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It's your basic "High-school dork beats bully & gets girl using his
worthless social-outcast skill that everyone in this little universe is
oddly obsessed with" (happens all the time in the 80's). Nothing
particularly original or interesting about it, but for some reason it
withstands repeated viewings and still seems like fun. It's one of
those movies that unintentionally became a cult flick just by being so
The plot, the acting, the characters, the one-liners . . . everything about the production is reasonably serviceable for the era, but certainly not GOOD either. The whole thing feels sorta like a cheesy 80's sitcom doing its big 2-hour episode for sweeps week, and the network gave it some money for a real location shoot & some extra cuss words.
The bicycle stuntwork in "Rad" is stellar. Yes, of course it's outdated now, and modern X-games riders like Dave Mirra can demonstrate a lot more technical skill on multi-directional spins & stuff, but ultimately that's beside the point. In real life the average 13-year-old spends weeks teaching himself to do a decent bunny hop. And for that 13-year-old, it's plenty of fun watching a character in "Rad" just trying to learn an (outdated) backflip move in the schoolyard using a hockey helmet & some old bed mattresses. (Think: "Jackass" but not so intentional. And it's too bad this movie was made before the era of "goof reels" during the end credits, because they probably got some real whoppers on film during this production.)
I can quote every line of this movie, but I still can't put my finger on what aspect of it makes it hold up so well. It's got that same sort of odd quality that a "Duck Tales" or a "Saved by the Bell" episode has: You can't explain why on earth you're still watching & enjoying it as an intelligent adult . . . but you are. (And so is everyone else you've shown it to.) Either way you'd better get your insider-status and enjoy this movie now. Next thing we know they might put it on T-shirts at Sam Goody & take all the fun out of it.
Before the huge X-Games explosion of the late 90s, there was another place where extreme sports thrived; The 80s. Like any fad, there were numerous exploitation movies based on it. Thrashin was the cream of the crop to focus on skateboarding, but when it came to BMX there was a real debate. Was it BMX Bandits or Rad? In my mind, there has never been a doubt. While BMX Bandits is pretty good, it can't even come close to Rad. Likely both films spawned hardcore punk bands named after the movies, and Rad the band is far superior to BMX Bandits. (Although really neither are that great) So what makes Rad so good? To start, the star power: a pre-Full House Lori Laughlin is the love interest of our hero Cru, Talia `stop calling me Adrian' Shire has a great turn as Cru's mom, and veteran character actor Ray Walston is hilarious as a crankity old bike shop owner (`The world would be a lot better off without kids'). The movie also has one of my favorite scummy villains of the 80s, Jack Weston of Dirty Dancing, Short Circuit 2, and Can't Stop the Music (the fictionalized Village People biopic). With a cast this great you know you're in for a treat. The next key ingredient of Rad is the stunts. Instead of hiring BMX stuntmen and only using them for stunts, Rad gives them roles, playing themselves. It is set around a fictional BMX race called `Hell Track' and it draws some of the best riders from around the world. It is always a special treat seeing some of my favorite riders of yore on the screen along with Cru. It gives the movie an authentic feeling. It also has spectacular stunt scenes in the opening credits where they just let the riders do there thing and they really show off their skills which are highlighted by interesting angles and slow motion. Another great thing about Rad is the soundtrack. It's the typical eighties teen targeting soundtrack full of various genres aimed to get kids attention; rock, dance, new wave, even some ballads. They all work though and you'll be humming the tunes long after the movie has stopped. The hit `Send Me An Angel' (which was later used to great effect in the Fred Savage vehicle / Nintendo commercial The Wizard) is especially great and has found its way onto mix tapes of mine ever since the I first bought the soundtrack in 87 with it's catchy, haunting synth line. All in all, Rad is more than just a fun trip down nostalgia lane. Even if you haven't grown up in the 80's or gotten caught up in the BMX craze, it is still a lot of fun. And besides, what other movie do you get to see Ray Walston give the middle finger with such conviction?
I love this movie. As i said in the other comment i first
saw Rad back in 1986 or 1987. There's just something about this movie. To be honest this movie doesn't seem that dated to me, because i've been watching Rad ever since
1986 or 1987. there was never a huge gap between that time. This movie just has some magic to it. Ok so its a
little low on plot, the acting maybe isn't that great, and maybe it is predictable, but you know what? Who cares!. This movie is entertaining from beginning to end, it never lets up for a second. The music is great too, I love Break The Ice, thunder in your heart, send me an angel,
and the other cool songs. Rad is loaded with cool bike
tricks, great racing scenes and it's very inspiring. The
person on here that said they don't make movies like this
anymore is right, Rad just contains a sort of magic movies don't have nowadays. I've had the same worn out tape of this movie for about 10 or more years now, I can't get
enough of it. I wish there'd be a sequel to Rad. I know it wouldn't be as good as the original, but i'd still like to what Cru, luke and the others are up to now. Rad is in the top 3 of my favorite movies of all time. I also think I have watched Rad more times than any other movie in history. It's just got a lot of re-watchable value to it.
