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Turbo Kid takes you back to the future

3 09 2015

Imagine thumbing through the shelves of dusty old VHS tapes at a video store back in the 80s, stopping at one with a super hero and a  BMX bike on the cover. You smile, grab it, and stroll off knowing you’re in for some cheesy…but oh so fun…entertainment.

If you can go back and put yourself back in that headspace, well then my friend, you’re probably going to love Turbo Kid.

turbokidbanner

Billed as a  post-apocalyptic love story set in an alternate version of 1997, it has one retro nod after another.

(Let’s just say hearing “Thunder in your heart” within the first few minutes made me extremely giddy.)

The movie follows the tale of an orphaned teenage forager who, along with his female-robot companion, must fight an evil warlord who controls the only water supply. The evil warlord is played perfectly — which in this case, is completely over the top — by Michael Ironside (who I remember fondly from movies in the 80s and 90s as a biker gang member or some other villian).

Turbo kid couple

Of course there’s plenty of riding throughout the movie as it seems bikes are the only form of transportation in this world. I found myself squinting to make out all the details of the bikes…someone paid a lot of attention to make sure they looked sufficiently retro. (I got a kick out of seeing “Special thanks to Skyway Wheels” in the credits.)

Another nod to the past is the location itself. The movie is a Canada-New Zealand co-production shot in rural Quebec.

Yes, just like the most famous BMX movie to precede it, Turbo Kid was shot in Canada.  It’s enough to make a Canuck BMXer a little teary-eyed.

Program notes:

  • There’s quite a bit of Kill Bill-style bloody gore in this movie so it might not be suitable for younger kids.
  • This movie is on a limited run in most places. Catch it if you can! (Otherwise you can get it on Vimeo)
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Is this the summer of the BMX movie?

15 07 2015

It’s starting to feel like the 80s all over again.

Remember when Rad and BMX Bandits were on the big screen? Those were heady times…filled with so much promise. It seemed like BMX had made it…at least to the big screen. (Heck, even Nicole Kidman appeared in BMX Bandits!)

Little did we know how long the drought between BMX movies would prove to be.

However, this summer seems to be where things really start to change.

The long anticipated Heroes of Dirt — with a whole slew of BMX cameos — is now making its way around the US, getting hype and generating positive reviews.

Following that we have instances where BMX plays a prominent role in more mainstream movies.

The Strongest Man comes to mind. A little off-beat in the storyline department, to be sure, but still pretty interesting nonetheless.

Then we have Turbo Kid.

Sort of a mashup between Mad Max and BMX Bandits from the look of it.

This one almost feels like it should be on VHS in a dusty remainder bin in an old movie rental place…and I mean that in the best possible sense. This has a retro vibe that I kinda dig.

All this leads me to believe that we are at the beginning stages of an honest-to-goodness wave of BMX movies…and I couldn’t be more stoked about it!





TMZ asks Lori Loughlin about RAD sequel

13 11 2014

TMZ tracked down Lori Loughlin, the childhood crush of many a BMXer, and asked her the question we all want to know, “Any chance of a RAD sequel?”

For real.

I suddenly have a new respect for TMZ.

???????????

 





Cru Jones: the UCI doesn’t like your type

24 10 2013

The movie Rad, a cult classic for BMXers of all stripes, was way ahead of it’s time in some ways.

(Watching the story of the small-town kid with dreams of racing in the big race is a rite of passage for most riders.)

Sure, the racing depicted was a bit wack but that sorta added to the movie’s charm.

Now looking back, it’s interesting to see how prophetic it was.

The giant start hill of Helltrack looks like it might have been the inspiration for the big starting hills of today’s SX tracks.

hell track and CRU

Mongoose bikes were “going to be in every department store across the nation” (can’t remember the exact line)….which seemed ridiculous at the time but now ,of course, you can visit any Wal-Mart and pick up a Mongoose bicycle.

And the way the big corporate interests would try to stamp down the energetic upstart/hometown kid, Cru Jones, from making a go of it.

