Road House: How Did This “So Bad It’s Good” Movie Become a Classic?

The King of the Classic Cult Category

Patrick Swayze from “Ghost” and “Dirty Dancing” delivered excellent acting skills in this 1989 classic, Road House. He went from sexy dancing to a legendary bouncer with a Ph.D. and the strength of ripping a man’s throat with his strong hands.

Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch, and Sam Elliott from Road House.
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The production team and their head-producer, Joel Silver, the film’s producer, predicted the movie would be “the best drive-in movie ever made,” and he wasn’t wrong. The movie was the best in the classic cult category and was tagged “so bad it’s good.”

Kelly Lynch “Doc” Wasn’t the Producers First Choice

Dr. Elizabeth Clay “Doc” was initially offered to Annette Bening, but she was fired because she couldn’t get into the chemistry with the role. Kelly Lynch was the second choice, and she delivered a fine first-class acting skill in the movie.

Patrick Swayze and Kelly Lynch in a still from the film.
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She took it upon herself to learn the ways of the doctor, practicing stitches and learning medical terms; she even went to hospitals to learn first-hand from medical practitioners but was p***sed as hell when all the knowledge was unnecessary.

Road House was Filmed in Chicago and California

Joel Silver had them convert the Double Deuce bar into a dive bar, and only the exterior of the Double Deuce was part of a film set. The movie’s location was in Jasper, Missouri, but not a single piece of the movie was shot there. While in reality, the movie was filmed in Chicago and California.

Swayze watches over the bar in a scene from Road House.
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Even though the movie isn’t realistic, it had some real-life inspiration when screenwriter, David Lee Henry, attested that he got his inspiration for the film after visiting a small-town bar in Dalton, which was also the lead’s name.

Everyone Was Their Stunt Double

You might have thought the fights funny, but did you know this was intentionally done? The director, Rowdy Herrington, wanted the fights that way. Sam Elliott admitted that his beating in the movie was not all acting as they performed the stunts by themselves.

Swayze and Elliott fight hand to hand.
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A professional fighter trained them with nine black belts in nine different disciplines. Benny, “The Jet” Urquidez, enjoyed the entire training process, and he saw potential in Swayze’s fighting skill. He even suggested to Swayze that he become a competitive kickboxer.