Take Out the Trash

Everything in Road House becomes a daft male fantasy after 1980s pop culture fueled masculinity via Schwarzenegger and Stallone. Only here, it’s Patrick Swayze. And instead of a warzone, it’s a dive bar. But it still has lots of explosions.

Road House is utterly daft, taking the script for Dirty Dancing and exchanging fights for dances. It’s not unlike the unofficial partnership between Top Gun and Days of Thunder, the formula and style inescapable, only in this case, the genre shift also adds a demographic change too.

Road House’s general mess, flames, and guns action bores down into the stupidest action cliches

Swayze stitches a knife wound himself early in Road House. Later when he needs a hospital, he turns down the anesthetic. “Pain don’t hurt,” he tells the super model doctor he’ll inevitably fall for. Men walk into fires and toward explosions They shoot cars, rip out throats, and train shirtless outdoors in view of their enemies. Manly men. True men. Men with a capital M.

Behind a comically inappropriate, dead serious score, Swayze enacts an old western routine, updated for the ‘80s and the egregious wealth the decade brought with. The millionaire moved in a few years ago, still takes his cut after buying out the authorities, and good guy Manly Man Swayze won’t stand for it. Ethics, or something – whatever excuse seems warranted to the individual viewer.

It’s fair to consider Road House offensively justified in violence; certainly, the ‘80s adored bloodshed (in practically every country’s cinematic output, not just the US). However, Road House is so unabashedly shameless, it’s not creating (or didn’t, anyway) a generation of kids nagging to become drifting bar bouncers unlike Top Gun being used as a recruitment tool. Road House’s general mess, flames, and guns action bores down into the stupidest action cliches, yet does so with almost no sense of self-awareness.

There is a running joke in Road House, with people constantly noting how small Swayze is, even though he’s quite ripped for this role. Action movie heroes fuel themselves by steroids, and that was the expectation. Here’s Swayze, not even six feet tall, maybe 180 pounds wet, kicking like a kung fu superstar. In that lies a movie-plausible underdog story with enough ludicrous gusto to smuggle itself into the pop culture lexicon.


What a ridiculously pristine image for this ironic classic. Road House looks serene in 4K, the sharpness pure, grain resolved, and detail a constant. Texture thrives, whether it’s the rundown barroom walls, wooden tables, or facial definition. There’s zero doubt this comes from a true 4K master.

Brilliantly bright color pops from neon beer signs, clothing, or any other potential source. Primaries show a zest unseen in Road House prior. Watch the dullness in the bonus feature clips and compare the color boost.

Heightened brightness reflects from glass bottles or shot glasses; there’s always something gleaming toward the camera. Seedy corners house hearty shadows, free of noise or lacking in density. Vinegar Syndrome’s encode makes easy work of the grain structure, struggling only in thick smoke/dirt.


Both in 5.1 and stereo (DTS-HD too), the surround track brings surprising life to this effort. Helicopters run through the soundstage, front-to-back without fault, as if always part of Road House’s sound. Channel separation pleasingly handles ambient effects inside the bars, whether that’s music or chatter. Even small touches like doors closing do so in the proper speaker.

There’s not much low-end to speak of, even during live music. The subwoofer catches a little, but the bounce isn’t much. A little boom stems from fireballs/explosions, but again a minor one.


On the UHD, commentaries include director Rowdy Herrington, and another track with Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier. The meat of the product resides on two separate Blu-rays. The first fills with interviews, all of them new for this release. Stuntman Anthony De Longis comes first, second unit director Charlie Picerni next, then actress Laura Lee Kasten, then finally actor Travis Mckenna. These aren’t short, some running over 30-minutes.

Over on the third disc, a fresh making-of/retrospective runs an hour. Herrington returns for an interview that comes up just shy of 30-minutes. Featurettes on the stunts and music join a Patrick Swayze remembrance, an older featurette running 17-minutes comes next, with a look at actual bouncers making it to 12-minutes. Some raw footage from the set (beginning with the Monster Truck dealership) offers a great look at the production. A collection of one-liners and profile on Swayze finish this off.

Road House
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


The sleaziest action slop to reach theaters in the ’80s, Road House is schlock nonsense as only the decade could produce.

User Review
3 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 46 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *