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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Hal Needham
Produced by Sam Bernard,
Mary Eilts,
Robert L. Levy,
Jack Schwartzman
Written by Sam Bernard
Geoffery Edwards
Starring Bill Allen,
Lori Loughlin,
Talia Shire,
Ray Walston,
Alfie Wise,
Jack Weston
Music by James Di Pasquale
Cinematography Richard Leiterman
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s) March 21, 1986
Running time 91 min.
Country United States
Language English

Rad is a film about BMX racing, first released in the USA in 1986. The film was written by Sam Bernard and Geoffrey Edwards and directed by Hal Needham. It stars Bill Allen and Lori Loughlin. While the film was critically lambasted, it has developed into a cult classic. Parts of this movie were filmed at Bowness High School in Calgary Alberta Canada.



The film's story focuses on Cru Jones (Bill Allen), a young BMX racer who lives in a small town with his mother (Talia Shire) and sister. Cru is faced with a tough decision: the qualifying races for Helltrack are the same day as his SAT's, which he must take in order to attend college. However, winning Helltrack means a lucrative sponsorship deal and fame. Cru chooses the latter option, ignoring his mother's wishes.

The Helltrack race is endorsed by the city and a duplicitous Duke Best (Jack Weston), president of Mongoose bicycles. Best keeps adjusting the rules in order to keep Cru out of the race and to ensure BMX star Bart Taylor (1984 Olympic gymnastics champion Bart Conner) has an easy road to victory, thus providing a financial windfall for Mongoose Racing, Bart's sponsor.

Racers from all around come to this small town for the Helltrack and Cru meets Christian Hollings (Lori Loughlin), who becomes Cru's romantic interest. Christian and Cru have an interesting scene at the local high school dance where, instead of dancing like the other couples, they perform freestyle bike stunts on the dance floor, to the awe of many. Duke Best and his flunkie step over to the punchbowl, and "wake up those drinks" to which the mayor/restaurant manager says "don't mind if I do." After being blocked from the race due to a last minute rule change on participant sponsorship, Cru is ready to give up his dreams of winning Helltrack. Christian provides Cru with an idea for how he can still enter the race. With the help of one of the townsfolk, Mr. Timmer (Ray Walston) and the founding of "Rad Racing," a small t-shirt business started by Cru's classmate Matt Weston., Cru is finally able to enter Helltrack. Sgt. Smith tells Cru to "pretend he's in the lumberyard....Go balls out."

DVD petition

The film was only released on pan-and-scan VHS and laserdisc in 1986, where the film quickly found a following and became a top-ten video rental for two years after the film's release.[1] The film has never been re-released on any home video format since.

Although it is unknown why the film has never had an official DVD release, people have started to believe that it may have to do with the film's long history of changing hands from company to company. The film was originally released by TriStar Pictures, but the rights to the film were owned by the film's producer Jack Schwartzman, who licensed the home video rights to Embassy Pictures. Embassy was dissolved and its holdings were split into different companies months later, and Schwartzman died in 1994. As a result, it has been hard to release the film on DVD because it is unknown who owns the rights to the film today.

Bootleg DVD copies have been made and sold online, with each DVD ranging in sound and picture quality. The original VHS has also been sold online on eBay or

For the past 2 to 4 years, many Rad fans have signed an online petition to get the film released onto DVD. As of May, 2009, more than 23,250 fans had signed the petition.

Bring Back RAD was established in 2008 in an effort to gain support for a DVD release of the film by tracking down the rights and contacting the holders. Included is a listing of the copyright information and various links from around the web, including the petition.


  1. ^ "Rad". The 80s Movie Rewind. 

External links



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