Monday, September 28, 2009

This Will Be the Next "Cleopatra" But With More Death

You know what was really huge about twenty years ago? Vietnam War films--it seemed every studio wanted to put out something about "Nam" and what it was like "in the shit". Well, all things come around again, first as tragedy and then as farce, so what would be more of a tragic farce than a prequel to Road House that features the hero, Dalton, fighting his way through the Tet Offensive? This could cash in on two late '80s themes--the Vietnam War and Road House.

Of course, any good Vietnam film has to have the familiar cliches:

1) The young farm boy who's nice to everyone and can't wait to marry his girl back home, and you just know he's going to be shot up like Swiss cheese by the end of the film.

2) Soldiers referring to the enemy as "Charlie" or "the Cong" or the more racially questionable "Hawaiian Dicklords".

3) At least one scene with a black guy being more cool than the white guys. Actually, that's in every film ever made.

4) Have you noticed how there were no black people in West Side Story? Isn't that weird?

5) A gun battle with some Motown tunes as the backdrop--preferably some Smokey Robinson.

6) The seargeant being a real jerk to everyone, but that's only because he doesn't want his men to get killed. They repay this kindness by pushing him onto a landmine later.

7) A part where the Mexican guy goes running into the woods with just a bayonet, and comes back with several Viet Cong helmets. When the guys ask if he killed all those Viet Cong, he says "nope, just found all these cool helmets!"

8) A scene where the chopper won't pick up the men because one of them forgot to shave. This is supposed to demonstrate the hell that is war.

9) The guy from New York will have a thick Brooklyn accent, and be in love with the Yankees or Mets, and Coney Island hot dogs and pizza, because that's what New Yorkers do. There is no chance that the New Yorker will be intelligent or well spoken.

10) The southern guy will make some ironic comment about how the jungle reminds him of the Georgia swamp he grew up in. The other soldiers will be remined that the southern guy is a douche.

Now, in my film, this will have Dalton--the hero of Road House--serving in Nam, which teaches him a lot that he can later use in his bar bouncing. For instance, one of his comrades will get shot, and will shrug it off by saying "pain don't hurt". Dalton will say "that's crazy talk" but we all know that that becomes one of his catch phrases. Of course added hilarity will happen when his commanding officer, upon meeting Dalton, says "I thought you'd be taller" since that also gets said a lot to Dalton. Of course, I haven't figured out how to work the line "you're too stupid to have a good time!" into the film, but that's what script doctors are for.


  1. I don't know, doesn't seem to me that Dalton was old enough for Nam. This might work, however, if you changed the focus to Wade Garret.

    Now his character definitely seemed like the burnt out Nam vet who controls his PTSD through alcohol and beating the crap out of local yokels with glorious abandon. At the very end you could introduce Dalton as the now-orphaned son of one of Garrets Nam buddies.

  2. Foggy--Dalton could have just barely made the tail end of Vietnam--the actor playing him (the late Patrick Swayze) was born in 1952, so assuming Dalton was also born that year he would have been 18 in 1970, about enough time to be involved in the incursion into Cambodia. (Also, Dalton is the type of guy who might have lied about his age, to get into the service a year or two before that). Imagine then that he did in fact meet his grizzled Sarge, Wade Garrett, while slogging through rice paddies in the Mekong Delta, hunting down Charlie and "bouncing" the Viet Cong from South Vietnam!