There isn’t much to brag about when your hometown is Rockford, IL. So when people ask what Rockford is like, I often tell them to imagine if Chicago had a little crackhead brother that stole your car and turned the backseat into a fuckpad for his hooker girlfriends to turn tricks while they scrapped up enough for their next rock. Too harsh? Maybe. Accurate? You have no idea.
But what about the good? It can’t all be bad, right? We’ve got a few things that make Rockford worth driving through. Beef-A-Roo has killer grub. We birthed Cheap Trick, if that’s your bag. The Little Mermaid, Jodi Benson, and snob-supreme comedian Natasha Leggero both escaped. And last but not least, the ultimate Girl Next Door, — Miss Ginger Lynn Allen.
For the uninitiated, Ginger Lynn skyrocketed to fame in the mid-80s in the Adult Entertainment Industry. Her story is fascinating, and there are more than enough podcasts where you can hear straight from her about her career. For those interested, I would point you toward The Rialto Report, Holly Randall: Unfiltered, or in print right here at Icon Vs. Icon, when Steve Johnson sat down to chat. She also had wonderful insight on “Once Upon A Time In The Valley,” the podcast series tackling what really happened with Traci Lords.
Today, I’ll be suggesting three criminally underrated Ginger Lynn Allen performances. Spoiler Alert: The Rob Zombie flicks aren’t here. Send all hate mail to the corporate office.
At number three, we have Brenda in Rick Sloane’s MIND, BODY & SOUL from 1992. In this thriller, Ginger’s Brenda is thrust into a satanic cult by her jagbag boyfriend. After refusing to join, the cult sets out to make her life a living hell as they attempt to unalive her by the final credits. Ginger is paired opposite Wings Hauser, John Henry Richardson, and Tamara Clatterbuck.
Number two finds us at 1989’s WILD MAN. Directed by Fred J. Lincoln. Horror fans will remember Fred’s turn as Weasel in ‘The Last House on the Left.’ In ‘Wild Man,’ Ginger plays Dawn, a supporting character to Michelle Bauer and Don Scribner as the titular “Wild Man.” The film has everything you’d expect from a late-80s action flick — Guns, gals, and a tough-as-nails hero righting wrongs. It also takes one of America’s favorite 80s pastimes and combines it with a mouthful of exposition delivered pitch perfectly by Ginger. That’s right, as Ginger and Michelle work out, Ginger’s Dawn lays out all the necessary information to further the plot, turning the “show it, don’t say it” motto on its head. Slàinte!
Number one is a trilogy of campy goodness as we celebrate Rick Sloane’s VICE ACADEMY, VICE ACADEMY 2, and VICE ACADEMY 3. In ‘Vice Academy,’ Ginger plays Holly, a student at the titular Academy where small arrests equal graduation points. Holly, the spoiled daughter of the Chief of Police, wants to be the star pupil by any means necessary. In her way is DiDi, played by Linnea Quigley. The unlikely crime-fighting duo hit the streets of El Lay to thwart criminals one Vice at a time.
By the time the sequel rolls around, the now “frenemies” are all in! The sequel delivers double the thrills, double the laughs, and double the vices. We find Holly and DiDi on their first assignment. Unfortunately, things don’t work out as well as they would like. They make an enemy on the force, a sexist pig (no pun there) named Petrolino. The duo eventually pose as Strippers as they attempt to bring down the supervillainess Spanish Fly. Our gals are in a race against time as they attempt to make the collar before the Vice Squad’s latest experiment, Bimbocop claims all the glory. A solid sequel and a fun watch.
Rounding out the Ginger Lynn trilogy of ‘Vice Academy’ (there would be six films in total) is ‘Vice Academy 3.’ The film pairs Ginger with former Unsung Hero of Hollywood, Elizabeth Kaitan, as Candy, DiDi’s sister (Linnea Quigley departed after two films). Admittedly, this is my favorite of the series (and it features TWO Unsung Heroes, folks!). The beginning of ‘Vice Academy 3’ finds Holly where the sequel left her, undercover behind bars as she attempts to keep a close eye on Melanie (Julia Parton). Jailhouse chaos ensues, of course. Another newbie, though uncredited performance, to the cast is Darcy DeMoss as Samantha. Holly’s jealousy toward DiDi in the first two films is now aimed at Candy and Samantha.
‘Vice Academy,’ ‘Vice Academy 2,’ and ‘Vice Academy 3’ deliver pitch-perfect 80s/90s goofball comedy fun. Ginger is allowed to flex her muscles here. The epitome of “resting bitch face,” Ginger can play a wide range from cocky and confident to empathetic and insecure. No surprise four of the movies here are directed by Rick Sloane. For reasons I do not have an answer to, the duo brought out the best in each other.
These days you can find Ginger at various conventions around the country. You can also find her in a slew of independent films, including Paul Ragsdale and Angelica De Alba’s STREETS OF VENGEANCE, SLASHLORETTE PARTY, and the upcoming MURDERCISE.
MIND, BODY AND SOUL and all six VICE ACADEMY films can be found streaming on Full Moon Features!
Born and raised in Rockford, IL., Jeremy spent his formative years in the dusty isles of local video stores. Eventually his “5 for $5 for 5 days” video rentals would lead to an underwhelming and short lived career in film and television production. His childhood fascination with the naked breasts featured in the “Friday the 13th” franchise prepared him for absolutely nothing in life. He currently resides in Southwestern Michigan living his best life as an introverted extrovert.
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