Once again I love this movie and always will. I give Rad
**** out of ****
Like so many other kids my age (being 22 now) I saw this one and I also got my first BMX shortly after that! I have been looking everywhere for this one, but just couldn't find it until recently when I imported it from USA in a DVD-edition - however, it looks like an illegal copy since the cover had been copied (in color, though) and the picture on the disc was a sticker, the sound was really low (maybe it had something to do with the fact that it had been converted directly to DVD from VHS?), it had no extra-material and the menu looked like someone had done it on a PC and then burned it... Anyway, the film was just as Rad as I remembered it from my young days! All the classic scenes like the paper boy, motorcycle cop chase, BMX-dance and the Hell Track race were there and together with the (almost cheesy) 1980's-soundtrack they sent shivers down my spine. So if you haven't seen this one, then see it - if you HAVE seen it, then see it again! Money well spent I can assure you.
You know, this movie on so many levels is probably not a 10, but I gave it one anyway, because since I first saw it in theatres, to now when I've probably seen it about 100+ times, I still am totally engaged and entertained by it. And to this day i still dream about finding my own special someone to go ass sliding with (don't ask , just see the movie). Plus any movie that has Ray Walston(My Favorite Martian) riding a BMX bike and flipping the Bird, is allright by me!!!
This is one the best movies i have not been able to buy or even find. I have been trying my local mom and pop video stores for years to find this movie. Unfortunately Blockbuster wiped most of them out before i could persuade them to sell me one of favorite movies of all time. Anyway i found this site (WWW.BMXBMX.COM)that had it to download. The download was almost instantaneous. Regrettably it only comes in 7 parts but thats a small inconvenience to finally see the movie i loved since i was 10. I hope they put this on DVD one day i've signed the petition you should too. If some one knows where to find this movie good shape i would love to buy it.
RAD....wow....17 years after it originally came out and it still remains one of the best films, most definitive films of a generation. Who will ever forget the stellar acting of Bill Allen, the luscious Lori Laughlin (speaking of oscars, where was hers for Casper 2? Huh?), and the amazing Bart Conner as THE Bart Taylor. Sure, a few elements might be a tad dated (They wouldn't call it Helltrack after 9/11, no siree bob!), but it still is just as good as the day it came out. A friend of mine were having a debate on which 80s film would stand the test of time...this or Raiders of the Lost Ark. Time will tell on that one.
a triumph of cinematography that has yet to be surpassed.
two gripes: no sequel, and no sequel to That sequel.
am currently saving my dimes for computer powerful enough to rip from video to dvd. helltrack will be digitalized yet!
a perplexing and damningly persistent question of mine over the years is: why would mongoose allow themselves to be cast as the evil corporate sponsor aiming to bury the competition at all costs? as a direct result of this fictional portrayal, my friends and i pretty much banished mongoose to the lower rungs of bemexdom to stand alongside such pariahs as diamondback and huffy, while holding gt(and their corresponding sister companies, auburn, robinson, etc.) as well as the smaller independent manufacturers, ie. bully, standard, elf in much higher esteem. oh well, i guess they figured any press was good press.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There's no telling how many times I watched this movie as a kid and I
still watch it at least once a month. Back in the day, I'd get bored,
pop this one in the vcr, and then go outside and try to court death by
bicycle, in attempt to imitate the insane tricks that I'd just watched
in this movie. I wanted TO BE Bart Taylor (yes, I know that we were
supposed to be rooting for Cru Jones) and I forget how many scrapes,
gashes, and bruises I got from my Haro. In one of many failed attempts,
I even tried to rig my backyard into my own makeshift "hell track". I'd
even hum my own soundtrack (gotta love that "break the ice" and
"thunder in your heart") and even though this lead to a lot of pain
(and embarrassment), I'd keep trying.
Well, needless to say, the 80s are gone and I never became a professional BMXer..but I still have this movie. If you've never seen it, well, it probably won't do much for you now. It's one of those that if you didn't embrace it when you were young (anybody with me on that?), you won't get much out of it, aside from a little unintentional comedy, okay LOADS of unintentional comedy. But the story all centers around the local paperboy/bmx badboy, Cru Jones. He's not all that likable and he's pretty obnoxious to boot, but he gets wind that Hell Track is coming to his little podunk town and the grand prize is $100,000. He wants to race real bad, but the problem is, the big race falls on the same day that he has to take his SATS and his momma won't let him race. Bummer. So now, Cru has to step up and be a man and make his first big decision in life. What's a young man to do? I'm tired of writing....I hear my Haro calling my name...
This movie is a cult favorite among anyone who spent their summers riding their bikes or skateboards, and featured a killer soundtrack, not to mention a respectable cast considering the obviously low-budget. Very hard to find on VHS and not likely to warrant a DVD release this is a seldom seen piece of 80's movie history. Whatever anyone else might say I liked this film and anyone I have talked to that remembered it liked it too.
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