Over at Cult Film Club last week, we covered the classic 1986 BMX movie Rad (which, by the way, has managed in just a few days to become one of the most downloaded episodes we’ve ever recorded) and, weirdly, I’m starting to see references to the movie pop up everywhere.
For example, take the recently-released 1980s nostalgia bomb Ping Pong Summer, whose main character’s name is Rad Miracle. Rad. Fucking. Miracle! Though lacking any sweet BMX action (sadly), the nod to Rad is clear. It’s even more apparent when his friend Teddy calls him “Radical Miracle,” which, if you can recall, is what Cru Jones said it would take to beat Bart Taylor at Helltrack.
Then the other night, I watched a hilarious movie from 2013 called Coffee Town on recommendation from Twitter. If “Radical Miracle” is too subtle a reference, then behold this GLORIOUS re-creation of the infamous bike dancing scene:
And I quote: “Ecstasy is awesome. I don’t know what it looked like on that dance floor, but I know what it felt like–like the dance scene in the 1986 movie ‘Rad’, when love could only be expressed with BMX freestyle.”
Honestly though, I’ve found slow-motion bike dancing to be appropriate for most life situations, so this wasn’t really a revelation.
What does surprise me, however, is the response I’ve been seeing to everything Rad-related. With no official DVD or Blu-Ray release in sight and crappy VHS transfer bootlegs as the only means to watch the film, it’s a radical miracle the fandom has remained so strong over the past three decades. Rad rarely gets mentioned in the same breath as iconic 80s sportsploitation flicks like Karate Kid, but perhaps its time.
If you’re a fan of the movie Rad and want to know what actor Bill Allen (who of course played the leading role of Cru Jones) has been up to lately, as well as get a never-before-seen glimpse into the making of the film, you’ll want to check out his new book “My Rad Career”, which you can purchase directly from Bill Allen’s website. My boyfriend Shawn, who’s the biggest Rad
obsessed fan I know, also wrote a great book review which you can check out here.