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Road House (1989)

April 13, 2010

8/10 Mullet Furies

Kung-fu bar fights. Boobs galore. Patrick Swayze.

I don’t even know why they kept making movies after this.

Road House is about a bouncer of legend who makes his way to a small town in Texas to clean up a dive bar that’s hit rock bottom and, in turn, take down the corrupt bastard who’s got the whole damn town under his greedy little thumb.

I meant to have this review up a couple weeks ago to coincide with Kai B. Parker’s post on “Reasons Why Road House Rules“, but since I’m an idiot and hadn’t already seen this, it took me a minute to get my queue in order and free up two hours for what I now realize is the one thing that has finally filled the void in my deeply deprived life. I’ll try not mention all the things Kai already listed, but it’s gonna be hard, because they are all truly integral to the experience.

But let’s start with the poster, more specifically its tag lines. It reads: “Dalton lives like a loner, fights like a professional. And lives like there’s no tomorrow…ROAD HOUSE.” And in case you didn’t get the gist, you dense mother effer, you, we’re left with: “The dancing’s over. Now it gets dirty.” Also note the inclusion of Swayze banging a girl over the title.


And, honestly, the poster says it all and is pretty up front about what you’re signing up for. Sure, the grammar’s a little suspect, but good luck bringing that up with Dalton, because he ain’t hearing it. Hope you enjoyed the days of not having your larynx ripped out, ’cause you have just entered a world of sweet pain, my friend.

Man, there are tons of reasons why this movie rocks, but it all really boils down to Swayze. If you haven’t already caught on, Swayze plays Dalton, and despite how completely stupid the idea of focusing a movie around a bouncer who’s the Sun Tzu of bar room justice and wisdom is, Swayze ends up making it work a whole lot more than it should. For every situation he’s always got some deep knowledge to drop like, “Pain don’t hurt,” or “Nobody ever wins a fight,” or “Go fuck yourself,” but lucky for everyone involved in this movie, Swayze is the essence of cool.

Yeah, we’re talking some profound shit here, folks, and as hilarious as it all is, I can’t help but dig how Swayze makes it come off as un-corny as possible. He really was an awesome dude and this really is an awesome tribute to how cool he truly was.

And Sam Elliott is a total badass as Dalton’s mentor, Wade Garrett. When is Sam Elliott not a badass?

Also stands as a front-runner for the best final line with, “A polar bear fell on me.” Suck on that, Casablanca.

I wasn’t expecting to like Road House and as much as this review might sound totally ridiculous, I really did have a freakin’ blast with it. It’s no work of art and it doesn’t have a whole lot to say on anything outside of the importance of kicking someone in the knee, but it’s not exactly taking itself all that seriously either and it knows the audience it’s catering to (drunk guys). Believe it or not, this thing is actually a great time, it had me cracking up throughout and it’s awesome to watch Swayze dish out the pain with his crazy blend of roundhouse punches and leaping kicks. Totally lived up to the hype.

Can’t wait to see this hammered. Thinking this is gonna be closer to a 9 the next time around.

Oh, and if you ever find yourself on the short end of a Mexican standoff, always, always kick the gun out of the other guy’s hand before he can get a shot off. Trust me, it’s a surefire thing. Dalton taught me that. Dalton taught me a lot of things.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2010 12:16 am

    i watched this movie when I was 10 freaking years old. I seem to remember Jefferson Darcy having doggie style sex in the keg room, telling the girl that she’s his saturday night — and some sort of kung fu move that tore tongue from a throat ……. Am I in the right neighborhood w/ that memory?

    • April 13, 2010 12:18 am

      You’re spot on! My first experience with cinema nudity… if only I could go back and do it again!

    • April 13, 2010 8:58 am

      Hahaha, you got it. Good times at 10.

  2. April 13, 2010 12:17 am

    Tagline should read: “Watch this movie or we’ll tell Swayze!”
    You’re the fucking man, Aiden. I’m glad you liked… though not surprised! I have a ton more to say but I’m tired and have to work 50 hours in the next 4 days so I’ll be back. For now, I’m headed to my site to throw a link to this and off to bed… PEACE OUT!!!

    • April 13, 2010 8:59 am

      The one thing I didn’t mention was how awesome it was the way that asshole died at the end by getting lit up four times with shotguns. Dude kept getting up! Totally, totally awesome. Thanks for the recommendation, man. Keep ’em comin!

  3. Ryan permalink
    April 13, 2010 8:57 am

    I want you to be nice until it’s time to not be nice.
    How will we know when that is?

    I’ll let you know.

    Pretty much sums up this whole movie. Bad Ass.

  4. April 13, 2010 10:47 am

    Stupendously brilliant, great read AR
    this movie didnt top our most popular post ever for nuthin…

    • April 13, 2010 11:16 am

      I remember commenting on that post way back when I first discovered your fine blog. Needless to say, it made quite the impression on me, especially the tag lines. Glad we have this in common, McG.

  5. April 13, 2010 11:23 am

    those were good days AR. George W Bush was still president. Tiger Woods was still a saint and Tom Petty was the best Traveling Wilbury

  6. April 13, 2010 5:16 pm

    One of the greatest ass kicking moves of all-time. One of the 1,000 of reasons why Swayze was, and forever always will be a legend. RIP Patrick, RIP.

    • April 13, 2010 6:00 pm

      Legend? I don;t know about that. Sometime ass kicker with glorious locks and great Chippendale moves — fer shur

      • April 13, 2010 6:04 pm

        Dude, Dalton has a rep right from the get-go. Legend indeed!

  7. April 14, 2010 10:00 am

    My first experience with cinema nudity was Terminator. It would have been Flashdance but my mom always covered my eyes while we watched.

    If you haven’t go to Kai’s site for all the reasons he loves Roadhouse:

    Glad you liked this one. It’s sometimes overlooked but is a great film that is totally rewatchable.

  8. Marc permalink
    April 15, 2010 10:17 am

    Awesome job mentioning “A polar bear fell on me”!!

    Aside from the “larynx swipe” that’s the one thing that stands out above all else whenever someone mentions Roadhouse. So glad you put that in the review:)

  9. LLW permalink
    May 29, 2010 10:10 am

    Funny review… except that Dalton goes to a small bar in Kansas City. Which is in Missouri, or Kansas. Not Texas.



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