Throughout his life, Rod Kimble has believed his dead father was a successful and respectable stuntman working for Evel Knievel. He aspires to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a famous stuntman himself. His stepfather, Frank, does not respect Rod as a man, often going out of his way to beat him in sparring sessions and mocking his stuntman dreams. Rod makes many attempts at landing jumps with his Tomos moped, most of them unsuccessful. Hot rod racing everything will kill you poster. After another failed jump attempt at a public pool, he returns home to learn that Frank is in urgent need of a heart transplant that the family’s health insurance will not cover. Angered at the thought of his stepfather dying without getting a chance to gain his respect and lose a fight to him at least once, Rod runs into the woods to let out his fury and tumbles down a steep hill. At the bottom of the hill he sees an inspirational billboard and gets an idea. Rod quickly heads over to his team (his childhood friends Rico and Dave and his half-brother Kevin), telling them he plans to do a jump over 15 schoolbuses and use the proceeds to fund Frank’s surgery. He also adds Denise, his neighbor on whom he has a crush, to his crew.
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To promote his stunt and raise funds, Rod, who “likes to party”, works parties, corporate get-togethers, and other events, performing activities such as taping pillows to his body and having a washing machine suspended by a crane swing to hit him. While doing laundry with no pants on, he gets curious about what Kevin is editing as he hears music coming from his computer. Kevin says he was just messing around with editing footage, and Rod asks Kevin to show him the video. Hot rod racing everything will kill you poster. Rod is impressed with Kevin’s work and gets the idea to release a stuntman film to raise money. Kevin releases the movie using his footage of Rod’s stunts and sells over 200 tickets to the screening, but the audience laughs at Rod as the film depicts his failed training attempts. Rod gets angry and throws the theater’s projector out of a window, smashing the projectionist’s car below. He gives the projectionist all the money he has raised to cover the damages and avoid arrest. Upset, he returns home, where his mother reveals to him that his biological father was not the stuntman he thought he was. Humiliated, Rod quits the crew and ends his dream to beat up Frank, despite his friends’ interventions. But he takes up the jump again when Dave asks Rod to take him to the hospital due to an injury while “trippin’ balls” under the influence of LSD his friend Derek gave him. When he does, Dave gives him advice that inspires Rod to apologize to Kevin. As Kevin accepts his apology, he reveals that Rod’s stunt footage has gotten popular on the Internet, and a show on a local AM radio station, hosted by Barry Pasternak, offers to cover the expenses of the planned jump.