If you weren’t aware already, Rad is the greatest movie of all time. It came out in 1986 and has been enthralling audiences with its cheesiness via VHS ever since.
The film gets a 0% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but a 96% score from audiences. For those who love BMX and aren’t totally square, it’s a must-see.
The list of reasons you should watch it is, of course, infinite. But here are 10.
1. Foot jam tail whips
There are so many footjam tail whips in this movie. Seriously. It opens with a nearly four-minute montage of them. And they are peppered throughout the film like little nuggets of glory. We recommend making a drinking game out of it.
2. Ridiculous stunts for no narrative reason
Rad‘s protagonist, Cru, loves doing unusual things on his BMX, like joyriding on building equipment. What’s so baffling about this scene is that before the stunt, the driver of the vehicle looks at him as if to say “You’re late”. Cru clearly has an arrangement with him. What a life.
Also baffling is a segment where Cru is chased by a policeman on a motorbike. The law enforcer can’t keep up though, obviously. Because no one can stop a guy on a BMX that has thunder in his heart!
Cru speaks the truth. Shame his mum thinks that the SATs are more important than a BMX race. Pah!
4. The girl
This is the very lovely Christian Holly. In real-life her name is Lori Laughlin, and this is how she looks now. I know, right? Wow.
5. THE dance
The most iconic scene in Rad is when Cru and Christian meet at an all-American high school dance. The two wheel in on their sweet steeds before DANCING ON THEIR BMX BIKES TOGETHER. Total cinematic genius. You can watch the whole routine below.
6. The racing
There are two major races in Rad, and both are excellent. A lot of people end up tumbling off their bikes in suspiciously controlled ways before hitting the dirt and/or lake. You gotta be careful on the Helltrack.
7. The bad guys
Rad bravely eschews the normal cinematic format of having characters with multiple dimensions. The villains are no exception – they are greedy, corporate assholes with no personality traits beyond ‘evil’.
Thankfully, Rad does feature a heart-warming surprise. The old dude who’s been grumbling about snot-nosed kids the whole time ends up saving the day and enabling Cru to ride the race of his dreams. You go old man!
8. The community spirit (and the t-shirts)
OK, you can buy these. I bought one and it looks awesome. I recommend you all get one to show off both your support for Cru and your penchant for sticking it to the man.
9. The finish line
Cru wins! Phew! We just about thought it would be one of those sports movies where the protagonist comes second but ‘learns something’. Screw that, enjoy your $100,000 dude.
Actually, it’s just struck me how insane that amount of money is in BMX – even in a fictional film! And this was the 80s…
Also, remember the policeman from earlier? He approves of this win. They all come around to the joy of BMX eventually.
10. Even more bunny hopping
Yep, there’s another full four minutes of tail whipping during the credits. Total bliss.
Bonus Reason: World’s best soundtrack
You can listen to nearly the entire soundtrack via this Spotify playlist. ‘Thunder in Your Heart’ is the epitome of eighties power pop and you should listen to it a hundred times today.