Road House (1989) Review

Road House (1989)

Directed by Rowdy Herrington

Produced by Joel Silver

Starring: Patrick Swayze, Ben Gazzara, Kelly Lynch, Sam Elliott, Jeff Healey, Marshall R Teague, Kathleen Wilhoite

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Road House is a 1989 American action thriller film directed by Rowdy Herrington and starring Patrick Swayze as a bouncer at a newly refurbished roadside bar who protects a small town in Missouri from a corrupt businessman. Sam Elliott also plays a bouncer, the mentor, friend and foil of Swayze’s character. The cast also includes Kelly Lynch as Swayze’s love interest, and Ben Gazzara as the main antagonist.

My Opinion:

SPOILERS!! This is one of those movies where I HAVE to talk about what happens in it because it’s just so horrendously awesome and I want to chat with any Road House-loving bloggers. I know you’re out there because most of you stopped by when my “review” of Steve Jobs turned into a Road House discussion instead as I’d just seen this cinematic masterpiece for the first time ever while wrapping some Christmas presents. I did watch it a second time while doing more present wrapping and my newfound love grew even stronger. Where have you been all my life, Road House?? You are amazing. I needed a postcoital cigarette after watching this movie. And I don’t even smoke!

I’ve never been a big Patrick Swayze fan as I mainly saw him as the Dirty Dancing guy and, let’s be honest, that movie is pretty fucking lame. Okay, Point Break is a favorite of mine but it’s mainly Keanu Reeves who I think of in that one. So I suppose I never even thought about watching Road House as it looked pretty damn bad. And, boy oh boy is it bad! Good bad. Awesome bad. It’s fucking ridiculous. I love it! I should’ve listened to hubby sooner as he’s been telling me for years that I should watch it. He knows me so well. Poor bastard – he married such a weird girl…

Anyway! I love how Road House starts out silly and crazy but is still a pretty straightforward story of your typical sexy, well-educated, philosophical, not-as-big-as-expected master tai chi bouncer in the skankiest, filthiest, trashiest redneck & slut bar imaginable (but with good live music, provided by Jeff Healey. the Angel Eyes guy?!).

So it’s nuts from the start but THEN, from out of nowhere, shit is exploding Michael-Bay-style and monster trucks are driving over cars and women are stripping and people are being stabbed and there are giant stuffed animals (like, real ones – not teddy bears) and polar bears are falling on people and Kelly Lynch is wearing loads of hairspray and a gingham tablecloth from a small-town cafe (and, later, apparently no panties) and throats are being ripped out (I had to rewind that bit as it was so totally unexpected) and Sam Elliott is a fucking stud as always & I’d totally sleep with his character (oh yes) and Patrick Swayze is trying to find his inner peace throughout all this bullshit by doing sexy, shirtless, glistening tai chi.

I still can’t believe it took me this long to watch the movie that’s so hilarious it causes Bill Murray & his brothers to call up Kelly Lynch’s husband every single time the Road House sex scene is on TV to say “Kelly’s having sex with Patrick Swayze right now. They’re doing it. He’s throwing her against the rocks.” But her character is a DOCTOR. Swayze’s sensitive bouncer wants a smart girl, not the skanks who strip in the filthy Double Deuce bar. Look at them “meeting cute” – they’re SO gonna fuck!:


He was really turned on by her tablecloth dress:

I admit that, while I never found Swayze sexy, he’s almost sexy in this movie. This role was great for him. He’s way cooler here than in that silly Dirty Dancing movie. (Yeah, I far prefer Road House to Dirty Dancing. I really suck at being a girl!)

But, although I admit that Swayze was good in this and that the role did really suit him, it’s Sam Elliott who steals the show. What a fucking stud. I already loved him from one of my all-time favorite movies (Mask) and, yeah, he’s pretty much playing the same sort of character in this movie as well. But that’s okay – it’s the perfect role for him.

Fucking Stud.

