Where do we put Road House?  Released 25 years ago today, Road House is one of those movies that we don’t have a category for.  Is it a “Great movie?”  I am going to argue that it is.  Below are the top 5 reasons why this movie is great.  If you haven’t seen Road House, you should probably stop reading – in fact you probably shouldn’t even be visiting this site.

(1) This is the best movie that there ever was about bouncers.  Here’s the simple truth, Road House is the only movie worth discussion if we are talking about the bar bouncer profession.  I worked in a bar, and until I saw this movie I had never known that there was such a thing as a “cooler” or someone who actually leads a platoon of bouncers.  The fact that there are bars in America that are so badass as to be a “training ground” for “coolers” was also new news to me.

(2) Before we all knew that Sam Elliot was “cool” he was in Road House as Wade Garrett.   I am not saying this is the role that put him on the map; his breakout film role was probably 1985’s Mask, with Cher and Eric Stoltz.  But I would argue that this movie is when we started to realize just how cool Sam Elliot is.  The guy dies fighting about a dozen guys by himself in a bar in this movie!?!

(3) Jeff Healey is actually IN this movie.  I am going to just leave that there.

(4) There are about 100 choice lines in this movie.  I am going to just give a sampling here:

  1. “Pain don’t hurt”
  2. “The double dousche”
  3. “Take the biggest guy in the world, shatter his knee, and he will drop like a stone.”
  4. “Calling me sir is like putting an elevator in an outhouse. It don’t belong, I’m Emmett.”
  5. “How’s a guy like you become a bouncer.”  “Just lucky I guess.”
  6. “I thought you’d be bigger.”
  7. “It’s a good night, nobody died.”

(5) This is Post Dirty Dancing Pre Point Break Swayze – it’s sort of when we were all trying to figure out where to put him.  It turns out Swayze could be almost anything – this was a fun version of him.  A guy espousing eastern philosophy, leading bouncer platoons and cleaning up towns.  Road House didn’t slay the box office like Ghost did.  It isn’t as big part of pop-culture as say Point Break, or Dirty Dancing are.  It wasn’t anyone’s “best” movie, it was just a solid entertaining movie.

Road House deserves credit for being a fun, entertaining, action packed movie.  We don’t see movies like this any more.  Today I don’t know if Road House gets made?  Does that mean it doesn’t have a place?  What do you think?road house

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One Response to Top 5 reasons why Road House is a great movie.

  1. Lutz says:

    Would I call it a great movie? Maybe not. Have I seen it at least 20 times and stop to watch it when it is on TV? Yes. Do I love it enough to have seen the sequel (yes – there is a sequel). Again – the answer is No.

    It probably doesn’t make sense to ask a lot of questions about this movie, but every time I watch, I can’t help but wonder where are all the cops in this town? Car dealerships are trashed, places are burned down, people are carrying weapons. If Brad Wesley brought in a JC Penney, surely there needs to be law enforcement.

    Definitely some interesting casting with Sam Elliott, Kelly Lynch, Ben Gazzara and Locke’s Dad from Lost. And don’t forget the early appearance of Keith David as the Unleaded/Leaded bartender.

    Looking at Patrick Swayze’s career would be a good exercise. He’s surprisingly covered a pretty good range from To Wong Foo to Point Break to Ghost to Road House. I prefer him pre- Romantic Lead stage though, when he was the older brother/tough guy in Red Dawn, the Outsiders and Youngblood.

    All that being said, Roadhouse is a classic ‘80s movie and definitely deserves its recognition on Movie Raiders.

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