Forget Ghost. Forget Dirty Dancing. Even forget the great Point Blank.
The recently departed Patrick Swayze’s one towering forget-me-not credential was his nonpareil portrait of Dalton, the Zen/magisterial/mystical/ultra-masculine/mythical Wandering Bouncer in one of the long, gonest, baddest of all contempo bad movies, 1989’s Road House.
You can argue that the pic was a purposefully homoerotic meta-pulp statement or a sly and eye-winking semiotic take on the macho-nacho action genre, but you cannot deny the truly weird, virtually hypnotic, late night cable filmic tone poem that it has become. Once bitten, all those who go there will go back repeatedly, like an adult (or at least post-adolescent) spinarama of The Wizard of Oz, Shane, and Yojimbo.
The shimmering setting is a fabulist dream, a one horse town with just a car dealership, a general store, the bar (poetically named the Double Deuce), no visible police presence, a lake, and, shades of Samuel Beckett, two houses sitting across it and in full view of each other, the metaphoric ranches of the avenging Dalton and the villainous (and oldie-singing) baddie, as ham and egged by Ben Gazzara. Add frozen-faced Kelly Lynch as a town Doc (called Doc) and America’s own perpetual filmland somnambulist Sam Elliot as an old school Wandering Bouncer, and you just about achieve pop cult nirvana.