THE STRAIGHT DOPE:
I think watching Road House on DVD for review was the first time
I've ever seen the film without TBS' dubbing and editing, which would
explain why I never heard the line "I used to fuck guys like you in
prison" before. The beautiful thing about Road House is the way
it revels in crude comments and actions like that, regardless of
the character is good or bad. Knees are snapped, throats are gouged,
heads are butted, but it's all in good fun.
Patrick Swayze was just coming off the high of Dirty Dancing
he made this unrepentantly grimy movie. He was probably looking for
something with some edge, a quality that this rodeo of a movie has in
spades. The story involves a cooler (head bouncer) by the prissy name
of Dalton (Swayze) and his quest to clean up the Double Deuce, the
of place, as one character says, "where they
sweep up the eyeballs at closing." The plot itself can basically be summed up as
"That guy is bad! Let's kill him!" The bad guy, in this case, is Brad Wesley
grinning Ben Gazzara), a corrupt local businessman bleeding the town
dry. Dalton's one man war to off the bad guy and get the girl (the
impossibly high-haired Kelly Lynch) does hit a few snags along the way
(can you say Monster Truck, kids?) but in the end he saves the day and
still keep his mullet intact.
Road House is rootin' tootin' moo-vee makin' at its best. Hats
off to the screenwriters and director Rowdy Herrington (THAT'S an
appropriate name!) for working not one but two huge explosions into a
movie about bar-fights.
The cast features a few recognizable names, including Gazzara, a grizzled Sam Elliott, and blind guitarist Jeff Healey in
his only screen performance, and everyone does fine work. The villains sneer. Heck, even the good guys sneer in this one. But with dialog like "That gal's got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that" you pretty much get what you want. As far as redneck melodramas go, Road House is among the best. The music's loud, the women are sleazy and blood is
red. That's all you need to know.
The anamorphic widescreen video looks quite good. While it's doubtful
that the Library of Congress will be canonizing this film, the print is
in decent shape, if a little dull in the contrast department, but the
image is reasonably sharp and the workman-like cinematography makes
sense when not cropped for Superstation. A full-screen version is available on the flip-side.
The soundtrack is available in English and French, both Dolby Digital 2.0, and Spanish Dolby Digital mono. The sound is
pretty good, although, like the cinematography, doesn't really push the limits. The explosions sure are loud.
Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese
Just a trailer.
I'll proudly shelve Road House next to other cheese classics
like like The Last Dragon and Ice Castles, although this one is far bloodier. Perfect for a
late-night moviethon, Road House is a certain type of classic. Only Jean Teasdale could have a problem with