Roadhouse 66 (1984) / Comedy-Action
MPAA Rated: R for language, sexuality, nudity and some violence
Running Time: 90 min.
Cast: Judge Reinhold, Willem Dafoe, Kaaren Lee, Kate Vernon, Stephen Elliott, Alan Autry, Kevyn Major Howard, Peter Van Norden, Erica Yohn
Director: John Mark Robinson
Screenplay: Galen Lee, George Simpson
Judge Reinhold (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Stripes) plays Beckman, a yuppie traveling through Arizona to see his father that picks up a hitchhiker named Johnny Harte (Dafoe, Clear and Present Danger). On a deserted stretch of highway, Beckman gets harassed by a trio of gun-toting hooligans, ending up in them shooting a hole in his radiator. They drive to the nearest town to find a replacement, only to discover the hooligans are also part of that town, and that the radiator is a special order that will take some time to obtain. Beckman and Johnny are stuck for a while, so in the meantime, they get into a few fisticuffs with the baddies while also flirting with the local ladies. Meanwhile, an annual race is about to get underway, the 66, where the only contestants are owners of pre-1966 automobiles.
Lackadaisical but curiously still interesting, Roadhouse 66 is a bit lazy and relatively pointless, but the offbeat nature of the story, as well as the performances by the main actors, makes it fine for ninety minute time-killer. Lots of catchy rockabilly tunes fill out the soundtrack, including "Marie, Marie", The Blasters tune sung by Willem Dafoe himself. The thrills are modest, and of course, all signs point to a showdown between Beckman and the bad guys during the race at the film's finale. Cheesy in a b-movie way and a bit juvenile, but it might merit a guilty pleasure viewing if you like the stars, road movies, rockabilly, or cool classic cars.
©2005 Vince Leo