Director – Hal Needham (Smokey and the Bandit, Body Slam)
Starring – Bill Allen (Amazing Stories, Alien Nation), Lori Loughlin (The New Kids, The Night Before), and Talia Shire (Faerie Tale Theatre, Rocky)
Release Date – 1986
Rating – 3.5/5
4K Release – 4.5/5
Tagline – “A hometown kid on his BMX against the best in the world. At Helltrack…the heat is on”
I’m a huge fan of the 80s. I love the styles, movies, music, television shows, and so on. I can’t get enough of it. It’s not an obsession but I’m always on the look out for something from this decade that I had never seen or heard before.
Through the years I had heard friends recommend the 1986 sports drama Rad to check out. When I turned to eBay I found myself often getting outbid on tapes. A few years ago I found myself face to face with a stack of bootleg DVDs but the guy selling them said they were horrible quality so I decided to hold off and wait for an official release. Thank god I waited because Vinegar Syndrome fucking knocked it out of the park with their 4K/blu release of the film. I want to thank them for sending this release my way for review.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Cru (Allen) who is an aspiring BMX racer. When his hometown builds the world’s largest race track, Helltrack, he defies his mother’s wishes and joins the race that stacks the odds against him. **Spoiler Alert**
I know it’s not a horror flick but I can still see the comments rolling in. You mouth-breathers really love commenting on the obvious. I’m sorry that your mom and dad had other things to do and didn’t give you the attention you crave but if comments like “this isn’t horror” makes you feel better then have at it. Rad is one I’ve heard so much about for years and I have to admit that it did live up to my expectations. I really enjoyed it and it was gloriously 80s.
The acting in this one is cheesy as hell but I loved it. Bill Allen is an actor I’m not familiar with which is surprising considering how great he was in this. He does ham it up a great deal but so does the rest of the cast. His character really sold the movie and I couldn’t imagine this with anyone else in the role. The supporting cast is great as well. Lori Loughlin was a huge part of most of our childhoods but this is my favorite performance of hers by far. Her character was great and she brought a lot to the film.
The story for this one is pretty simple but does remind you of other films from the past. My dad was a lot older than other fathers with kids my age. He was 45 when I was born and had lived a wild life before he had children. I grew up watching those older films with him and the story for Rad could be found in so many other sports and racing movies. What makes this one stand out is that it wasn’t afraid to date itself and it doing so it cemented itself as a nostalgic classic. It doesn’t bring something new or inventive to cinema but it’s BMX spin really makes it work for someone in the mood for an 80s flick.
Finally, no blood and guts in this one. It does have some laughs, a little romance, and tons of racing action but no carnage. Overall, Rad is an 80s experience. The soundtrack, clothes, story, and sets are all a trip back in time. The movie is highly enjoyable and Vin Syn did a fantastic job on this release. Honestly, this release needs to be in every movie collector’s collection. Check it out now if it’s not sold out on 4K/blu combo pack!
Rad 25th Anniversary Event
Break the Ice Music Video
Reversible Cover Art