Johnny Goodtimes Reviews Road House


I just saw Road House for the first time. Road House is not one of the greatest films I have ever seen, but it is certainly one of the most amazing films I’ve ever seen. It is one of those rare films that is so unintentionally insane that you wonder if maybe it wasn’t unintentional.

Patrick Swayze is Dalton, a big time bouncer with a Zen approach who is hired to come to clean up a crazy bar in a small town called Jasper. It has all the makings of a “flashy big city guy moves to small town and slowly falls in love with the folksy ways of the natives, while learning a little something about himself along the way” kind of film. It isn’t. It is, again, sheer insanity, a film whose eccentricities keep you glued to the screen. There is a blind musician, a bad guy who hits the brakes on his dirtbike just long enough to laugh maniacally, boots with razor blade tips, and boobs. Lots of boobs. But don’t worry, ladies, the director (Penn State grad Rowdy Herrington) wanted to make a film that appealed to all audiences, so there are lots of scenes with a chiselled Patrick Swayze with his shirt off, including an awkwardly long scene of a greased down Swayze doing yoga in the yard while “The Bad Guy” Brad Wesley watches from his house across the lake. (Swayze and his arch enemy lived across a small lake from each other.)

One thing the town of Jasper is short on is an effective police force. Despite numerous knife fights at the Double Deuce, no officer ever makes an appearance. Despite several explosions, there are no investigations. When a Bigfoot truck destroys an auto dealer, there are no questions asked by the local authorities. Even after Dalton (spoiler alert) kills a man with his bare hands, no police show up to ask him any questions. Jasper truly is a vigilante town. 

It is also a small town with a hot doctor. Needless to say, despite their apparent differences, the hot blonde doctor who wears short skirts to work and the tough guy bouncer fall in love. Or at least lust, despite the pain she must have been the morning after (spoiler alert!) having sex against a jagged stone wall. The love story endures its ups and downs, as the doctor doesn’t really approve of her boyfriend ripping another mans jugular vein out of his neck (women can be like that). But after Dalton proves his love by killing several men by more traditional means, she falls in love with him all over again. Love can be funny sometimes. 

The film also had one of my favorite taglines ever: The dancing’s over. Now it gets dirty. I am not making that up. Another interesting note is that two of the stars of the film also starred in the Big Lebowksi. Sam Elliot, who starred as Wade in Road House, was the Stranger in Lebowski, while Ben Gazzara (Brad) starred as Jackie Treehorn in Lebowski

The writing in the film is delightfully awful, and one has to wonder if some of the writers maybe one day moved on to writing for Silk Stockings. If you have not seen this film, it qualifies as a MUST SEE. I am giving it a B+, so brilliantly bad that it’s great.
PREVIOUSLY: JGT reviews 12 Angry Men.

  • PalestraJon

    Great Review JGT! You absorbed the full essence of this movie, a true “Guy Movie,” which Swayze had to do between “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost” to maintain his guy credentials. It has many of the hallmarks of a true Guy Movie, including the victory of the Iconic Guy over the forces of un-Guydom, represented by Ben Gazzara, getting manicures and massages across the lake, while staring longingly at Swayze while all oiled up and doing his Tai-Chi moves. It has a classic line for almost everyone in the cast, from blind Canadian singer Jeff Healey (had a hit–Angel Eyes) who (despite being blind) “looked” at Swayze and said “I thought you'd be bigger,” the delicious Kelly Preston (Mrs. John Travolta), who, while wearing a ridiculous checkerboard dress, utters the memorable,”As soon as I pay off the student loans, Dalton, I can afford to buy a real dress and return this one to the picnic table company,” and of course Dalton himself, who, in addition to the quotes you provided, declared the timeless “Pain don't hurt,” “You're too stupid to have fun” and of course, “It's my way or the highway”. It cements its place in the Guy Movie Hall of Fame by killing Sam Elliott when he tells Dalton he loves him. All in all, it's Guy fun in a compact package and I never get tired of tuning it when it shows up on cable, which is often.

  • hoffpajo

    i don't remember kelly preston in the movie, did you mean Kelly Lynch

  • PalestraJon

    Crap—should have looked it up before printing that. Oh well, I made the correction and thanks for pointing that out.

  • JMP

    Speaking of movie reviews, aren't there still several winners of the “What should Johnny watch next?” polls that he still hasn't gotten to reviewing?

  • AndyBoy

    cant believe you never saw this before…the unintentional comedy is off the charts. The name of the club is the double deuce for christ sake! The sleezy bartender skimming off the top. Red, the owner of the auto body shop….the guy Dalton rents his loft apt from…brad punching that dude in the face because he is weak….Dalton not taking anesthtic to get stitched after the knife wound…..its all so amazing…

    this was a sunday college favorite…if it was on TV, the channel didn't change.

    Highly quotable as well. Lots of good quizzo facts in here!

  • AndyBoy

    Sam elliot is also the coolest cat in the biz.

  • Name

    How could you miss the best part? “I used to fuck guys like you in prison.” You fuck guys? Really? You're tough.

  • Silk Stockings? Come on JGT. It's Silk Stalkings.

  • Mitzi Capture

    If he hasn't seen Road House any of the 216,857 times that TBS, TNT, and other cable outlets have shown it in the 10:30-1 a.m. range, then there's no way he ever flipped over to CBS or USA to see my show!

    Thanks,
    Mitzi Capture (star of Silk Stalkings)