Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

The plan, as it were, was to work my way though a crapload of Straight to Video sequels of theatrical movies for this special episode of Totally Twisted Flix I have in the works on, naturally, Straight to Video sequels of theatrically released movies. I’ve already done two of these shows focusing on movies such as the nudity fest which was 8mm 2 or the failed but ambitious ‘Scorpion King 2’ but I always need more content. So in consecutive days I’ve seen ‘Van Wilder 3’, ‘The Messengers 2’, ‘Save the Last Dance 2’ and ‘The Cell 2’ which is a dizzying array of STV fare but here we are with ‘Road House 2: Last Call’. Now I had heard some really, really horrible things about this movie and as such I avoided it, plus it’s over three years old. But the great thing about Straight to Video is that it’s always fresh. Evergreen is the term. You see unlike major theatrically released films which folks can easily date, most people aren’t aware of a Straight to Video flick until it sneaks up on them like a virus. For instance Spike TV did a marathon of fairly recent Steven Seagal movies, which me and the rare few have seen already but I bet for the majority of the people tuning in, they were experiencing the magic that was ‘Urban Justice’ for the very first time. Evergreen baby. Thus this leads us to ‘Road House 2’ which is fresh to me despite its age and after seeing it, and maybe because of rock bottom expectations, but I’m not sure what more any questionably sane person could possibly want in a trashy Straight to Video sequel.

Jonathan Schaech is Shane Tanner, son of the legendary Dalton Tanner, as played by the late Patrick Swayze. Recognize of the bat that Dalton Tanner is probably in the top ten of all-time movie badasses and Jonathan Schaech is no Patrick Swayze. I mean he’s not a bad Jonathan Schaech, but he is no Patrick Swayze. Plus this leads us to one problem with the movie in that we are informed that Dalton Tanner was murdered. As if somebody could actually kill Dalton Tanner. Anyway Shane, a badass DEA agent, has to head back down to the bayou because somebody has tried to kill his uncle Nate (Will Patton), a badass in his own right, and is also muscling in on Nate’s club.

This somebody would be the completely out of his mind Wild Bill (Jake Busey) who along with his crew, which features his crazy hot silent assassin Nadja (Marisa Quintanilla) and arguably the most useless henchman ever in movie history in one Mr. Marcus (Larnell Stovall) who gets his ass kicked more than any other henchman… ever. Wild Bill needs Uncle Nate’s club to sell drugs… don’t ask… just roll with it, and Nate wasn’t selling and now Shane isn’t selling. Shane also picks up a little hottie along the way named Beau (Ellen Hollman) who in addition to being a crazy cute 3rd grade school teacher is also MMA fighting expert and a skilled gun wrangler.

So eventually we know Wild Bill and Shane have to cross paths, in addition Shane has to cross paths with Wild Bill’s overseer Victor Cross (Richard Norton) who may or may not know a little something about the death of Dalton Turner. Shootouts, fist fights, titties and incoherence will ensue.

I can understand why somebody would come out of this flick and be disappointed. In addition to a story which only makes sense in the reality it exist in, the movie does use the title ‘Road House’, while probably not the high water mark of cinematic achievement is an all time great guilty pleasure for a lot of folks and again Shane Turner can’t carry Dalton Turner’s water bottle. But if you can get past that you do have a pretty trasherific movie on your hands. Four minutes in and we’re already in a strip club looking a titties, followed by the worlds hottest DEA agent (Crystal Mantecon), for absolutely no reason at all, mere seconds after a huge bust drags her fellow ‘undercover’ agent Shane in the back room for a lap dance. Inappropriate perhaps but there it is. We also observed Shane was wearing one of those black t-shirts with DEA blazoned in large yellow letters under his jacket. Good thing the drug dealers didn’t ask him to get comfortable. Then you are treated to watch Jake Busey overact and chew up scenery. Outstanding. A performance that would even impress his daddy it was so over the top. Observe Shane’s pretty girlfriend ‘save’ her man by throwing some poo at him to keep him away from the club because she got the heads up that something wicked was going down. Of course this technique caused the death and cripplization of a bunch of folks, but it worked out great for Shane. Then there is the interesting case of Larnell Stovall. This cat is a professional fighter and probably could kick anybody’s ass on set, though Richard Norton would give him a good go, but he got beat up so often in this movie it was hilarious. First Old Man Nate kicks his ass, then he mouths off to Shane who subsequently kicks his ass, then he upsets Wild Bill who then slaps the shit out of him... I mean he slaps him. Then he gets beat up by Old Man Nate yet again, note that old man Nate is in a hospital at deaths door when he kicks off in Marcus’ ass, and finally Marcus get shot to death by Shane’s girlfriend. Stellar.

But the coup de grace of this here movie is the bitch battle between the characters of Beau vs. Nadja. I’m going to have to go back into the archives to verify this but I believe this just may be the best bitch brawl ever. Director Scott Ziehl shot it well, the fight choreographer was on his ‘A’ game for this scene, stunt doubles Karin Silvestri and Sophia Crawford seamlessly subbed in for the actresses they were stunting for and it was brutal and lengthy. Way better than the fight simultaneously going on upstairs between Shane and Wild Bill. How often do people give it up for the stunt doubles? Had to be done.

All I’m saying is despite the fact the movie is completely ridiculous, if it could’ve avoided mating itself to ‘Road House’, which apparently rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way, I think this movie is a craptastic classic.

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