There is perhaps no more iconic ’80s movie than the raucous and preposterous Patrick Swayze flick Road House. It’s filled with tropes that define the era: the clothes, the hair, the swagger, and of interest to us, the cars. The plot isn’t all that important as it’s mostly just an excuse to show off the fights, the boobs, and the mighty, mighty mullets that seem to be the film’s real raison d’être.
All of that takes place in a road-side bar in a podunk town in Missouri that just so happens to be the site of nightly brawls. The owner, played by Kevin Tighe of the ’70s EMS drama Emergency, wants to open a fancier establishment and hires Swayze as the “cooler” to lead his rag-tag group of bouncers and clean the place up. Unfortunately for all involved, all of the town’s businesses have to pay protection money to the local mobster who incomprehensibly lives in a riverside mansion directly across from the barn loft Swayze is renting, which looks like it was decorated by Martha Stewart. As you can imagine, Swayze and the mobster’s mob butt heads and there’s lots of kicking and punching and knife-flicking to be had. The acting is atrocious with the notable exception of Sam Elliot who looks like he’s having a ball and is the only actor not to embarrass himself.
Of course, that’s not why we’re here, we want to see the cars. In that aspect, Road House is a winner as it has a bunch of cool iron sprinkled throughout. The movie opens with an arrest-me red Testarossa but that’s the only exotic on display. Swayze’s character alternates between a majestic Mercedes Benz 560 SEC and not one but two mid-sixties Buick Rivieras. The bad guys drive a monster truck and – incredulously – an Eagle Premier. The mob boss gets a Mustang GT convertible that he keeps so shiny that it routinely reflects the camera crew and lighting in its sides.
So bad that it’s good, Road House was one of the films that made Patrick Swayze (R.I.P.) a star. You also get a couple of musicians in the movie, not exactly proving their acting chops. Those are John Doe from the L.A. band X, and Jeff Healey (also R.I.P.) who actually gets to play music, albeit without actual continuity where what he’s playing matches what’s on the soundtrack. Even if it’s horrible, you know you have to watch it again and again, just to marvel at Swayze’s hair, or that of love interest Kelly Lynch. Watch the trailer right after the jump.
Hey, you can watch Road House on Netflix right now – that’s where I did – or on these other options.
Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer
“This is not a good movie. But viewed in the right frame of mind, it is not a boring one, either.” – Ebert
Man he had a knack to sum-up a film… Anyway, this is an enjoyable good bad film. I really liked the Mustang in particular. My nearest bar could have used a cooler. At first it was great – good food (in particular everything made from beef and potatoes), excellent service, and cheap beer. But then there started being fights, selling alcohol to minors, and drug dealing.
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