What a blast!
Last night, I settled in on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and fired up "Road House"!
Some time ago, I remember talking with my brother-in-law Tom about how "Road House" is one of those movies you have to stop and watch if you come across it while flipping channels. That's usually how I watch it, in bits and pieces. Last night I watched it from the opening credits to the bloody end (and I use "bloody" in the American sense), which wasn't until 4 AM!
This is Patrick Swayze at his buff best as Dalton, the New York University graduate with a degree in philosophy who somehow ends up being not a bouncer, but a "cooler." It's his job to supervise the bouncers, but his goal is always to peaceably remove the offenders rather than beat the crap out of 'em. That happens only when he has no choice, and he is left no alternative several times during the course of the movie! We get to see a shirtless Patrick doing Tai Chi by the river, and we get a pantless Patrick getting out of bed (just the rear view, not the Fully Monty). There's a pretty hot sex scene with the doctor who fixes him up after he gets a knife wound in a bar fight at the Double Deuce. (His comment to the doc: "Pain don't hurt.") Since I've only seen this on TV for the past few years, I'd forgotten how steamy some of this is. The blond bimbo who does a strip tease at the bar is removed by Dalton who hands her over to her boyfriend (Ben Gazzara in an excellent turn as Brad Wesley, the Evil Crime Boss Who Terrorizes the Town) and says, "If you're gonna have a pet, keep it on a leash."
When Dalton visits Wesley at his home, he notices a picture sitting on a table.
Brad: That's my grandfather.
Dalton: Looks like an important man.
Brad: He was an asshole.
The dialogue is just a hoot in this movie!
One of my favorites, Sam Elliott, shows up as the grizzled-but-lovable compadre, Wade, and when Brad Wesley's evil henchmen "take care" of Wade, you can bet there's hell to pay. Some knockdown drag-out action and a few dead bodies later, and the good townspeople have reclaimed their town after taking a cue from Dalton's courage and willingness to stand and fight. It's time for a sadder, and perhaps wiser, Dalton to move on down the road.
There are actually some excellent fight scenes in this movie. The fighting seems to be a combination of martial arts and bare-knuckled face-bashing. I would guess that this is what "ultimate fighting" looks like. I have no interest in that in real life, but in a movie, it's fun! I believe last night I might even have uttered a "Woo hooo!" and a "Hit him again, Patrick!" or two. While I've never been in a place as wild as the Double Deuce, I've been in rough place a time or two. All the bouncers I ever saw looked more like Meat Loaf than Patrick Swayze, though!
And of course, the house band at the Double Deuce is led by none other than Jeff Healey, may he rest in peace. Hard to believe he's gone, and he was a heckuva guitar player. His bluesy style was perfect for this movie and for the Double Deuce. And Patrick Swayze is quite ill with pancreatic cancer, which just breaks my heart. He is truly an '80's movie icon, and I hope and pray that he'll be beat this.
All in all, "Road House" is some of the finest cheese you'll ever find. I won't even call it a guilty pleasure movie, because I don't feel one bit guilty for enjoying it so much! I just might have to watch it again! Maybe I'll wait and see if Ken wants to watch it with me. I'm a fun date--I don't want to watch chick flicks, I want "Road House!"