If there’s one movie this film writer never gets tired of talking about it’s the 1986 BMX coming-of-age drama Rad, a staple of my youth that has inspired many generations to pick up a bike and rock it like a hurricane.

Over the years, especially within the past two, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Rad star Bill Allen, who plays Cru Jones, a paperboy determined to win a BMX race called Helltrack. Allen, 58, who grew up in Richardson, got the chance of a lifetime to work under the wing of filmmaker Hal Needham (Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run). Although Rad didn’t make the same waves as Needham’s other work, the movie was built with wheels to last and has put a lot of thunder in people’s hearts (me among them).

This year, Rad is celebrating its 35th cycle around the sun, and is doing so in style by returning to theaters on Thursday, Oct. 14 (7 p.m. at Cinemark 14 Denton). In honor of its big-screen return, I caught back up with Allen to discuss his time in the Dallas area and his Rad journey.

Enjoy the interview below, read up on other Rad coverage and catch the movie on the big screen Thursday. Purchase tickets through fandango.com.

PRESTON BARTA is a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association. Read his work here, on FreshFiction.tv and on RottenTomatoes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PrestonBarta.

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