Vice Academy 3 (1991)

For this third movie in the Vice Academy epic saga, writer/director/producer/editor Rick Sloane parodies Batman AGAIN. The villain here is Malathion, a lady prison escapee who accidentally gets doused in too much pesticide (in the late 80s and early 90s, helicopters regularly sprayed Los Angeles with malathion to combat an inexplicable Mediterranean fruit fly infestation that was destroying millions of dollars in crops all over the state) and becomes a green-haired super villain. She leads a crew who steal and cause havoc. If you’re smart enough to wonder why the police vice squad is chasing down a gang of thieves, you might be too smart for any Vice Academy movie, let alone Part 3.

With the previous two movies so popular on video and late night cable TV, Rick Sloane says that pitching this film to the money people was easy as pie, a rare luxury for a low-budget exploitation filmmaker. This is also supposedly the Vice Academy movie with the biggest budget, but it’s hard to tell onscreen. These scenes still mostly smell like one-take jobs. Crew members who can’t act are still taking on the bit parts. Sloane still shoots in 1920-style. Just point, shoot and get it over with. The pretty girls will sell the scene.

To be fair though, this film was made under massive duress. THREE actors dropped out the week before shooting. The biggest loss was Linnea Quigley in one of the lead parts. Her replacement, Elizabeth Kaitan, is one smiling beam of blonde sunshine who holds her own, but doesn’t bring Quigley’s subtle smirk. Still, Kaitan was such a trooper that Sloane brought her back for the next three installments in the series (unlike the notoriously difficult Ginger Lynn Allen, making her last appearance for Sloane here). Sloane also lost Jayne Hamil as the iconic Ms. Devonshire. Hamil got a job writing for The Jenny Jones Show (90’s time capsule fodder, ahoy) and couldn’t make this one, but Sloane brought her back for all of the later films, so I guess there were no hard feelings. Then, Sloane also had problems casting new character Samantha (a prison inmate so honest that she’s very realistically see free and welcomed onto the police force before her sentence is up) and ended up with an actress who doesn’t get a mention in the credits.

How do I know so much Vice Academy 3 trivia? Because I listened to Rick Sloane’s DVD commentary track. Yes, there is one and he fills you in on all the gossip, screaming matches, cat fights, what he stole from other movies and what jokes that he wish worked out better. It’s more entertaining than the film itself, which requires some pretty stiff drinks to get through.