Mullets make you tougher.
Pleats in your pants make you kick higher.
Silk shirts make oncoming punches to miss their target.
Cult classic film, Roadhouse, would certainly agree with these claims
Roadhouse much like Caddyshack, The Godfather and any Farrelly Brothers movie is one that I will never, ever turn away from; under any circumstances. The 1989 bar room brawling flick is an absolute top ten in the world of “guy movies”. Luckily, the geniuses as TBS, AMC, Fox and the like are acutely aware of this fact and make it a point to frequently run this baby for all of us to enjoy; again and again and again.
Conversely, my unwavering commitment to watch Roadhouse drives my wife crazy – and I am sure she is not alone in this department.
“How many times can you watch this stupid thing?”
How dare she? I am going to pretend that I didn’t hear that and simply respond with….never mind, here come Wade Garrett! YEE HA!
Anyway, I am not writing to speak about the greatness of Roadhouse, but after my 186th viewing I picked up on some very obvious and strange happenings throughout the movie. I am sure many of you Swayz-iacs have noticed similar findings.
And so, in no particular order, here are 18 Things Wrong with Roadhouse
18. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service?
Opening scene in the seedy bar, the Double Deuce, we see a raucous crowd enjoying live music, cold beer and wild surroundings. Wait, is that guy dancing with no shirt on? Huh? I don’t care what kind of bar – even if it is in rural Missouri – nobody just tears off their shirt to just spank the planks.
17. Do you know who that guy is?
When Dalton first appears in the Double Deuce, the whispers quickly fill the air. “Do you know who that guy is? That’s Dalton?” I had no idea that Bouncers had a national reputation? How is that so? Is Dalton on the Cooler Speaking Circuit? Doing a lot of BRUT cologne ads? Is he endorsed by the N.B.B.B.S. (National Bar Bare-Knuckle Brawling Society)? How on earth does everyone know of this guy? Impressive.
Let’s take a step back. Is Dalton your first name or last? Do you have one name? Who do you think you are, Seal? (Superbad footnote). I get that film makers want to make our boy seem dark and mysterious but let’s be honest, if his name turned out to be Herman Dalton or Dalton Finklestein it just would have not have had the same impact on us. Only way you can improve on just ‘Dalton’ is if his last name turned out to be “McFuriousfists”.
15. Cruel Intentions:
Again, early in the movie, we see The Jeff Healy Band performing for this drunken crowd of criminals. It is bad enough that they need to perform their show protected by chicken wire, but did I just see a guy throw a beer bottle directly at the BLIND lead singer? I mean, come on man? It’s Saturday night. Lighten up!
14. ‘Right Boot’
In one of the 27 fight scenes, one of the evil henchmen of the town badman, Brad Wesley, is sent in to halt our hero Dalton’s efforts to clean up this Jasper, Missouri watering hole wearing a boot with a blade coming out of the toe? Huh? Where would one purchase such footwear? JC Penney’s? I’ll get to that…
13. Stitch Doctor
As our mulleted knight in shining linen is getting his side stitched by 80s babe, Dr. Clay, after a knife wound inflicted by ‘Tiny’, the aptly named 400 lb. goon with a heart of gold, (adding to Dalton’s 31 broken bones, 9 stab wounds, 4 stainless screws, and 2 bullet holes mind you) she notices that he also has a few stiches in his left shoulder – that he did himself. We actually see Dalton performing this self-surgery earlier in the movie…one handed…in the back room of a bar. Cut me a break, bro! We get it. You are tough. While I am not aware of what health insurance plan the Deuce offers, you are making the big bucks, Dalton. I am sure you can afford to have a trained medical professional fix you up? No?
12. Pain Don’t Hurt
Keeping to the emergency room scene with Doctor Clay, Dalton refuses a local anesthetic to ease the pain of the pending 9 staples that are about to be clipped to his skin. His reasoning? “Pain don’t hurt”. Sure it doesn’t, Big Boy? As the Doc commences her stapling Baby’s Boyfriend (sorry, Dirty Dancing reference…and nobody backs Baby in a corner) winces in pain. How you feeling about that lidocaine now, chief?
11. 3 Rules
Mr. Dalton gives his little pre-game speech to his merry band of co-bouncers and asks them to follow three rules:
- Expect the Unexpected/Never underestimate your opponent. Really, dude? Did you make that one up yourself when you were at NYU (I’ll get to that too) or off the back of your Karate Kid cereal box? Thanks for that keen insight, Confucius.
- Take it Outside the Bar. Essentially Dalton is imploring his team to never allow fights to continue inside of this fine establishment. Well, outside of one occasion, no one seems to disobey this rule more than you, boss. Maybe try taking your own advice?
