Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

For The Last Great American Movie… I give you… Road House. Can you believe I’ve never seen this movie? The only reason I watched this movie now is because I had watched ‘Road Hose 2’ for this episode of this obscure TV show I do and simply felt that I should watch the original just for disclosures sake. I remember my aunt seeing this movie back in 1989 and being completely traumatized by it. When I think back I’m wondering why she went to go see it in the first place. This woman is a pacifist, socialist, PhD left leaning Marxist type and she made it a point to see ‘Road House’ of all movies. I’m left with assuming she only went to see this flick because she heard the late Patrick Swayze showed his naked ass. I’m going to call her and ask her about this.

Dalton (Swayze) is the best cooler in the business. When things are going down at the club that needs a heavy hand Dalton is your man. Yeah you would think he’d be bigger, but if you crush a guy’s knee cap it is amazing how quickly he comes down to size. Dalton is off to Jasper Missouri to clean up the Double Deuce and if ever there was a club that needed cleaning up it is the Double Deuce. Here’s the problem with the little city of Jasper. It’s run by arguably the evilest man on the planet earth in Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara). Just got an email from Adolph Hitler who let me know that even he thinks Wesley needs to tone it down. If you don’t pay your worship Brad Wesley association fees, he will blow your shit up. If you’re seen talking to the dude who didn’t pay his association fees, he will blow your shit up with you still in your shit. Or he will monster truck your shit to death. In public. For everyone to see. Or he will stab you in the chest and take you to his taxidermist and hang you right you next to his stuffed koala bear. This bastard murdered and stuffed a koala! Bastard!

As bad as Wesley may be, he done f’d up. For real. He’s picked a fight with one tortured ass bouncer and his not so tortured mentor Wade (the legendary Sam Elliott)… We love us Sam Elliott but has he ever been young? Dalton also has made a little love connection in this messed town with the world’s blondest, tannest and most shameless country doctor appropriately named Doc (Kelly Lynch). Fornicating with

the blinds wide open is one thing but fornicating on top of the awning… come on ya’ll, take it inside. Doc really likes this guy, obviously since he was banging her like a madman against a brick wall made of jagged rock and she didn’t say stop, and she just wants Dalton to get out town because Wesley is going to get make him pay. Hmmm… Doc didn’t seem like such an idiot. Maybe she should’ve asked somebody before she started doing all that fancy thinking because in the history of badasses there are few badder than my main man Dalton.

Wow. The level of awesomeness that is this movie ‘Road House’ is almost immeasurable. Dalton rips this guy’s trachea from his throat, an event which traumatizes Doc so much she doesn’t want anything else to do with him. Until she sees him again standing over the dead bodies of about another half dozen dudes he’s just murdered and the next thing you know they’re splashing in the water naked and joyful. Did she just accept the fact that her one true love is a homicidal lunatic and just rolled with it? About those dead bodies… Is ‘I didn’t see nothin’ a valid defense for multiple homicide? Case Closed baby. And this movie was educational. If a man pulls a gun you, you’re choices are to die or to ‘Kill the Mother Fucker!’ This… I did not know. Thanks Wade Garrett! I’m thinking if you have the skills to rip this guy’s throat out while he’s holding this gun on you, this same person probably has the skills to simply disarm the dude… but hell… he’ll probably just try to kill you later anyway so I can see where Wade is coming from.

Dalton is the man but he’s far from perfect. When he fired that cat for banging that chick in the storeroom while he was on his break… that was kind of an asshole move right there. I mean my man was on his break. I guess homeboy could’ve enjoyed a tasty snack from the vending machine on this break but given a choice… somebody around here hates freedom.

What more could anybody possibly want in movie? That is outside of a coherent story and good acting. ‘Road House’ is violent, it’s completely nonsensical, it has gratuitous titties all over the place and has some of the worst music you will ever want to hear. When Dalton went into the House of Wesley and that omnipresent Blonde Bimbo that was everywhere in this movie (Julie Michaels), that song she was gyrating to was so grating and so obnoxious that I wanted to choke somebody, which is just how Brad Wesley felt when he yelled at her to turn that shit off. Ben Gazzara was not acting during that scene.

Some may remember Mr. Swayze for ‘Ghosts’ or ‘Red Dawn’ or ‘Dirty Dancing’ or that one terrible pop song he had that managed to chart. I don’t know why they would remember him for that mess when the book on Patrick Swayze is opened and closed with this movie right here... Followed by ‘Next of Kin’. The Japanese have Kurosawa and ‘Rashomon’, the French have Truffaut and ‘The 400 Blows’ The Italian’s have Fellini and ‘8 ’ or D’Amato and ‘Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals’ – take your pick - but we have Herrington and ‘Road House’. I’ll take what we got any day of the week.

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