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Title: Road House: Collector's Edition

Movie: :4.5stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :4stars:

HTS Overall Score:82

“Road House” is probably the greatest guilty pleasure action movie known to man. It’s a film that has been shown so many times on broadcast and cable television that even the uninitiated know at least SOME of the great lines from the film. It’s even gone on to be copied and parodied on shows like “Family Guy” (one of the best “Family Guy” episodes ever), and there are more one liners and cheesy fight sequences to make an Arnold movie look serious. I personally have seen the film at least 15-16 times over the years and have owned it on 4 difference editions, including multiple DVD and Blu-ray sets. MGM put out the Blu-ray in 2009 and while there were some definite flaws to the disc, it was the best the film had ever looked. This time, director of photography, Dean Cundey, has come in and personally supervised a new 2K DI master for the iconic 80s treasure and we have a brand new looking image that fixes 99% of the flaws in the previous release.

“I thought you’d be bigger?”. Yup, it’s one of the most iconic and hilariously awesome pieces of 80s cinema to roll across my desk in quite some time. Patrick Swayze is Dalton, the best cooler in the business and the man people hire when they want to clean up their bar. When a Mr. Tilghman (Kevin Tighe) comes to him with an offer to clean up the Double Deuce, Dalton thinks it’s just another job. He comes in, he conquers, and he teaches the staff how to live on their own and run the bar without him, then move on. The thing is, the bar is the LEAST of his troubles. Along the way he falls in love with the gorgeous Doc Elizabeth Clay (Kelly Lynch) and comes to sympathize with the town member’s plight. It seems that the bar is just the tip of the iceberg. The town is lorded over by the maniacal Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara), a rich businessman who controls everything and everyone in the town, and Dalton’s upset the balance of power.

Thinking he can just chew his way through this job and get out, Dalton begrudgingly sticks around, despite Wesley’s goons trying to run him out at every chance. It’s only after Dalton’s friend and mentor, Wade Garrett (Sam Elliott), it’s no longer just a job. It’s personal and it’s time to go to war. When you tick off the best cooler in the business, you’d better be prepared to be put on ice!

You can’t take “Road House” seriously. In fact even the creator’s never took the movie too seriously as evidenced by the heavy winking and nodding towards the camera within many a scene, and lines like “A polar bear fell on me!”. But that is what makes the movie SOOOOOOOOO much stupid fun. There are so many stretches of your imagination that have to be put to rest to enjoy the film, but if you check your brain in at the door it is the perfect action movie with LOTS of popcorn. You have to believe that there are these bouncers that travel from bar to bar being hired for TENS of thousands of dollars to teach everyone how to actually bounce right. It’s silly, but at least plausible. Then there’s the big bad guy who can literally do ANYTHING he wants and no police or FBI group can nail him for anything, despite sending out public goons to do his bidding, or tearing up a used car lot in BROAD DAYLIGHT! Still, it’s pure cheesy gold and director Rowdy Herrington plays the crowd like a fiddle

Patrick Swayze is on top of his game back in the 80s, and he dominates the screen with his ice cold, but tough as nails hero. He’s always chill and “nice, until it’s time to NOT be nice”, but when he unleashes that dragon, whoa mama. He’s not upstaged one bit by the ever loveable and rough n tumble Sam Elliott, who comes in part way through the movie as Dalton’s mentor. Not to mention we have one of the most legendary and hysterically shown romances between the good looking Kelly Lynch (who wears giant eyeglasses to make herself look semi homely, but those magically disappear later in the film) and Patrick Swayze. Or the maniacal machinations of Brad Wesley, who does everything short of twirl his mustache and tell everyone is evil plan before executing them.


Rated R by the MPAA

Video :4stars:
Here’s the really great part of the disc. The 2009 MGM disc was serviceable, but suffered from some flaws that kept it from being really good. Namely a heavy red push that made the faces extremely ruddy, and some black crush and print blemishes combined with mild softness. This edition of “Road House” EASILY surpasses the old MGM disc and keeps on going. Fine detail is better, with more defined grain structure that doesn’t look NEARLY as mushy. The ruddy push is gone, leaving the movie looking a bit cooler with more natural colors and skin tones. The only problem that I can see is that the gamma seems to be pushed a bit too high, giving the appearance of an overly brightened image in some of the night time shots. It’s really not obtrusive, but some of the black levels suffer just a teensy bit as a result. The outdoor shots don’t really amplify the minor issue and look STUNNING, especially the farm territory around Brad Wesley’s big house.

Audio :4stars:
This appears to be the same 5.1 mix as was on the MGM disc of “Road House” from back in 2009, but is in no way a negative mark being that the MGM disc was a great sounding 5.1 experience. The dialog is always crisp and clear with solid centering in the front, and the surrounds get a rocking workout with all of the bar fights and southern fried rock playing from the Double Deuce during the night. Imaging across the front sound stage is a bit limited, but more than healthy considering the cheapo budget and effects used back then for the movie. LFE is intense and powerful when needed, adding some SERIOUS weight to the shotgun and rifle blasts or the explosions that blow up Emmett’s house. Although the bass might be considered a bit lacking if you’re used to the heavy handed approaches that are used in modern action films.

Extras :4stars:

Disc 1
• Audio Commentary by director Rowdy Herrington
• Audio Commentary by Road House fans Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier
Disc 2
• The Making of Road House
• Remembering Patrick – interviews with Lisa Niemi Swayze, Rowdy Herrington, Terry Funk, Kelly Lynch, Marshall R. Teague and more…
• A Conversation with director Rowdy Herrington
• Pain Don't Hurt: The Stunts of Road House interviews with second unit director/stunt coordinator Charlie Picerni, Rowdy Herrington, John Doe, Kelly Lynch and more…
• The Music of Road House – interviews with director Rowdy Herrington, John Doe, Red West and more…
• What Would Dalton Do?
• On the Road House with Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch, Rowdy Herrington, Marshall Teague, Benny Urquidez
• Vintage interviews with Patrick Swayze, Ben Gazzara, Kelly Lynch, Sam Elliot, Benny Urquidez and Rowdy Herrington
• On the Set: Behind-the-Scenes Footage
• Vintage Profile on Patrick Swayze
• Theatrical Trailer

Overall: :4stars:

“Road House” has it all. Guns, knives, martial arts, bar fights, dancing girls, cheesy one liners that only could be form the 80s, evil villains and a southern fried rock and roll sound track that just makes you want to go out and roundhouse kick someone in the face! I honestly can’t recommend “Road House” enough for those of you who have had an unlucky enough childhood to have missed this classic, and Shout has really outdone themselves with this release. A brand new 2K transfer supervised by Dean Cundney, and a score of new special features on a two disc set that comes as the 5th title in Shout’s “Shout Select” lineup, which I’ve been enjoying immensely. Definitely one to pick up if you love “Road House” as much as I do.

Additional Information:

Starring: Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch, Sam Elliot
Directed by: Rowdy Herrington
Written by: R. Lance Hill
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Studio: Shout Factory
Rated: R
Runtime: 114 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: September 6th, 2016

Buy Road House: Collector's Edition On Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Must Watch

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