equally bitchy sister Traci.
- Chief Wells is replaced by The Commissioner starting with the second film.
- In part 6, a paint bomb mishap gives the villain bright pink hair much like the chemical mishap that gave Malathion her bright green hair in part 3.
- Take That!: Rick Sloane used previously unseen footage of Ginger Lynn Allen to make jokes at her expense in the later films after she left the series and openly bad-mouthed the films and Rick.
- That One Guy: Dwayne is the only male student in the vice academy as well as being Didi and Shawnee's only male friend.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: In part 5, it is stated that Devonsire and the Commissioner have been married for three months. Part 6 picks up immediately after part 5 with Candy and Traci taking the lottery money that Devonshire won at the end of previous film to the bank, but here it is stated that Devonshire and the Commissioner are suddenly celebrating their one year wedding anniversary. So either Devonshire has been hanging on to that lottery ticket for nine months or the writer cannot do math.
- Written-In Absence: Holly's absence in parts 4-6 is explained as her being stuck in prison.