Saturday, August 9, 2014

Instant Action: Road House (1989)

I’m not sure I’d be bragging about fucking guys in prison!

Screenplay By: Hilary Henkin & David Lee Henry
Directed By: Rowdy Herrington

--Patrick Swayze without his shirt on performing T'ai chi ch'uan in front of a barn.

--A waitress who appears only to fawn over Dalton, bring him breakfast, and then randomly sing.

--Terry Funk showing up, in general.

--A guy gets his throat ripped out by another dude.

--The love interest has fake baked skin that looks like rubber.

--She also sports implants that look like rock hard, sagging, bags of sand.

--Let’s not forget that she has a foreign accent for reasons that are never touched upon.

--Patrick Swayze is a bouncer who also has a degree in philosophy.

--Our villain is a villain because he has to be a villain, not for any actual reason.

--A man gets trapped by a stuffed polar bear.

--The bar owner changes graffiti from “for a great fuck” to “for a great Buick.”

--Dalton is too tough for pain, in fact, “pain don’t hurt.”

--Dalton sports a knife wound that a VHS tape could be shoved in, but it doesn’t need to be cleaned, just stapled shut.

--And finally, “I used to fuck guys like you in prison.”

Normally I don’t do reviews in the above style, but Road House is a movie that deserves the bullet point treatment. I even left a bunch of stuff out, trust me there’s a lot more greatness contained within the film. Road House isn’t a great movie, it’s pretty darn awful. Within its awfulness it reaches a place where it’s comfortable being awful and because of that it ends up being pretty darn good.

I’ll say this much for Road House, Patrick Swayze has a charisma about him. I can’t claim to have been the biggest fan of Mr. Swayze, but I always liked him as an actor. Road House is a great example of how Mr. Swayze could make ridiculous characters believable. Dalton is a bouncer philosopher, he’s pretty much a joke from the word go. Yet, as the film plays out Mr. Swayze won me over to the Dalton character through the sheer force of his charisma. There’s nothing to dislike about Mr. Swayze’s performance, he’s the one aspect of Road House that I would say is legitimately well-done.

The chances of me disliking a movie like Road House are very slim. It’s a terrible movie that revels in how terrible it can be. Ridiculous and over the top, but Road House is likable because of those elements. The action is a weird mix of brawling and beginner level kung fu, and it works every time a fight breaks out. It’s a tad too long, but that’s the only outright negative thing I have to say about Road House. When I want to watch a movie about a bouncer philosopher who rips dudes throats out, but is nice about it, there’s no other movie to turn to besides Road House.




Bill Thompson

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