1989. Directed by Rowdy Herrington
"Be nice, until it's time not to be nice."
Arguably considered one of the greatest worst films ever made, I will posit that Road House is a masterpiece.
One part unrealistic martial arts, two parts machismo (brimming with homoerotic overtones, a sly commentary given the time the film was made), and three parts ridiculous to the extreme, Road House is a film of unique vision that has not been replicated to this day.
Dalton, the eponymous cooler is king of the bouncers, set to clean up a club and make it reputable. In the way of his knight errant quest stands the legendary Ben Gazzara and his team of goons. But let's not focus on the plot. It doesn't matter.
What does matter? Let's start with the script. David Lee Henry manages to harness to epitome of 80's tough guy films and put them on display,while still showing the vulnerability and fallacy of the hero.
This film was made during a time when America could not lose and it wears this badge of honor with unabashed pride. Full of ridiculous fight scenes, out of place yoga, and epic cameos (Sam Elliot!) Road House leaps ahead of the Saturday night cable pack with brutality.
I could drone on about this film's importance. It defined a generation and still influences action films today. The real power of this b movie shotgun is that it's never been adequately repeated. 10 years from now, we'll still be trying to figure out how badass Dalton managed to drop a polar bear on poor Tinker and the world will not be any wiser.
Revel in the Swayze. Come for the Jeff Healey band's amazing performances, and leave with some of the most epic lines uttered in an 80's action film.
"I used to f*ck guys like you prison!"
Pottymouth poetry in chaos. And it's beautifully, helplessly tacky. It may be the film you're ashamed to admit you enjoy, but you'll stop everything and watch it whenever it's on.