Road House (1989) (part 12 of 15)
Dalton returns to the nearly empty Double Deuce, where he finds Brad Wesley casually ordering a drink. Whoa, Brad Wesley has actually set foot inside the Double Deuce? Well, I shouldn’t be surprised by this; All he had to do was walk across the parking lot after he was done torching Red’s place. He’s surrounded by his various goons and Ultra Platinum Slut. Well, it’s good to see her face has already healed nicely.
The bartenders look to Dalton, who nods for them to go ahead and serve Wesley.
Then Wesley goes into a tirade, yelling that it’s too quiet in here. “Play something, Elvis!” He yells that he wants to buy the firefighters a drink for trying to help a “no-good, faggot draft-dodger like Red Webster!” Let’s see. Red is obviously too old to have been drafted for Vietnam, so apparently, he dodged the draft during the Korean War. Now, I’m sure somebody, somewhere dodged the Korean draft, but how common was that, really?
Wesley continues yelling, with no filter between brain and mouth, pretty much admitting that the store went buh-boom because Red wouldn’t pay the protection money. Then he tells his Platinum Slut to dance, while commanding “Elvis” to “play something with balls!”
Super Platinum Slut then heads up and actually gets on stage. Like, who invited her, you know? The Jeff Healey Band, figuring “why the hell not”, subsequently rip into a rendition of Muddy Waters’ “Hoochie Coochie Man”. No relation to hoochie mommas, one of which is currently dancing on stage. She hangs all over Jeff Healey, then starts whipping her hair around and grinding her ass while Dalton and Garrett and everyone else watches.
She finds a chair prop that she writhes against, then she spins around on the floor, then she humps a post, and finally she’s doing an all-out choreographed routine. Dalton has had enough and steps up to the stage and gestures for her to come down. But she’s not done quite yet. She unzips her dress, and whips it off, and is just standing there in panties, with her hands covering her boobs. After a bit of teasing involving some guy’s white fedora, she’s finally just standing up there, topless. And, um… wow. I’m sorry, you were saying something?
Dalton pulls her off the stage, but she grinds against him and makes out with him, as the whole crowd cheers. Wesley, strangely enough, doesn’t seem to mind too much that his woman is making out with Dalton.
Dalton throws Super Platinum Slut over to Wesley: “If you’re gonna have a pet, keep it on a leash!” Oh man, that was awesome. Dalton is the Hoochie Coochie Man. He’s got 700 dollars, and don’t you mess with him.
So Wesley beckons forth Jimmy, who comes over from the pool tables, pool cue still in hand. Yeah, that won’t be used as a weapon in a few seconds. He’s still having his love affair with denim, as well as Native American jewelry, and he randomly smashes a beer bottle on the floor.
He smirks at all the bouncers, then smirks at Dalton and Garrett. With all this smirking complete, he heads onto the dance floor, twirling the pool cue like that deleted scene from The Color of Money where Tom Cruise goes homicidal.
Jimmy proceeds to whip the cue around, martial arts style, and in a sweet nod to chopsocky movies, he gives the “come here” gesture to the bouncers. Now if only one of them were wearing a belt that transformed into a sword, my life would be complete.
(On the commentary, Rowdy declares this: “You see a lot of fight movies, you’ll see this motion right there. That’s been ripped off a number of times, including in The Matrix.” What I think he means to say is that this movie ripped off the gesture, too, but the way he puts it, it comes off like The Matrix ripped off Road House. But then again, Neo did have to meet the Oracle at “Patrick’s Road House”, unless I’m remembering it wrong. The Oracle was played by Gary Busey, right?)
Dalton gives his men the go-ahead to obey the “come here” gesture. Jimmy immediately starts whipping them with his pool cue. Another goon tosses a chair into the glasses behind the bar. Brad Wesley looks self-satisfied as Lady Chaos once again reigns at the Double Deuce.
Garrett and Dalton kick the asses of random guys, while the other bouncers all take on Jimmy, without much luck. You see, Jimmy is quite the badass, too. He’s totally destroying all the bouncers with his pool cue, even laying Big Fat Bouncer Guy out cold on the floor. And right now, I’d just like to say that pool cues don’t hurt people, people hurt people. Especially when they’re carrying pool cues.
Then Jimmy wedges the pool cue up against Fat Bouncer, and uses the leverage to do a backflip up onto the stage. Holy crap, I never knew you could pole vault off of a fat guy. Jimmy strikes a kung fu pose and calls out, “You!” Somehow, Garrett knows Jimmy is talking to him, despite the fact they have never laid eyes on each other before now. Perhaps Jimmy also closely follows the National Cooler Rankings.
Jimmy does his Axl Rose impression by jumping off stage with his fists at the ready. He confronts Garrett, and both men assume kung fu poses. They brawl mano a mano, and their overly stylized fight goes on forever. Jimmy is slowly gaining the upper hand, so Dalton jumps into the fray, but everything comes to a sudden stop when a gunshot rings out.
Of course, it’s Brad Wesley, firing a gun in the air simply to say, “that’s enough”. What? Who is he to say that the kicking of ass must cease? I knew there was something about this guy that pissed me off. Jimmy and Dalton stand down a bit, but still face off in their kung fu poses. Wesley makes the very impenetrable declaration, “This isn’t working out, Dalton!” Huh?
Then Wesley tells his boys to come along, and Jimmy turns to Dalton and makes the very innuendo-free statement, “Your ass is mine, boy!” I think that “your ass in mine” was a popular saying for roughly two weeks, until people eventually figured out it could be interpreted in more ways than one.
