For all of you reading today’s blog, I have a bit of a story to tell you regarding today’s movie. Plus, there are pictures to go with this story so it might be a little lengthy but bear with me. First off, allow me to introduce you to two of my friends, Charles and EmilyThey have been friends since high school and are very close, to the point that Emily would be invited to Charles’ house for Christmas Eve dinner. Now, at some point in time, the subject of Roadhouse came up and Charles said that he had never seen it. Well, Emily, who loves how ridiculous that movie is, felt like this was a travesty and decided to get Charles a copy of it for Christmas one year. The next year, Emily learns that he still has not watched it so she warns him that he has one year to watch it or else she will force him to watch it. Well, another year passes and he still has not seen it so Emily begins planning to make good on her threat. Fast forward several months, and we come to my birthday weekend, and as part of the festivities, I decide to hold an impromptu campy movie night. Charles plans on showing up later that night so Emily tells everyone her plan and we all agree to help her. When Charles shows up, the only chair available to sit in happens to be a rolling office chair. As soon as he sits down, our friend Chad, who had gotten up under the pretense of making himself a drink, immediately plops down in Charles’ lap.We then proceed to tie Charles to the chair, using pieces of a broken jump rope we found at the playground where we had a Nerf war earlier that day.
Now, Emily tells Charles that he has to guess the movie we are about to watch, to which Charles replies, “Emily, I’m tied to a chair. I know what movie we are watching. ” So Charles was finally forced to watch Roadhouse, and as much as he hated to admit it, he actually enjoyed it.Now while you all might think that story is pretty funny, or mean, that really isn’t the funny part of this story. The funny part is something that happened inadvertently when we tied Charles to the chair. If you look at the picture above, you might notice that his right arm is tied to his right leg. Well, it turns out that when Charles would go to take a drink, which we were nice enough to provide for him, he would lift up his leg, which caused all of us to laugh about that every time he did it. (The picture below was him exaggerating what had happened)So whenever I think of Roadhouse, this memory will always pop into my head.
The plot: At a New York club called Band Stand, a man named Frank Tilghman walks in and watches as Dalton, the lead cooler (bouncer) manages to handle two drunks and get them outside without any unnecessary violence, even after one of them cuts Dalton’s arm. As Dalton is stitching up his arm, Frank speaks with him and tells Dalton that he owns a bar in Jasper, Mo called the Double Deuce and he would like Dalton to help him clean the place up. Dalton suggests his mentor, Wade Garrett, but Frank says Wade is getting old and he wants Dalton. When Dalton names his price, Frank agrees to it and offers Dalton a plane ticket there but Dalton says he refuses to fly and will get there his way. After leaving the club, Dalton drives to a nearby garage and, after handing the keys to the car he was driving to a man sitting outside, Dalton gets into his real car, a 1986 Mercedes 560SEC and heads to Jasper. When Dalton gets there, he heads to the Double Deuce to see exactly what type of situation he is getting into. Standing by the bar, Dalton watches and notices what all is happening and as a fight breaks out, he stands there and watches, then notices Frank up in his office motioning for him to come up so he heads up to talk to him. When the bar closes, Dalton goes to leave and one of the bouncers, hearing who he is from one of the bartenders (Carrie), mocks him for not helping but Dalton ignores him and says goodbye to Cody, the lead singer for the house band and an old friend of Dalton’s. The next day, Dalton goes out and buys a 1965 Buick Rivera to drive around in and also buys some extra tires. He then heads over to the home of Emmet, who has a room for rent in the loft of his barn. As Dalton looks over the room, they see a helicopter flying taking off from the house across the lake, scaring Emmet’s horses, before landing back at the house. Emmet explains that the owner is a local business man named Brad Wesley, then offers Dalton the room and he accepts. Back at the Double Deuce, Frank is holding a staff meeting to explain his plans for the bar and why he hired Dalton to help ans says that he is in charge of all aspects of the bar. Dalton’s first order of business is to fire the head bouncer Morgan and one of the waitresses