Thursday, April 8, 2010

They Shoot Crawdads, Don't They?

It was late and all of the kids were in bed so I decided to watch a movie. I remembered that I recently found both Raising Arizona and Pretty In Pink at Half Price Books so I considered the pros and cons of both. The opening sequence of Raising Arizona is worth the price of the movie all by itself. But, I've always identified with Ducky from Pretty in Pink. The self deprecating high school 'also-ran' was probably a sympathetic character to quite a few self deprecating high school 'also-rans' like myself. One difference however was, Ducky caught the eye of the hot brunette at the end of his high school career. It was another seven years before I found the right hot brunette. But I digress.

Well that settled it. Time was a-wastin' so I knew it could only be Road House 2, Take it Outside... I'd waited long enough and I didn't want you to suffer any longer without my deep thoughts on this glittering jewel of colossal pulchritude.


Our story begins in the Black Pelican bar somewhere in Louisiana. As the camera pans into the bar (or Road House I suppose) we see the two women from the front cover of the DVD. They apparently just got off of the shoot as ZZ Top video girls and decided to wind down at the Black Pelican. OK, let's go inside and see how these two help this movie get going!

Inside the music is blaring via bar band X, which probably has a real name if indeed they are a real band but if it was mentioned I didn't catch it. Just imagine any bar's cover band that just started writing it's own music and this is pretty much them. Except this one had a midget dancing on the front of the stage for a reason which escapes me. I think Kid Rock had a gimmick like this for a while but I'm not sure why the practice would be desirable enough to copycat. Meh, if the guy is having fun being a stage device then more power to him.

The Black Pelican Bar/Roadhouse is owned by "Nate" a tough but kindly old guy who gets a cryptic phone call late one night telling him to meet (somewhere) regarding the bar. That is, you're supposed to infer that because it's not really clear. Let's see, late night mysterious phone call, disputed property, out of the way location. Nope. Can't see the harm in that!
The meeting goes something like this: (Nate is represented by the blue robot, Wild Bill is the yellow)

Let's hear it for the Ten Dollar Popcorn Players!

To be fair, the actual scene in the movie was slightly less wooden. By the way, that last sound you heard was a gunshot. Production value tends to suffer with our shoestring budget.

Enter "Shane Tanner", an undercover DEA agent with all the right moves. It says so right on the DVD case. We are told to believe he is the son of "Dalton" from the first Road House, which plugs up that little plot hole nicely. Other plot holes created by the movie itself are plugged up near the end of the film, but I don't want to give too much away. Shane encounters Wild Bill, vaguely corrupt cops, his own angry boss back in New York (sure, why not), and the Australian drug kingpin that keeps making baseball references for some reason.

One interesting sequence revolves around a hospital that looks like it's straight out of a horror movie. You know, green tile walls, dimly lit, no intercom chatter, and NO ONE in the halls. Maybe they went in together with a horror movie also being shot and they shared the spooky hospital. "A" for resourcefulness, that being the case.

Here are some highlights and/or low lights of the film. I'll let you decide which is which.
  • Everyone knows karate!
  • 1 hour 13 minutes before the first car explosion
  • Sadly obligatory girl fight
  • "Hobart" dish sanitizer disappointingly unused in kitchen fight scene
  • The cover girls are never seen again after the first scene (bait and switch?)
  • Sadly obligatory ironic death scene

In the "cheesy action movie" category it rates a C. The fact that the film is Roadhousian in nature bumps it up to a C+. The bewildering fact that Uncle Nate is still alive after all that happens to him in the movie brings it back down to a C.


trailer for Raising Arizona

trailer for Pretty In Pink

trailer for Road House 2

trailer for Road House

thanks to for it's contribution to this review!