Synopsis

The story of Cru Jones, a young man who can overcome all obstacles that prevent him from participating in the BMX race "Helltrack." As he works towards his dream, Cru falls in love with Christian, an amateur racer. With the help of Christian and her friends, can Cru's "Rad Racing Team" defeat the top BMX factory rider, Bart Taylor ?

Director

Hal Needham

Cast

Bill Allen
as Christopher "Cru" Jones
Lori Loughlin
as Christian Hollings
Talia Shire
as Mrs. Jones
Ray Walston
as Burton Timmer
Alfie Wise
as Eliott Dole
Jack Weston
as Duke Best
Bart Conner
as Bart Taylor

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zhoyt N/A

Not just nostalgia

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?

Reviewed by MBCD 9 /10

B-grade BMX flick set in a stereotypical 1980s high school, has attained an odd cult status.

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 straightforward.

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.

Reviewed by mentalsjuk N/A

Nostalgia

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.

Read more IMDb reviews