The greatest American film of all time, Road House starring the late greats Patrick Swayze and Ben Gazzara kicks and punches its way onto 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in a deluxe three-disc set from Vinegar Syndrome. Their fourth VSU title, Vinegar Syndrome delivers an excellent new HDR10 transfer from a new 4K restoration of the original negative, multiple audio options, and a bar full of interesting bonus features. Fans of Rowdy Herrington’s action classic won’t want to miss this. Must Own
NOTE - This release is exclusive to Vinegar Syndrome and will be back on sale after their current Partner Lable Sale
In a world where bars and saloons are overrun by power drinkers, muscle heads, and trustees of modern chemistry, one man will clean up the trash. Legendary bouncer Dalton (Patrick Swayze) just rolled into Jackson, Missouri to clean up the Double Deuce. Little does Dalton expect, but local crime boss Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara) isn’t going to make his job an easy one. When Dalton falls for local beauty Doc (Kelly Lynch), Wesley puts the world-famous bouncer in his crosshairs with an army of henchmen and monster trucks. To survive and clean up the town, Dalton will have to team up with Wade Garrett (Sam Elliott) and rip out a couple of throats before the job is done.
So yeah, I love Road House. It’s an endlessly quotable incredibly entertaining party flick. Anytime you have a gathering of folks and you need some entertainment, nothing else delivers like Road House. Why would you stump to watching the Super Bowl or the Olympics when you could watch Patrick Swayze get in countless fights while Ben Gazzara sings show tunes whilst driving on the wrong side of the road? Toss in some great tunes from the late Jeff Healey, Sam Elliott doing his grizzled best, with one of the most uncomfortable-looking romance scenes and you have one hell of a movie and a strong candidate for the most entertaining film ever made. Now if we could only get that ultra-mega cut with all of the deleted material that’d be something to celebrate!
We obviously did not review the 2022 Criterion Collection 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray April Fools Edition
Now for the complete Road House experience, make sure you visit our friends at Rifftrax and score either (or both) the Mike Nelson Solo Riffrtrax or the Three-Riffer Edition featuring Mike Nelson, Bill Corbit, and Kevin Murphy.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
As the fourth entry in their deluxe VSU line, Vinegar Syndrome does right by Road House fans with a new three-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release. The 4K version scores a BD-100 Disc, with the 1080p picking up a Region A BD-50, with another BD-25 disc dedicated to additional bonus features. The discs are housed in a standard three-disc case with separate bays without stacking. The case has reversible insert art depicting the new custom art or the classic poster art. That has an embossed slipcover that replicates the theatrical art all housed in a magnetic book-style case complete with a 40-page booklet.
For its first appearance on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Vinegar Syndrome delivers a new 4K restoration from the original 35mm negative marking a notable improvement over Shout Select’s 2016 disc sourced from a 2K scan of the interpositive, and a very obvious improvement over the old 2009 Blu-ray. The old 2009 disc suffered from black level issues along with over-saturated reds leaving skin tones looking lobster-baked. The 2016 disc offered up some improved details and better more stable black levels, but it also pushed blues a little harder and pulled back reds leaving skin tones looking pastier. This new 2022 restoration aims to strike a middle ground. While some skin tones can look a little spray-tanned, everyone looks far less “red” than the 2009 and healthier than the 2016 disc.
Details are strong throughout offering up cleaner lines, textures, and fine facial features. Little background details like nicks, scratches, and carvings in walls or posts are much clearer than in past editions. Those late 80s fashions are all on display. Coupled with a strong grain structure without the noise issues of the 2009 disc, the image looks appropriately cinematic.
With HDR10 employed, colors have a lovely pop while black levels are appropriately inky and solid with bright clean whites. As I mentioned previously, at times skin tones can look a little warm, but nothing too horrifying or out of whack. This movie has always had overly reddish skin tones so each release has been a bit of a battle in that regard. Black levels are on point with clean shadows for a nice three-dimensional appearance. Whites are bright and crisp without blooming issues. All in all, this is the best I’ve ever seen Road House look either on disc or in the theater!
What sounds to be the same DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix has returned along with a strong DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo track for this release. Both options are solid offerings for any home theater setup. Overall I prefer the 5.1 mix, especially when DTS Neural:X is employed. Those bar fights and action sequences sound perfectly lively and expansive with the Jeff Healey tunes rocking out the soundscape. Dialog is clean and clear throughout without any issues. Levels are spot on for both tracks so you won’t be needing to keep tabs on the volume. As I said, both tracks are great so it’s dealer’s choice whichever way you want to go.
It wouldn’t be a Vinegar Syndrome VSU release without a massive trove of bonus features to pick through. Between the 4K disc and the two Blu-rays you have hours of new and archival materials to dig into and enjoy. The two archival audio commentaries are standouts, but the new interviews and retrospectives are excellent in their own right. As a whole, you have more than a few hours of Road House awesomeness to enjoy!
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc One
Blu-ray Disc Two
If I were going to be stuck on a deserted island and could only bring ten films with me, Rowdy Herrington’s Road House would easily make the cut. If I’m going to bake in the sun spearfishing and building a palm hut while trying to find drinkable water as I try to figure out how to ferment bananas into booze, I damn well want a movie I can relax to at the end of the day! After countless viewings in theaters, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, and now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, I’ve never tired of this incredibly entertaining flick. Add the Rifftrax for extra flavor or enjoy on its own with a Vodka Rocks because Vinegar Syndrome goes nipple to nipple for this exciting VSU edition of Road House scoring an excellent HDR10 transfer, two solid audio tracks, and hours of in-depth and informative bonus features. Not just for fans of Patrick Swayze - Must Own