Who could forget, Cru, the rider in the hockey helmet and jeans (before the big final, when he finally gets some proper racing duds)  practicing and then racing against the “factory hot-shots”.

Now it seems like the UCI is ready to pull a similar move on riders that have the audacity to show up for a race in jeans.

According to the new UCI rule book:

The following items are not permitted for BMX pants:
– One piece skin suits
– Tight fitted pants that needs to be stretched in order to cover
the legs
– Lycra pants
– Track and Field pants /jogging pants
– Road/Track cycling pants
Denim / Jeans

It just seems like a step too far.

Jeans have been part of the “first race day” uniform of just about every BMX racer (minus the hockey helmet) since the sport began.

Is nothing sacred anymore?

sad cru jones





Nifty, nifty looks who’s 50

8 11 2012

Bill Allen, star of stage and screen, most famous for his role as small-town BMXer done good Cru Jones in the movie Rad, turns 50 this week.

Whatever your thoughts on the cult classic, you can’t deny the iconic status of Cru Jones in the BMX community. Love him or hate him, everyone knows who Cru Jones is and the man who played him, Bill Allen.

And, in some kind of cosmic convergence,  I also learned today that McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is also enjoying it’s 50th birthday this year.

Coincidence?

Who’s to say….but I always seem to jones for a Filet-O-Fish or a viewing of Rad at the strangest times.

Like the middle of the night.

Maybe that explains their enduring popularity.

You just never know when the craving will strike you.

But when it does, whether it’s the sandwich or the movie, nothing else will do.





Movember: bringing back the BMX ‘stache

24 11 2011

BMX has lost a lot of things over the years.

Knobby tires.

Padsets.

The Jofa mouth guard.

But you know what else BMX has lost?  The BMX moustache.

That’s right. There was a time when race bikes were chromoly and BMX racers rocked ‘staches.

Back in the day, the legend Perry “PK Ripper” Kramer, intimidated his competition and broke the hearts the hearts of trophy girls everywhere with his moustachioed swagger.

Later, Hollywood Mike Miranda would bring his All-American moustache to the silver screen with memorable scenes in the movie Rad (“Hollywood Mike Miranda makes his second dramatic exit of the day”)

Thankfully, the Movember fundraiser is in full swing and guys everywhere are growing  moustaches to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.  I’ve joined the cause and I’m donating my upper lip to the cause for the 30 days.

My moustache has already caused a few sideways glances at work, and some outright laughter when I’ve gone riding at the trails but it’s all for a good cause, to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer. Which as many of you know, affected one of the icons of our sport, Stu Thomsen, in recent years.

If you’d like to support me in raising funds for this great cause (and bring a little moustachioed swagger back to BMX) you can donate to my campaign via this link:  http://mobro.co/EdVandermolen.

Any support would be greatly appreciated.  (Be sure to check out the Ron Burgundy and Tom Selleck tomfoolery on my Movember page as well.)





Would Cru make the same choice today?

10 08 2011

In a key plot point in the movie Rad, Cru Jones makes the life-changing decision to postpone taking his SATs to take part in the big race at Helltrack. He does it because he thinks he’s got a chance at winning against all the “factory hot shots”.

Did he make the right choice?

It seemed like the right idea at the time. Factory BMX racers seemed to have it all back in the 80s. Driving Porsches, international travel, BMX Action magazine covers…you name it. They were living the high life.

Winning the big race would be Cru’s ticket to living the dream.

But today? I’m not so sure skipping the SATs would’ve been the right choice.

Check out the check that Denzel Stein, Redline factory hotshot, is holding for a recent win…$1400.

Compare this with the check that Team Kachinsky (Brian Kachinsky, Corey Martinez, Sean Sexton and Will Stroud) is holding after a win at the recent Nike 6.0 contest…$14,000. (Sure it’s split 4 ways…but c’mon that’s a much sweeter payday.)

Today, he probably would’ve been wise to skip the race altogether and focus on perfecting his bicycle boogie skills.