The band playing at the start of the movie is Cruzados. After the band disbanded, lead singer Tito Larriva formed the band Tito & Tarantula, which is the band that plays at the Titty Twister in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996).
An off-Broadway production of this film was produced in 2003. It had the peculiarly excessively long title of "Road House: The Stage Version Of The Cinema Classic That Starred Patrick Swayze, Except This One Stars Taimak From The 80's Cult Classic The Last Dragon (1985) Wearing A Blonde Mullet Wig".
Many of the characters' names are taken from infamous/famous wild west personalities: Wade Garrett shares his surname with Pat Garrett, the sheriff who shot and killed Billy the Kid; Brad Wesley, the main villain in the film, has the same last name as the middle name of John Wesley Hardin, one of the most notorious and cold-blooded killers in the history of the west (he once fired through a wall into the next room of a hotel where he was sleeping and killed a man whose snoring was bothering him); Kelly Lynch's character is nicknamed "Doc", a nickname shared with gunfighter Doc Holliday; the character who owns the barn where Dalton rents a room, Emmett, has the first name of Emmett Dalton, leader of the notorious bandit ring The Dalton Gang; finally, there is a character named Younger, which was the last name of Cole Younger, another notorious western bandit and killer.
Originally Keith David ("Double Deuce" bartender Ernie Bass) had a lot more scenes between he and Patrick Swayze's character Dalton, but most were deleted when it was determined that the final print ran too long, almost 2-1/2 hours. Some other deleted scenes include Dalton making the other bouncers wear ballet outfits and dance as part of their training. There is also a still picture showing Dalton fighting with Ketchum (the guy with the knife-boot) inside the Double Deuce in a different fight than the one in the film, and the theatrical trailer shows quite a few deleted and extended scenes.
The character of Dalton was named after the town of Dalton, GA. The film's writer, R. Lance Hill, was passing through and stopped at a local bar. The establishment and its patrons left an impression on him, and as a tribute to the town he named the protagonist Dalton.
The town in which the film is set is a fictional community "outside of Kansas City" called "Jasper", and as Dalton drives into town, the "Welcome to Jasper" sign is visible. There actually is a Jasper, Missouri, south of Kansas City, and it has numerous rivers running near it (as seen throughout the movie). The movie also alludes to "calling a friend in the FBI in Springfield". Springfield, MO, is just over an hour away from Jasper.
First of two "Road House" movies. The sequel, Road House 2: Last Call (2006), was made for DVD. The part of Nate Tanner in the follow-up was originally supposed to be James Dalton, Patrick Swayze's character from this movie, but Swayze backed out due to creative differences, and the character was changed. None of the original cast reprised their roles in the sequel.
The first movie to be given the "RiffTrax" treatment by comedian Michael J. Nelson, who recorded a downloadable humorous commentary in the vein of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988) to be played in sync with the movie. Nelson had previously claimed this film was the cheesiest movie ever made in his book "Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese".
The car that Dalton buys at the used-car lot was a 1965 Buick Riviera--the only year that Buick used the "clamshell" headlight covers for the Riviera. The other car that he drives near the beginning of the movie before picking up his Mercedes Benz and leaving for Missouri is a 1964 Buick Riviera.
The picture was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards. These were for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor (Patrick Swayze) and Worst Supporting Actor (Ben Gazzara). It didn't win any.
Dalton is in a fight when Wade Garrett first meets him outside the back of the Double Deuce. Garrett greets Dalton and calls him "Mijo". That is a contraction of the Spanish words "mi hijo", which means "my son".
Theatrical trailer shows some deleted scenes; Dalton grabbing some guy for mouth and telling him "Don't be rude!", Wade sitting on couch drinking a beer and saying "So says the fighting philosopher", Carrie Ann sitting in car with Dalton asking him "What's the matter, Dalton? Don't you like women?" and Dalton says "Best i ever had was wonderful", Dalton saying "I'm not afraid of him" in the scene where he talks with Doc before Emmet's house explodes, Wesley in bar after Red's shop has exploded and before fight scene telling Dalton, Red and others; "I guess you'll be having that fire sale now, huh Red?"
In Family Guy: Brian's Got a Brand New Bag (2009), Peter Griffin buys the "Road House" DVD at a going-out-of-business sale at Quahog Video. After watching the film, Peter begins to believe that all of life's problems can be solved by kicking. After kicking his target, he would say the film's name as a catchphrase of sorts. The episode was dedicated to Patrick Swayze, who had died of pancreatic cancer several weeks before the episode aired.
There are several things that are related to Elvis Presley: Back in the Double Deuce after Red's auto parts store is blown up, Brad Wesley tells Cody "Elvis, play something with balls"; Marshall R. Teague (Jimmy) played Rick Colton, a martial arts instructor who has an affair with Priscilla Presley) in Elvis and Me (1988), which was based on Priscilla's autobiography; Red West', who plays Red Webster, knew Elvis Presley in high school and was a member of "The Memphis Mafia".
When Patrick Swayze and Kelly Lynch are at his house and Swayze is tuning the radio, the first song he stops at, which they both sneer at, is Bullet's "Sold My Soul to Rock and Rroll". When Bullet is heard singing the lyrics "I sold my soul, my soul to rock 'n' roll" there is a really wild two-second guitar squeal or note sounding at the same time. This little guitar part cannot be heard on the official released version of that song.
When Patrick Swayze takes Kelly Lynch to his room, he turns on the radio. The uncredited song playing is "I Sold My Soul to Rock'N'Roll" by the German heavy metal band Bullett, from their 1984 album, "No Mercy".
Patrick Swayze's handsomeness caused problems during filming. A pickup truck containing a group of middle-aged blonde women attempted to drive right up to the star's trailer to meet the actor. During the big fight by the river, a raft of Swayze-loving ladies sailed by. A female extra playing a waitress was too busy staring at Swayze to watch where she was going and tripped, spilling all of her drinks on another extra.
After the five-day long shoot fighting Marshall R. Teague's, Patrick Swayze needed 2.5 ounces of fluid drained from his left knee. He apparently had been suffering through knee problems before, needing a similar procedure during production on Dirty Dancing (1987).
The scene where Dalton lectures the Double Deuce staff about the three simple rules (i.e. "Be nice") is shown to police officers. This started after it was reported that cops were falling asleep during the lectures.
According to Sam Elliott, all the actors did their own stunts. They were all trained by Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, a holder of nine black belts in nine different disciplines. Urquidez believed so much in Patrick Swayze's abilities that he suggested to him that he should become a competitive kickboxer.
According to the late Jeff Healy, when the Rowdy Harrington was reviewing the dailies for the film, he felt that Ben Gazzara's casting as an invincible psychotic millionaire who could handle himself with his fists was slightly unbelievable. Griitier actors such as Gilbert Godfried and Don Knotts were tested for possible reshoots, but due to budget constraints, Gazzara's footage was eventually kept in the film.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
In Road House 2: Last Call (2006), the character of Dalton (Patrick Swayze, who does not appear) is said to have died, shot dead before the follow-up film's events take place. The sequel features just a handful of references to Dalton but the central character is Dalton's son as an adult.