Red: How long are you gonna be in town?
Dalton: Not very long.
Red: That’s what I said 25 years ago.

Hi. My name is Scott Marshall and I am an artist, writer, and movie fan. I’m also a comedy nerd, so it shouldn’t surprise you to know that I was an OG fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the 1990s. This extended to setting a timer on my VCR so that I could catch late-night airings of The Mystery Science Theater Hour on one of the American “super channels” like WPIX. It was thanks to the MST Hour that I first saw an episode called Santa Claus Conquers the Martians in the winter of 1995.
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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a truly terrible film starring the young Pia Zadora. The MST episode around it, however, was one of their better ones, with a memorable act break where bemused Joel reads the titles of fake holiday specials to the robots (“The Christmas That Wasn’t That Bad”, for example). Another act break had the boys singing a new Christmas carol written by Crow about his favourite movie, Road House. Here, see for yourself:

 

I was very amused by this. Later that same year while hanging out with my old friend Roger in our home town, we decided to have a “Patrick Swayze Christmas” ourselves by watching the clip above and then watching Road House. As you might expect, we did drink a beer or two while watching the movie and we may have made some wisecracks. It was a good time, and I started to make a habit of watching Road House on or around Christmas Day, because I enjoy really long running gags.
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For the first few years, it was just me and any family or friends who wanted to watch too. People didn’t really get the point, or they assumed that I was some kind of rabid Patrick Swayze fan, and they would try to persuade me to watch Ghost or Dirty Dancing instead. Fortunately, some friends did get it, and they loved it for much the same reasons, so the party grew to an annual event that one year pulled in about 40 people at a bar that we had booked. We also invented a drinking game that was a little too effective.
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Road House got a late DVD release, probably due to music clearance issues or something, and in my impatience one year I went on eBay and bought both a Laserdisc player and a Laserdisc of Road House, hoping for a better quality picture and sound (it had neither). As luck would have it the first basic DVD release was the following year, and there have been better DVD reissues and a Blu-Ray as of this writing.
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All of this preamble is simply to say: I have seen Road House a lot of times. Probably over 40 at this point. And of course I have the straight to DVD sequel, what do you think I am? I have not, sadly, seen the off-broadway musical based on Road House. If anyone out there has a recording or libretto I would be delighted to trade something of mine for it.
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The point is, when you see one movie so many times, you are bound to start noticing little things that you didn’t before, because your eyes start searching the corners of scenes for new information, or you see something in the subtitles that isn’t spoken aloud, or your brain constructs an elaborate framework of coincidences because you think Stanley Kubrick liked making puzzles for you to solve.
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This project was my wife’s idea, indirectly. She said something that reminded me of a Star Wars project called From A Certain Point of View, where different authors wrote a bunch of short stories from the perspectives of minor characters. This in turn reminded me of Richard Linklater’s first film Slacker, and how it shifts perspective constantly. I thought perhaps there could be a fun way to deepen the Road House mythology while still being respectful to the film and to the memories of those who made it and have unfortunately passed away since its release. That’s the goal, anyway.
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As I write this, I am entering the 25th straight year that I will watch Road House at Christmas with friends and family, many of whom have been doing it for over a decade themselves, and usually some who are seeing it for the first time. Thanks to them, and to the cast and crew of both Road House and Mystery Science Theater 3000 for many years of laughs and roundhouse kicks. As Crow says, Who says a good action sequence doesn’t belong at Christmas?
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Thanks especially to my wife Nicole for the brilliant idea, to my son Jack, and my friends Anthony Stuart, Randy Nicholson, Keith Dickson, Lesley Dickson, Scott Thomas, Alison Thomas, and everyone else who ran alongside us at one point or another.
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Comments are welcome but for legal reasons, I cannot accept unsolicited submissions or suggestions. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoy the site. If you do, I hope you will consider donating to cancer research.
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Copyright notices: except where otherwise indicated, this site and its contents are Copyright (c) 2018 by Scott D. Marshall. All rights reserved. Road House is the property of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). This project is a work of satire and does not represent MGM or anyone associated with the creation of the film Road House.
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