- Be Nice. Sure, Patrick, sounds like a plan. Every guy in this town carries a switch blade or machete on their person at all times, but I should be cordial to them as they attempt to poke my eyes out. Oh, by the way, how many people here have killed anyone? Raise of hands. That’s right, just you Dalton….were you being ‘nice’ that day?
10. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it….can you smoke it?
Dalton boasts a degree in Philosophy from New York University. He speaks like a highly enlightened man seeking to better himself and those around him. He practices various techniques to unite the mind, body and soul. He smokes cigarettes. What? So you are telling me when you are outside of that crappy barn you live in, Dalton, doing tai chi or yoga or whatever, the first thing you do when you finish to strike up a Lucky. Makes no sense to me.
9. Is that Magnum, PI?
During the course of Roadhouse, we see nearly all characters dressed in very similar, humble Mid-western garb. Jeans, t-shirts and muted colors a plenty. One scene that troubles me is when a knife-wielding (I told you, all of them are carrying) Double Deuce patron is wearing a very bright HAWAIIN shirt. Not sure if it was that knife that resulted in Dalton smashing his face through a table or that he violated the dress code?
8. Housekeeping, please.
So every single night, seemingly every single piece of furniture is destroyed inside the Double Deuce. All of it wrecked from the night’s bloodbath between Coolers and Customers. Yet, night in, night out, it is all back in perfect working condition for the next shift. How is that possible? Is Dalton also a master carpenter who repairs these items in his down time? Is Wade Garrett a Furniture mogul that has the financial capital and resources to replace these tables and chairs every night? Doesn’t add up…
7. Big Foot
How could I not comment of Big Foot, the giant monster truck that the film’s nemesis, Wesley, has his crew driving around town? A little ostentatious for small town America, don’t you think Brad? I mean really, I know it is 1989 and gas prices are not what they are today but still. Not to mention, these guys are out wrecking lives all over Jasper. Don’t you think a more subtle vehicle would be more practical for your line of work? Which brings me to my next concern?
6. Car 54 Where are you?
Where are the police in Jasper? Sure, I know the knee-jerk answer is that Mr. Wesley has them under his thumb but even that influence must have its limits? Big Foot completely destroyed a car dealership in front of hundreds of witnesses? Wesley’s boys are out fighting, stabbing, looting, shooting and assaulting innocent people? Aren’t any of the Boys in Blue prepared to step up and say enough is enough?
5. Think I’ll take a load off…on the hood of my car
In one serene scene we see Dalton lying on the hood of his car enjoying a glorious afternoon. I don’t care how cliché or cinematic you are trying to be, nobody in the history of cars or people has willingly decided to lie on the hood/windshield of their automobile. Not comfortable and not good for the lumbar region.
4. Pool Cue Pole Vault
Brad Wesley’s Senior Vice President of Mayhem, Jimmy, is in another brawl with Dalton and the fellas when we see him utilize a common pool cue as a pole vault thrusting him into a back flip across the crowded saloon. So, the tables in this joint fall apart when you sneeze on them but the pool sticks become pogo sticks as needed. Not on my watch.
3. Back to JC Penney’s
Doctor Evil, Brad Wesley, proudly contends to Dalton that department mega-store, JC Penney, is coming to set up shop in Jasper. Again, I have no clue of the business practices over at the Penney but this seems like a foolish business decision. Jasper of a town of only 1100 and these are very common folks. Farmers, hardware store owners and, of course, evil rural mobsters. The high end swank these guys are peddling does not seem to fit the laid back country style of this town? No supply. No demand. I don’t know…I certainly hope they make it?
2. Bye, bye BMW
Dalton has a very flashy, mint-condition BMW that we see through the course of the film. Obviously this must be one of his most prized possessions since he felt the need to have a second car available that would be destroyed by the Double Deuce rabble each evening. And what does he do with that beauty of a Beemer? Uses it as $50,000 decoy so he can gain access to the Wesley compound and wipe out our villain once and for all? Why didn’t he just use that beat-box he bought? Why the luxury car? The same result would have occurred right, Dalton? Bad, bad decision my friend.
1. Fat Guy + Fake Bear = Funny
Final scene of movie we see our old friend Tiny being haunted (and doing his best Bud Abbott routine) by a taxidermized polar bear that Dalton is using as a shield as he takes out each of the bad guys…one by one. Mr. Tiny is so scared he actually unloads several bullets into the stuffed carcass. Let me get this straight, you hurt people with knives and guns for a living but your biggest fear is a hunting trophy? Man up, Tiny, man up.
And there you have it.
Oh look, Caddyshack just started!