Wait … They Already Made a ‘Road House’ Sequel?

'Road House 2: Last Call' left out everything that made Patrick Swayze's film special

Before Jake Gyllenhaal body-shamed us with his unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt and Doug Liman declared a David and Goliath battle against Amazon over the streaming reboot of an ‘80s classic there was 2006′s “Road House 2: Last Call.”

The little-seen sequel follows up on 1989’s “Road House” where Patrick Swayze rips a man’s throat out, Sam Elliott schools us on facial hair and Kelly Lynch redefines knockout.

We’re not here to talk about that flat-out masterpiece but the sequel few fans actually saw.

Road House 2: Last Call (2006) - On DVD Trailer

“Road House 2: Last Call” follows DEA agent Shane Tanner (Jonathon Schaech) as he is called home to Louisiana after backwoods drug dealers (led by Jake Busey) try moving in on a rowdy bar owned by his uncle, Nate Tanner (Will Patton).

There’s a lazy subplot about Shane having a mild obsession with finding the person who killed his father, Dalton (Swayze). Yes, they kill Dalton offscreen.

The less said about this miscalculation, the better.

The problems of “Road House 2” (besides its questionable existence) are common threads among many DTV movies of its era. DTV means “Direct to Video,” which is now an acronym that shows off your age.

Before streaming took over our lives, companies like Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (behind “Road House 2”) would use budgets made up of pocket change, bubble gum and a decent check for a yesteryear star to churn out video candy for rental store shelves.

FAST FACT: Director Kevin Smith and producer Scott Mosier recorded a commentary track for a 2006 DVD release of “Road House” (around the same time “Road House 2” was released). According to Smith, he and Mosier spoke about loving “Road House” during their “Clerks” commentary track and the next thing he knew, they were asked to be part of a new “Road House” release.

These flicks either relied on stars professionally down on their luck (think Wesley Snipes, Steven Seagal) or recognizable titles to throw together a poster. They’d typically turn a profit before ending up in a Walmart discount bin (Did I just date myself again? Are those still a thing?).

For instance, did you know there is a “Cruel Intentions 2” and “Cruel Intentions 3?” There’s also a “Boogeyman 2” and “Boogeyman 3.” If you don’t remember the original “Boogeyman,” it’s okay. These flicks don’t typically build on each other.

Boogeyman 2 (2008)

This is where “Road House 2” at least deserves some credit.

It acknowledges the first film and includes plenty of callbacks from the original movie (like “Pain don’t hurt” and Dalton’s bouncer rules). It also makes the original “Road House” look like it commanded a budget of about $200 million.

It’s not all bad with “Road House 2.” Schaech is a committed lead (he co-wrote the movie), Patton levels up anything he’s in and Busey is an angsty, drug-dealing antagonist who is fun to watch in a going-for-Nicolas-Cage-broke sort of way.

What the flick is missing are moments.

“Road House” contains ridiculous or ridiculously committed moments that keep the film fresh in fans’ minds. “Road House 2,” unsurprisingly, doesn’t have any of these stand-out scenes. It’s a padded-out movie that is barreling towards its end.

It also barely earns its R-rating, which is almost criminal for a “Road House” sequel.

Road House (1/11) Movie CLIP - Three Simple Rules (1989) HD

One element common to action movies today that fans are spared in “Road House 2?” The death-by-a-million cuts editing that requires four dozen shots to watch a man hop a fence and always promises to cut away just when the camera might pick up something interesting.

The “Road House 2” stunt coordinator was J.J. Perry, who has worked on much better action films, including “The Rundown.” The fights here feel reminiscent of that early Dwayne Johnson picture, albeit on a discount.

“Road House 2” doesn’t rewrite the rules on bare-knuckle brawling, but it does let its actors and stunt people throw around some old-school punches (complete with that ‘80s sound effect that makes every punch sound like a slap heard ’round the world). It’s not high entertainment, but hey, it’s something, especially when we’re talking “Road House 2.”

According to Schaech, the original intention was for “Road House 2: Last Call” to be a remake. The eventual sequel was part of a bizarre run in his career where he starred in multiple DTV sequels that had nothing to do with their supposed predecessors.

“I did a film with [Camilla Bella] 20-plus years ago and she was a kid in it. It was called ‘Lily,’ but they re-titled it ‘Poison Ivy 2.’ When I made ‘Road House,’ it was supposed to be a remake, but they made it a sequel. ‘8MM 2’ had nothing to do with the original film. It was renamed that so they can sell it,” Schaech told Film International in 2018.

Road House 2: Last Call (2006) - On DVD Trailer

“Road House 2: Last Call” feels like a pilot that would have been thrown together in the early ‘90s meant solely for syndication to capitalize on the success of “Road House” without Swayze.

Ahead of the unceremonial video release of “Road House 2: Last Call,” co-screenwriter Miles Chapman attempted to defend the absence of Swayze in the story.

“I know there has been some negative reaction to the news that Patrick Swayze won’t be appearing in the film. Well, all I have to say is that Will Patton and Jonathan Schaech are carrying the torch proudly,” the “Escape Plan” screenwriter told The Hollywood News in 2006, per Moviehole.

In 2022, Chapman’s tune was slightly different.

Screenwriting for Schwarzenegger & Stallone with Miles Chapman

The screenwriter told the “Indie Film Hustle” podcast that “Road House 2” suffered from a low budget and a brutal 17-day shoot. He also revealed that the original plan was to always have Swayze’s Dalton in the story, acting as “an Obi-Wan Kenobi in the bouncer world kind of thing.”

“If I was a little more savvy back then, I would’ve known that there was no way he was going to do this thing,” Chapman said.

Zachary Leeman is a reporter who has been published on websites such as Breitbart, LifeZette, and Mediaite. His novel “Nigh” will be released later this year from publisher Gilded Masque.

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