I have a terrible case of 80’s nostalgia and not in a good way. Like most people that grew up in the 80’s I have fond memories of the movies that came out during that time period, but I seem to hold on to some of them tighter than most people do. I’m not talking about the good 80’s movies like “The Goonies” or “Gremlins” either, I’m talking about the shitty ones like “Mac & Me” and “Gleaming the Cube”, but more importantly I hold onto “Rad” a little too much.
“Rad” is a shitty, shitty movie staring Bill Allen as Cru Jones, an aspiring BMX rider, whose only claim to fame is that everyone in town knows him as the kid on the bike and he seems like a nice enough guy. He spends his mornings delivering papers with his friends as he tries to beat his record of having all of the papers delivered by 7:15. Actually, it’s not really his record so much as I think that’s the time he’s supposed to have all the papers delivered by because being even 5 minutes late causes him to annoy all of his customers by throwing the papers where they don’t belong… But his dreams eventually come true when a big BMX promoter decides to host the biggest BMX race, and the weirdest dance scene in history, in Cru’s small town. With the chance to make a name for himself, Cru blows off the SATs and takes his chances against the pros on the death defying course, known only as Hell Track, as he tries to become the best in the world…
It’s totally cliche to say this, but this movie is the definition of train wreck that I can’t look away from. My fiance doesn’t understand the appeal of movies that are so bad they are good, she just thinks I’m dumb for wasting time watching a bad movie, but how could you not love a movie that has a scene where two of the characters dance at the high school… on their bikes.
The movie opens with Cru and his two friends delivering papers, as I mentioned above, and it’s about 5 minutes of terrible 80’s music over a montage of Cru riding around throwing papers at everyone just a couple seconds too late. And because he’s just a couple seconds late he manages to knock the coffee out of the hands of the old man riding the bike… who rides around on a bike holding two things of coffee? I think the old man is the richest guy in town based on the fact that at the end of the movie he buys almost $28,000 worth of “Rad Racing” custom T-shirts to help sponsor Cru, so if he’s got that much money to blow on t-shirts why doesn’t he own a car? Or have his secretary get the coffee.
Seriously, who has a welcoming dance for hot shot BMX riders? I mean, they seemed to be enjoying it in the weirdest way possible, but still. The Reynolds twins seem to be enjoying it way more than anyone else though as they bust out their sweet dance moves with one of the girls they are with. I’m not sure if the girl is one of their girlfriends or what, but the two brothers seem to be way more into each other than the girl. Fun fact, the Reynolds twins are actually played by twin brothers (not a very fun fact when it’s blatantly obvious that they are real brothers). Meanwhile Cru is showing off on his bike outside of the gym where the dance is being held when Lori Loughlin spots him and decides that she’s going to show him up on her bike. She leads him into the gym to perform what is the weirdest dance scene in this movie… while on their bikes and “Send Me an Angel” is playing in the background.
The movie culminates with Cru trying to qualify to race Hell Track with the pros. In order to qualify he has to compete in a series of qualifying races where the top 20 times will have the opportunity to race in the main event. Cru manages to accumulate enough points to get him into the race and that doesn’t sit well with Mr. Mongoose as he’s afraid Bart will lose and he won’t sell any of the Bart Taylor merchandise. Feeling threatened, he changes the rules of the race to state that all of the racers must be sponsored in order to compete. So what do Cru and his friends do, they print up “Rad Racing” T-shirts and sell a bunch of them to support their rider. But of course in order to be an official sponsor you must be able to put up $50,000 for your rider, which leads to a town hall meeting and a pool of money that still comes up short until old man coffee rider buys $28,000 worth of t-shirts to support Cru.
In the end Cru wins the race over Bart Taylor, Bart Taylor is banished from racing for Mongoose, but is immediately offered a spot on the Rad Racing team which culminates in Cru and Bart raising Bart’s bike in the final scene of the movie. It may sound like the dumbest movie ever and that’s because it is, but it is so bad it’s good and if you grew up in the 80’s you have to watch this movie.