who had been selling drugs in the bathroom. Dalton then explains his rules for bouncing at his bar, telling the bouncers to be nice to the customers and try to take it outside unless it is absolutely necessary. That night, Dalton watches as one of the bouncers tries to calmly get a girl to stop dancing on one of the tables but when the guy she is with punches the bouncer and pulls out a knife, Dalton quickly steps in and smashes the guy’s face into the table before telling two bouncers to take him outside. Dalton then fires another bouncer, Steve, for having sex with a girl on the premises who isn’t 21, and after the bar closes, fires the bartender Pat for skimming money off of the sales. When Pat questions Frank about it, Franks backs up Dalton and tells Pat to leave. When Dalton leaves for the night, he laughs as he finds his windshield smashed, antennae broken, and two flat tires, knowing that the people he fired would get back at him. That night, as he is relaxing in his room, Dalton sees a huge party going on at Wesley’s house and several of the men he fired are attending. The next day, Dalton goes to get a new windshield and meets Red Webster, who owns an auto shop next to the bar. As they are talking, Wesley walks in with another man and introduces himself to Dalton and as Dalton leaves, Wesley speaks with Red. That night, Dalton heads up to Frank’s office to find Pat there with two other men, O’Connor and Tinker. When Dalton asks what is going on, O’Connor tells him that Frank changed his mind and gave Pat his job back, explaining that Pat actually worked for Wesley, who is his uncle and happens to supply the liquor for the Double Deuce. When Pat pulls out a knife and tries to start a fight with Dalton, Dalton breaks his nose and then throws him through a window. O’Connor and Tinker attack Dalton, with Tinker managing to cut Dalton with a knife, but Dalton, with the help of some of the other bouncers, manages to beat them and kick them all out. Dalton heads to the emergency room, where Dr. Elizabeth “Doc” Clay, tends to his wound and as they are talking, Dalton invites her to stop by the Double Deuce for some coffee one night. The next morning, Wesley sees what happened to Pat and chastises Tinker and O’Connor, repeatedly punching O’Connor for letting Pat get hurt, then telling his men to get rid of him. Later, Dalton stops by Red’s store and sees two of Wesley’s men leaving and when he goes in, the place is smashed and Red admits that Frank shakes down all of the businesses. Dalton calls Wade to ask if he ever heard of Wesley and when Wade asks if Dalton needs help, Dalton declines it. That night, some of Wesley’s men show up looking to cause trouble but Dalton and the bouncers quickly take them outside and proceed to beat them. As the men leave and the bar patrons head back inside, Dalton notices Doc and the two head to a nearby diner for coffee. The talk there for a while and Doc takes Dalton back to the Double Deuce to get his car, and he kisses her good night, then proceeds to fix his car after finding it damaged again. The next day, Tinker and O’Connor show up at the barn and tell Dalton that Wesley wants to see him and they escort him to Wesley’s house. Inside, Dalton sees Denise, a girl that had hit on him the night before, exercising and when she sees Dalton, she tries to hide her bruised face from him. Dalton is taken to see Wesley, who tries to hire Dalton to work for him and tells him he knows Dalton killed a man in Memphis but Dalton refuses to work for him. That night, the Double Deuce opens with it’s new look and Frank is happy to see it how he visioned it but informs Dalton that they are running out of liquor and nobody will deliver to him. Dalton says it is due to Wesley and makes a phone call, saying he will handle it. As Dalton goes to leave, he sees Doc waiting for him but they are spotted by Jimmy, who knows that Wesley won’t be happy. Doc takes Dalton back to his place, where they end up having sex, and afterwards, Doc asks if Dalton would be interested in staying before they end up having sex again, unaware that Wesley is observing them. The next day, Dalton heads to the bar and learns from Cody that Wesley was obsessed with Doc when she first lived in town and went crazy when she left. When a truck arrives with some liquor for the bar, Dalton heads out back to check on it but Tinker, O’Connor, Morgan, and Mountain show up and start smashing the crates. Dalton stops them but when they gang up and get the upper hand on Dalton, he is helped out by Wade, who had just come into town. After getting cleaned up, Dalton takes Wade and introduces him to Doc and the three go out for drinks. When they get a minute alone, Wade