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Road House
Road house 2
Pain don't hurt.
Riffed by RiffTrax
Riffers Mike Nelson
Series None
Date Released July 21, 2006

Road House is a 1989 action 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.

This was the first movie to be riffed by Mike Nelson under his newly established RiffTrax brand in 2006. A Three Riffer Edition was released in 2016.

Synopsis and PreviewEdit

RiffTrax w Mike Nelson - Road House - Part 100:26

RiffTrax w Mike Nelson - Road House - Part 1

[Spoilers Begin]


James Dalton (Patrick Swayze) is a professional "cooler" (i.e. specialized doorman, or bouncer) with a mysterious past who is enticed from his current job at a club in New York by club owner Frank Tilghman (Kevin Tighe) to take over security at his club/bar, the Double Deuce, in Jasper, Missouri. Tilghman plans to invest substantial money into the club, to enhance its image, and needs a first-rate cooler to maintain stability.

Arriving in Jasper, and searching for a place to stay, Dalton eventually takes lodging at a local farm. He attracts attention driving his 1965 Buick Riviera and having a quiet demeanor—contrasting with the tough locals. Dalton's "real" car is a 1989 Mercedes 560SEC, which he keeps hidden (at a private garage in New York and under a car cover in his landlord's barn in Jasper). He keeps the Mercedes hidden and drives old run down cars because his car becomes a target for disgruntled bar patrons. Dalton is soon introduced to local business magnate (and next door neighbor) Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara). Wesley appears to have a stranglehold on the town; and little happens without his knowledge and approval. In the course of cleaning up the violent nightclub, Dalton dismisses several unruly and corrupt employees, some of whom are connected with Wesley. After one particularly violent night where Dalton is forced to physically remove Wesley's henchmen from the club, he suffers a knife wound. Upon going to the hospital for stitches, he strikes up a friendship with Dr. Elizabeth "Doc" Clay (Kelly Lynch) which leads into a romantic relationship.

Wesley summons Dalton to his home in a seemingly innocent attempt to make peace, but has an ulterior motive: Wesley would like Dalton to work for him once he extorts Tilghman's club. When Dalton declines, Wesley begins an assault on Dalton's friends, including interfering with liquor deliveries to the Double Deuce. Dalton's mentor, legendary but aging cooler Wade Garrett (Sam Elliott), arrives in town after a disconcerting phone call from Dalton and helps him defend a liquor shipment from Wesley's thugs.

That evening, local business owner Red Webster's (Red West) auto parts store is destroyed by a fire after he refuses to give ground to Wesley's persistent extortion demands. Dalton, not wanting to exacerbate matters, allows Wesley and his men entrance to the club that night. The next day, car dealership owner Pete Stroudenmire becomes Wesley's next victim when he also rebuffs Wesley. As a result, Wesley has one of his thugs, Gary Ketchum, demolish the structure and four station wagons in the showroom with his monster truck (BIGFOOT #7) as Dalton and his friends look on with contempt.

That night, Doc visits Dalton and attempts to persuade him to leave. However, their conversation is interrupted by a powerful explosion. Dalton rescues Emmett from the blaze before the house is completely destroyed. He then witnesses one of Wesley's henchmen, Jimmy (Marshall Teague), fleeing the scene, and manages to intercept him. After a vicious fight, Dalton kills Jimmy by ripping out his throat with his bare hand. The next morning, Dalton receives an ominous phone call from Wesley, who vows to have either Wade or Doc killed. At that moment, Wade staggers into the Double Deuce, badly beaten but alive. Believing Doc to be in danger, Dalton races to the hospital, but she refuses to leave with him, repulsed by his increasingly violent nature. Upon returning to the Double Deuce, Dalton finds Wade sprawled out on the bar with a knife lodged in his chest. Fighting back tears, an enraged Dalton pulls the knife free and jumps into his car, determined to settle the score with Wesley.

Driving his Mercedes, Dalton speeds recklessly toward Wesley's estate, drawing gunfire from Wesley's henchmen, but they discover the car empty, and the knife that was used to kill Wade stuck in the accelerator. One by one, Dalton dispatches each of Wesley's thugs, and eventually comes face-to-face with Wesley. Dalton gains the upper hand in their fight and prepares to finish Wesley in the same brutal manner as Jimmy, but decides against it. When Dalton releases him, Wesley seizes the opportunity to reach for a gun, but is promptly shot to death by Red, Emmett, Stroudenmire, and Tilghman. They stash the weapons away prior to the arrival of law enforcement and proceed to corroborate each other's innocence, with the implication that what happened in Wesley's house will remain a secret.

The final scene finds Dalton and Doc together enjoying each other's company swimming in a swimming hole with the implied thought that they do get together—and Dalton remains in town for good. [Spoilers End]

Cast and CrewEdit

  • Patrick Swayze as James Dalton
  • Kelly Lynch as Dr. Elizabeth "Doc" Clay
  • Sam Elliott as Wade Garrett
  • Ben Gazzara as Brad Wesley
  • Kevin Tighe as Frank Tilghman
  • Red West as Red Webster
  • Sunshine Parker as Emmet
  • Marshall Teague as Jimmy
  • John Doe as Pat McGurn
  • Kathleen Wilhoite as Carrie
  • Terry Funk as Morgan
  • Julie Michaels as Denise
  • Jeff Healey as Cody
  • Anthony De Longis as Gary Ketchum
  • Travis McKenna as Jack
  • Keith David as Ernie

QuotesEdit

NotesEdit

See AlsoEdit

External LinksEdit

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