Road House

A brawny bouncer and expert martial artist is hired to police a rowdy bar in the Midwest. He falls for a local girl, which angers her ex-boyfriend.

Year: 1989
Certificate: 18
Director: Rowdy Herrington
Starring: Patrick SwayzeKelly LynchSam ElliottBen GazzaraMarshall R. TeagueJulie MichaelsRed WestSunshine ParkerJeff HealeyKevin TigheJohn DoeKathleen Wilhoite

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Growing up I remember very few films. Until I was about 15, I didn’t really see many, but of those I did some really made an impact and were etched into my brain. This was of course in the days where film ratings were considered more of a subtle suggestion, rather than the moral compass, so the two that come to mind are both films that a child under the age of 15 should NOT be watching. The first one was a horror film about two brothers who owned a diner and were dating, then killing women and feeding them to customers with the aim to bring back a god called “Shitaar”. The second one was “Road House”.

I remember being amazed by the karate and the no holds barred fighting that, along with possibly the first time I had seen a naked woman on film, it’s understandable why “Road House” was such a great film in my adolescent eyes. “Road House” is a film about a run-down bar called “The Double Deuce’ located on the outskirts of a big city that, at one point, was the place to be but due to some bad apples in the town, had been turned into the kind of place that you knew you were guaranteed a pint and a punch up. The owner of the bar had big plans for the ‘DD’ and knew he needed something drastic to turn the bar around. He hires a scrawny looking guy called Dalton, played by Patrick Swayze, who has a ‘Take no crap’ reputation. Dalton indeed takes no crap and proceeds to rule the roost and ruffle some feathers.

Just as things begin to be looking up, those bad apples return along with the local rich/bad guy Brad Wesley, who has his own plans for the town and of course The Double Deuce. When he realises Dalton isn’t going to bow down to him as most of the other residents have, a battle of wills and blood ensues. Of course, it was never going to end well after Dalton finds out the local doctor which for many reasons Dalton sees a great deal of, was once a love interest of Mr. Wesley.

It’s crazy to think that this film is now 30 years old but when you watch it, everything screams 1980’s. From the hair to the cars to the music to the tight jeans and snakeskin boots.
So, the fashion is a little outdated, the script is a little cheesy but the action is just as good as you could hope for. It’s raw and unpolished just as much like the setting in which it is based. I read that this was the most physical role Patrick Swayze had ever played and in fact turned down an action film afterward because it wouldn’t have given him enough time to recover. He instead made a little movie called ‘Ghost‘, which of course propelled him even further into superstardom.

As well as Swayze, “Road House” has a cast of well-known faces from its time. The love interest and Doctor is played by Kelly Lynch. Brad Wesley was played by Ben Gazzara, The owner of ‘The Double Deuce’ was played by  Kevin Tighe and possibly the most famous out of them due to his role in the Academy award-winning “A Star is Born” and many other classics, is the legendary actor Sam Elliott.

Rewatching “Road House” recently really brought a smile to my face. Not only was it great to see an old favourite, but with all its 80s flare, it still holds up as a great action film, especially without the current trend of high wires and CGI. If you’re looking for a good ol’ slobberknocker, then give The Double Deuce a visit, pull up a barstool and enjoy the show.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

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