chastises Dalton for living in the past and that he should forget about what happened in Memphis as it wasn’t his fault. That night, Red’s place is set on fire and everyone rushes out of the bar to see just as the place explodes and falls to pieces. When Dalton heads back inside, he finds Wesley and his men there and after Wesley has Denise do a strip tease, he has Jimmy start a fight with the bouncers but as Dalton starts to get the upper hand, Wesley orders his men to leave. At Red’s house the next day, some of the other business owners are trying to talk Red out of leaving but Red says he is tired of watching Wesley get rich at the expense of the town. Frank says that Wesley was scared of Dalton last night but Dalton tells him he wasn’t. Later, Dalton, Doc, and Cody are driving through town when they see a commotion at Stroudenmire’s car dealership, where Wesley has one of his men drive a monster truck through the display window and crush the cars in the show room. As Wesley laughs about it, Doc approaches him and asks what is wrong with him and Wesley tells her to send Dalton out of town or else he will kill him. Dalton is upset over what is happening, as he is starting to become attached to the town, and ends up getting into an argument with Wade, who says they should just leave. That night, Doc shows up to try and talk Dalton into leaving but as they are talking, Emmet’s house explodes. Dalton races to the house and manages to save Emmet but as Doc is tending to him, Dalton sees Jimmy leaving and chases after him. Dalton catches up to Jimmy and after brutal fight, Jimmy tries to shoot Dalton but Dalton ends up killing Jimmy by ripping out his throat. Doc sees what Dalton did and leaves without saying a word, while Dalton yells out at Wesley, who is watching from his house. The next day, Dalton heads to the bar and as he walks inside, the phone rings and he answers it, only to hear Wesley say that either Wade or Doc will die that day. When Wade stumbles in saying he was jumped by some of Wesley’s men, Dalton says he has to go get Doc, telling Wade to stay there and they will leave when he gets back. When Dalton gets to the hospital, he tries to convince Doc to leave with him but she refuses to leave with him due to his violent nature. Dalton returns to the bar only to find Wade lying dead on the bar, a knife stuck in his chest, and Dalton grabs the knife and leaves. At Wesley’s place, Pat, Morgan, Tinker, O’Connor, and Gary are waiting outside Wesley’s house and see Dalton’s car speeding towards them. They begin shooting at it manage to blow it up but realize that Dalton isn’t inside. Spreading out to try and find him, Dalton takes them out one by one, killing most of them but just knocking out Tinker by pushing a stuffed polar bear on him. Wesley enters the trophy room and ends up fighting with Dalton, who gets the upper hand and is about to rip out his throat but decides against it. When Doc shows up, Dalton heads for her but when Wesley goes to shoot Dalton, Doc screams out. Suddenly, Wesley is shot by Red, Stroudenmire, Emmet, and finally Frank. As police sirens are heard, Red quickly gathers the shotguns and hides them and when the sheriff and his deputies ask what happened, everybody feigns innocence while Tinker simply says a polar bear fell on him. As the Double Deuce reopens, it is shown that Dalton ends up staying in town and continuing his relationship with Doc.
Roadhouse (1989) didn’t get much love from the critics, holding a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics felt that the violence in it mix well with the movie’s setting. The movie was a modest success at the box office, earning $30.1 million off of a $15 million budget but achieved greater success on home video, where it wound up garnering a cult following. A direct to DVD sequel came out in 2006, with the main character being Dalton’s adult son and a remake was announced with Ronda Rousey starring as the lead but after her loss to Holly Holm, the movie was taken out of production.
This is one of those great “so bad it’s good” movies to watch. The acting is decent, with Sam Eliot (Wade) probably giving the best performance. The story started off pretty simple but wound up getting rather ridiculous towards the end. I know that at one point, it was mentioned that Wesley controls the sheriff, but when there is that much public destruction, even that goes a little too far to think the sheriff wouldn’t do anything. The mass fight scenes were a lot of chaotic fun but the one on one fights between Dalton and Jimmy, then Dalton and Wesley were a little over the top. Very few people will consider this a good movie, but it really is an entertaining movie.
Rating: 3 out of 5