It’s daytime again, and we’re outside Red’s house. We know it’s Red’s house because his mailbox is perched on the discarded rims of car tires. Get it? He’s the auto parts king! In fact, he’s the auto parts god! Well, he was, until his entire inventory went up in that mushroom cloud.
Inside, Red is meeting up with Dalton, Tilghman, Elizabeth, and three totally random guys we’ve never seen before. Ah, geez, isn’t it a little late in the game to be adding more characters?
A walrus-like guy with a handlebar mustache tries to convince Red to “salvage” his store. Yes, I’m sure there must be something in that pile of ash that Red can salvage.
But Red’s done. Walrus-Like Guy brings up the insurance money, but Red says, “For twenty years, I watched Wesley get richer, while everybody around him got poorer!” Not really sure what that has to do with anything, but Dalton wonders if they can prove Wesley set the fire. Turns out it doesn’t matter. Red explains that Wesley has all of law enforcement “in his pocket”, in a line that was clearly added in post.
Walrus Guy offers to contact his friend in the FBI, but Red already has a counterargument ready: “You gonna take the stand against him?” Um, why would he need to? Red is the one who got his store blown up. Walrus Guy is not even involved at this point, as far as we know. Regardless, this gets Walrus Gumball to shut up.
Red and Elizabeth walk out, leaving the rest of the men there. What the hell? It’s Red’s house, isn’t it? Dalton starts to follow, but Tilghman, ice cubes tinkling in his glass, stops Dalton to say Wesley was really “scared” last night. Okay, so I guess when he was shooting his gun in the air, that meant he was scared? Dalton counters, “No, he wasn’t.” Illuminating stuff here, guys.
Elizabeth’s jeep rolls down the highway, and inside are Dalton, Elizabeth, and Jeff Healey. Okay, what? Where did Red go? And when (and why) did they pick up Jeff Healey just now? And as if that’s not strange enough, Jeff Healey is the one driving. Nah, just kidding about that last thing.
They pull up to a car dealership, where a huge crowd is gathered. Big Fat Bouncer meets up with Dalton and says that Brad Wesley “wants to put a little something down on a new car!” Nudge nudge, get it? I’m completely not understanding the setup to this scene. Why is half the town here? Who summoned them here, and why? I have a hunch that a lot of footage got cut out between the scene at Red’s house and this scene. Hours of footage, possibly.
Wesley confronts Walrus Guy from the previous scene, whose name turns out to be “Strodenmire”. This is Walrus’ car dealership, which I must assume by the large “Strodenmire Ford” sign behind them. (Despite this, the closed captions refer to him as “Stroudenmire”.) Wesley squeezes Strodie’s cheek and chides him for losing his “faith”, and becoming an “abuser”. What? I don’t get it, but I think Wesley’s dialogue is slowly becoming Evil Guy Mad-Libs, and not something that’s supposed to make sense.
Then Wesley calls out to his goon, sitting there in the big monster truck, and Wesley’s instruction is plain and simple: “Drive through there!” Strodenmire tries to stop the coming Monster Truck Apocalypse, but it’s too late.
The monster truck goes barreling into the car dealership, smashing through the giant windows. In loving slow-motion, the truck pulverizes a couple of station wagons. Oddly, several people outside actually cheer [?]. Hey, it’s a monster truck, and it’s smashing stuff. Who cares if some guy’s livelihood is getting destroyed? I also love how there are actually people inside the dealership when the truck goes plowing through, almost like they had no idea what was going on outside the giant windows.
Oh, and by the way, why is Wesley destroying the place? Did Strodenmire also refuse to pay? When did that happen? We never find out.
The monster truck continues to smash station wagon after station wagon. Wait, they’re all station wagons! Imagine that. The filmmakers try to explain this away with a big “Wagon Days” banner inside the dealership, but obviously, they used old station wagons because they cost roughly $1.98 each.
And then, the monster truck barrels through the windows on the other side of the dealership, and Wesley’s men hoot and cheer. Meanwhile, the staff from the Double Deuce all look ill. And this is a shot where you can see a freeway sign behind them, and it clearly shows arrows pointing to Los Angeles and Bakersfield. The cities of Los Angeles, Missouri and Bakersfield, Missouri, one assumes.
Brad Wesley steps forward in his turquoise work shirt and khakis, proudly waving his arms and showing off the damage. Elizabeth goes up to chew him out, even calling him “Brad”, which is yet another reminder of their vague history together. In response, Wesley completely changes the subject, calling Dalton a “drifter” and telling Elizabeth to stay away from him.
He says Elizabeth had better get Dalton to leave town. “‘Cause if you don’t… he’s goin’ down.” Huh? What does that even mean? Going down to where? Welcome to Action Movie 101: The more generic the threat, the better. “He’s goin’ down” is downright detailed compared to “Dig a hole”.
Before leaving, Wesley intimidates the local business owners some more. By the way, the Local Business Owners from this point forward will act as one unified group, so let me tell you who they are. Jasper Improvement Society Roll Call!
We’ve got Red the Auto Parts Owner, Tilghman the Double Deuce Owner, our new friend Strodenmire the Car Dealership Owner, and Emmet the… Insanely Affordable Loft Owner. Wesley tells them to never forget this is “[his] town”, and walks off. And no, that won’t come back to bite him in the ass in a fitting bit of poetic justice at the end of the movie. What makes you think that?