from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
Roadhouse is a cinema classic and one of the most entertaining movies ever made. It is the White Trash Hamlet; the Redneck Romeo and Juliet; Macbeth with a Mullet; Timon of Athens, Georgia. If I have to go through the process to name my favorite movie, this certainly makes the short list. I would certainly rank it among my top 10 comedies. I doubt whether making a great comedy was the original intention, but as gamblers say, "The cards speak for themselves".
What's it all about?
A powerful landowner with a savage taste for hunting gets all his kicks from his domination of a small town and all its inhabitants. Ben Gazzara plays this part, and don't miss the scene where Gazzara sings. I think I can go out on a limb and say it's the best evil land baron singing in film history. (You want more musical moments? Sam Elliott also sings in this movie.)
Ben also ranks high in
evil rockin' on his rockin' chair, just creakin'
away in that evil way while he watches his
neighbors at night. Now JFK, when he rocked,
that was some good rockin', some downright
saintly rockin'. An' when Grandpappy Amos rocked
while lecturin' L'il Luke, that thar' was jes'
rockin'. But when Ben does it - sheer evil. Of
course, Ben justifies his evil behavior because
there was nothing in the town until he came. He
civilized it. His proof: "I brought the 7-Eleven
here". Yup, that's the sure sign of Civilization
with a capital "C", as documented by Sir Kenneth
Clark. You can keep your sophisticated
economies, your fey literature and fashions,
your codified laws and individual freedoms, and
your lame statues and fountains. Real
civilizations have Slurpees.
Ben comes complete with all the movie evil accoutrements, like an evil paneled den full of animal heads - including herbiverous ruminants! Just thinking - how hard could it be to kill a lumbering herbivore? Even I can be called a big-game hunter in that league. In my own evil paneled den, I have the heads of dairy cows. Now that's good huntin'! I also enjoy hunting for koalas. They sometimes go for hours without muscle movement, so I don't have to waste any bullets on the little guys. In fact, you don't even have to kill 'em and stuff 'em. Just give them a little standing room behind the plaque, hook up a eucalyptus I.V., stick their heads through the opening - bingo - nobody will ever suspect they are still alive.
With the townspeople all terrified that any challenge to Gazzara will cause them to grace the wall in the evil paneled den, it's clear that somebody from the outside has to challenge Big Ben. The owner of the local bar just happens to know one guy who is tough enough - Dalton, the world's greatest bouncer. The bouncer is played by Patrick Swayze, who was then one of the hottest properties in filmdom after his success two years earlier in "Dirty Dancing".
He's not a typical bouncer:
To demonstrate his complete mastery of the nuances of ancient thought, at one point Swayze relieves a guy of his knife with a ... um ... a proven philosophical technique: the respected and time-honored kick in the nuts. I believe it was Confucius who once wrote that while the pen might be mightier than the sword, he would prefer to address his enemies not with witty epigrams from his quill, but with a swift kick in the privates from his pointed shoes.
My translation from Mandarin may be a bit inexact.
Another great feature of the movie: Swayze carries his complete medical records with him at all times. That assures proper treatment when he goes to the emergency room, which he does regularly, possibly to get wounds treated, or sometimes just to pick up chicks.
Bart Simpson once said, "I've based my life on his teachings", in reference to his own guru, Krusty the Klown. As Bart is to Krusty, so am I to Dalton, Patrick Swayze's character in Road House. I have truly based my life on his teachings, and am proud of it.
Did I mention that there is no law enforcement of any kind in this town? A sheriff shows up in the last minute to ask "what's goin' on", and everyone says they "din't see nuthin'".
Ah, the back-up cast! Just thinking of it makes me smile. Make room for wrestler Terry Funk and Kevin Tighe. Tighe plays a guy named Tilghman, presumably so he won't have to learn any new consonants.
Not many movies are so bad they are good. Most bad movies are bad because they are boring. But this one is not boring at all. Never. In fact, "Road House" is one of the most entertaining movies I've ever seen. It is absolutely worth watching, and has a great rock 'n roll score, some of which is not sung by Ben Gazzara or Sam Elliott. The soundtrack even includes the "Identical Cousins" song from the Patty Duke Show!
I strongly suggest that you watch it under the influence of mood-altering substances and in the company of like-minded goofballs. But bottom line - ya gotta see it.
I have to say that the DVD is a little disappointing, even though it has two beautifully transferred versions of the film. I was hoping for about a 5-disc set with deleted scenes and multiple commentary tracks and "making of" featurettes up the patoot.
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