As if these awesome main three characters aren’t enough, though, we also get a wide variety of rednecks, sluts, blind musicians, and a corrupt small-town businessman who likes to hunt big game (why wasn’t America freaking out about Brad Wesley killing polar bears?! This polar bear should’ve been projected onto the Empire State Building!):

I told you a polar bear fell on someone…

Then there’s the big ‘ol slut always trying to screw Swayze even though she’s the property of the corrupt businessman. She does a striptease all around Jeff Healey at one point (who is really likeable in this – I didn’t know he’d done any acting!) and I have to say she has a pretty great bod. And big 80’s panties under her ugly 1981 prom dress:

I looked her up & she went on to be a stuntwoman & it looks like she was that tough, fully nude chick in the shower in Point Break (also with Swayze!). Really?! Huh! Anyway, the sluts and rednecks are great:

But nothing beats this prick:

Earring dude prick has a big manly man fight with Swayze toward the end of the film, during which he says…

Wait. What did he just say?? Never mind nobody putting baby in a corner – nobody says THAT to Patrick Swayze because he’ll rip your fucking throat out! He does! He did! Ripped it right out, Temple-Of-Doom-style!! I wasn’t expecting that in this 1989 film, even after seeing the 18 rating in the UK. Awesome. He should’ve ripped the throat out of the guy who knocked up Penny in Dirty Dancing. Dirty Dancing would have been greatly improved with throat-ripping & monster trucks.

The bigger the truck, the smaller the penis…


Classic. This is the perfect “so bad it’s good” movie. You hear that phrase a lot but very few movies achieve that perfect balance. Watching this movie was seriously the most fun I’ve had watching a movie in a long, long time. ROAD HOUSE!!!!!

My Rating: 8/10

Here’s the trailer, which I just watched with a big dumb grin on my face:

And here are all the Road House bits from an episode of Family Guy that Emma told me about. Haha! Thanks, Emma! πŸ™‚

**FYI – I’ve quickly done this review as the next three days I’ll be posting my end-of-year Top Ten lists & this movie has made My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2015 list. Come back tomorrow to see where it ranks! πŸ™‚

53 thoughts on “Road House (1989) Review

  1. You’re very welcome Miss Mutant!!! Hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas πŸ™‚

    Great review, made me chuckle!

    “not while my scrotum is pushed up against my stomach in these jeans you won’t”

    • Oh! OH! Oh yes. Yes, you must revisit this brilliant classic. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much during a movie. But, like, in a good way. In the spirit of the thing! πŸ™‚

  2. Such a good one! I cannot believe you are not a Patrick Swayze fan. I love every 80’s movie starring the Swayze. I can’t even watch Dirty Dancing without getting sad that he is gone. But Roadhouse gosh why can’t they make cheesy movies like this anymore haha. And yes the bouncer at the nasty redneck bar always wants to find true love, it’s a given. lol

    • I KNEW you’d be a Swayze fan, Melissa! πŸ˜‰ I don’t know – he never really did it for me but I’d have probably been a fan if I’d seen this masterpiece at the time. I know what you mean – they don’t make ’em like this anymore! Movies aren’t this fun nowadays. πŸ™‚

      • Haha of course I am and I love me some Dirty Dancing. That ending scene, makes me so happy each time I see it. I literally youtube that scene sometimes at work. Ok don’t tell anyone my secret! lol. Movies now just don’t have that cheese factor. hahaha

  3. LOVED reading this. Roadhouse is a movie that you have to watch in a particular frame of mind. Good old fashioned 80s goofiness and that isn’t a bad thing!

  4. Love this movie. It is the perfect example of being both good and bad at the same time. And I think that’s why I like it. It’s like the speedball of movies (both cocaine and heroin). It’s like pouring whiskey in your coffee. Which direction are you trying to go? Are you trying to wake up or are you trying to get drunk. Up or down? Good or bad? It’s both and it’s amazing… Road House.

    • Is that what a speedball is?? Thanks for explaining that! Lol. That does seem to describe Road House. What a ride! It’s SO going to be my Christmas-present-wrapping movie every year now. Is it Christmas again yet??? I want to watch it again. πŸ˜‰

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    • Well…. YES. After The Shining. πŸ˜‰ But you have to be in the mood for it. It’s so damn bad! But so damn GOOD. I about pissed myself laughing at how ridiculous it was. But “fun” ridiculous. πŸ™‚

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  7. I don’t think this is my kind of movie, but I did see Point Break recently. I laughed because at one point, Keanu Reeves says he followed Swayze’s character and mentioned him going to Patrick’s Roadhouse. Inside joke, anyone?

    • YES!!! You do! Bwahaha! Just be warned: it’s absolutely fucking ridiculous. So bad it’s good kind of thing. I found it hilariously bad. But the “fun to watch” kind of bad. Can I come over & watch it with you?? πŸ˜‰

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