I wrote about Road House’s upcoming 25th anniversary in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly for one simple reason — Road House is awesome. Possibly the finest piece of cinematic work put forth in the entire twentieth century. And I’m not just saying that because I share the same name as Patrick Swayze’s shirtless and mulleted bar bouncer.
There are many extraordinary things about this movie — the extraordinary amount of times Swayze gets shirtless for no apparent reason. The extraordinarily confusing pieces of Yoda-like philosophy that Swayze dispenses that sound cool but really don’t make a lick of sense. And, above all, the extraordinary amount of violence on display. And not, like, building exploding type violence — although, yes, two buildings do explode in Road House — but rather old-school fist-on-face violence. Or kick-in-chest violence. Or pretty much any combination of body part violence you can think of.
To ascertain exactly how much bodily damage takes place in Road House, I went through the entire movie and charted every major contact point, and let me just take a second to confirm that, yes, this is the clearly the most important work I have ever undertaken in my 14+ years at Entertainment Weekly. It should be noted that the totals you see here involve only the primary fight happening at any point on screen, so when all-out bar brawls break out at the Double Deuce — which they tend to do — background beat-downs were not, repeat: not, tallied. (Had they been included, just assume the final number would be roughly 5,728 for everything.)
“Pain don’t hurt,” opined Swayze’s Dalton. This by-the-numbers Road House Fight Chart would beg to differ. Just click on the “Full Size” button above to see the chart in all its glory. (Props to EW’s Jef Castro for helping bring this insane dream to life.)